NFC Championship Game Previews
Chiefs vs Titans
Pass Offense: Chiefs
Run Offense: Titans
This is a game where you'll be able to tell how this game is going to go by the first quarter. Offensively, these are two of the most opposite offenses, but are both extremely successful. The Titans are a punch you in the mouth and run you into the ground offense, while the Chiefs are just straight speed. If we were to compare this matchup to a boxing fight, the Titans will wear you out with body shots and make you tired while the Chiefs are a straight knockout punch. The biggest question is will the Chiefs be able to either stop Derrick Henry or can they jump out to an early lead so the Titans just can't run the ball 30 times in the game. The two biggest ailments for Kansas City has to be that their best run stopper, Chris Jones, is questionable and it's going to be 8 degrees in Arrowhead Stadium. You know what's worst that having to tackle Derrick Henry in a football game? Having to tackle Derrick Henry in the freezing cold! The one thing about the Chiefs is if they're able to start the game firing. If they put 10 points on the scoreboard early, the Titans will have to play from behind. The Titans won't be able to run Derrick Henry 30 times like they have the past three weeks. The question on the other side of the ball is can the Titans defense run with the Chiefs offense. I know they have Adoree Jackson who is a track star, but who can stop the Chiefs receiving core. Lamar Jackson was able to throw on the Titans defense and Marquise Brown had a day. Are they going to be able to guard Tyreek Hill and the Chiefs receiving core? It depends on the health of Jayon Brown. Brown is one of the few linebackers who can run with Travis Kelce so then you can put bracket coverage on Tyreek Hill. I want to see the Chiefs come out fast and take the ball out of Derrick Henry's hands. The breakout player for the Chiefs this week has to be Tyreek Hill. He's stayed relatively quiet the past few weeks, and Hollywood Brown was able to put up over 120 yards. Last week the Ravens were just missing all of their opportunities, they had 7 drives inside of the Titans 40 yard line and came out with only 12 points. If the Chiefs can capitalize on their redzone drives and come out with 7 instead of 3, I love their chances. According to Warren Sharpe the Titans are the worst in the league when it comes to defending 12 personnel, which is the Chiefs most frequently used package. This is a huge advantage for Kansas City that they should look to exploit.
How the Titans Win: Don't let the Chiefs hit the big passes (20+ air yards) and give Derrick Henry 25+ touches
How the Chiefs Win: Jump out to an early lead and make the Titans play from behind.
Game MVP: Tyreek Hill 7 catches 131 yards 1 touchdown
Final Score: Titans 24 Chiefs 31
Packers vs 49ers
Pass Offense: Tie
Run Offense: 49ers
This game should be a fun one, and since it's a rematch you better believe that these two teams are both going to come out with an enhanced game plan. Based off of all the sacks Aaron Rodgers took last time, the Packers will most likely come out heavily favoring outside runs, bootlegs, and quick passes. The 49ers on the other hand are going to do what they've done all year. They'll be running outside zone, play-action, and throw towards the middle of the field. Both the Packers and the 49ers are somewhat inexperienced when it comes to being in the playoffs, but now with one playoff game under their belts, I don't expect nerves to be a factor. The most fun matchup to watch will be the mental chess match going on between Aaron Rodgers and Richard Sherman. Last time the two played, it looked like Sherman caught on to when Rodgers would symbol an out route to his receiver. This would allow Sherman to come up and make a big hit before the receiver could get up field. This time I wouldn't be surprised if Rodgers used the same symbol and it meant an out and up. Sherman and Rodgers are two of the smartest players in the NFL, so that is definitely something to watch. For the 49ers offense, I believe this will be a big game for George Kittle. The Packers struggle when it comes to defending the pass between the numbers, which is where Kittle thrives. For the Packers on offense, Aaron Jones is going to need to have a big day. I believe the Packers entire scheme will be based on movement and the play action. The Packers want to slow down this pass rush, so that is how they're going to come out. If they want to do that, Dee Ford should have a big day on the outside. The matchup the Packers will like is going to be Davante Adams vs the CB on the other side, either Akhello Witherspoon or Emmanuel Mosley. I believe this game is going to revolve around momentum. If one team scores, the ball will keep falling their way until the other team makes a stop. I think the 49ers have an advantage when it comes to just how each team lines up against each other.
How the Packers Win: Get Aaron Jones going on the outside! The run game is the best way to slow down a pass rush so they need to be aggressive with running on the edges.
How the 49ers Win: Keeping Jimmy Garoppolo clean. The Smith brothers is one of the best tandems in the NFL, but if Jimmy can throw out of a clean pocket there should be success.
Game MVP: George Kittle 8 receptions, 105 yards, 1 touchdown.
Final Score: Packers 17 49ers 27