The NFL Championship Weekend has come and gone and the AFC and NFC have crowned their respective champions. Now only two teams remain in the hunt for Super Bowl LV.
Tampa Bay at Green Bay
In the early game, the story line was turnovers. Each time had their share, but the defining stat from this match was points off of turnovers.
With a chance to work the two minute drill before receiving the second half kickoff, the Green Bay Packers ended up giving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a chance to do the same.
While pushing the ball downfield, Aaron Rodgers was intercepted at midfield giving Tom Brady half a minute to try and get any points.
Instead, Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich dialed up a shot play with six seconds on the clock to steal a touchdown before half.
After the break, an Aaron Jones fumble quickly gave Brady another chance to extend the lead.
Once they were up, Green Bay’s defence began to steal the ball back for themselves. Three straight Brady interceptions gave the Packers a chance to steal the game and climb back on top.
Instead they only were able to muster six points and two three and outs leaving themselves in a hole they could not overcome.
Despite making it an eight point game, the Packers went 0-3 on the goalline and opted to kick a field goal from the six yard line and trust their defence to halt the Bucs offence. A blatant pass interference call ended that call and Green Bay’s Super Bowl hopes in the 31-26 loss.
Buffalo at Kansas City
Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs booked their second straight Super Bowl appearance after a dominant 38-24 win over the Buffalo Bills.
Despite going down nine points thanks to a muffed punt, the Chiefs railed off 21 unanswered points before cruising through the second half enroute to their win.
The electric speed of the Chiefs’ offence was too much for Buffalo to overcome as Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce combined for 22 receptions, 290 yards, and two touchdowns on the night.
By the time Buffalo had a chance to breathe, the game was out of reach and the Bills began to fall apart mentally. After taking a big sack, tempers began to flare after a late hit. Quarterback Josh Allen threw the ball at a defender before two of his offensive linemen took unsportsmanlike penalties.
A lost storyline in this game is the stout play of the Kansas City defensive backs who held Stefon Diggs to six receptions on eleven targets and forced Allen into making errant throws, including a deflection that ended up as an interception.
Steve Spagnuolo has continually built this defence over the last couple years into a unit that can run with any receiver and apply pressure on any offensive line. As a result, the Chiefs are headed to back to back Super Bowls.