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Conference Championship Predictions for the 2014 NFL Post Season
A great season it has been and the end is getting closer. Even though there won't be anymore games to watch, we still have the NFL Combine in February, free agency and this supposed combine for them in March and then the NFL Draft in late April. Some months later we have training camp and then the 2015 season will start in September. Sprinkle in the unrelated-NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals and that should hold us for a while before the cycle continues.
Couple of things to note: I am confident that Peyton Manning will be back for the 2015 season. The loss against the Colts last week could have been his last game but we'll see. He is a competitor and I don't think he would want to go out like that. Probably in the next several weeks he will have a decision ready after spending some time away from the game.
The runningback position in the NFL isn't what it used to be in the last few years. With that in mind, Dallas will re-sign Dez Bryant instead of DeMarco Murray. I am sure the Cowboys will try very hard to retain both players but I think it will have to be at the right price. With the stacked offensive line that Dallas has, whoever they have starting at runningback in 2015 shouldn't have a problem finding open running lanes.
Packers @ Seahawks: For Green Bay to pull this one off, their offensive line is going to have to push their way forward to make way for Eddie Lacy and James Starks. A one dimensional Packers team can't win in Seattle. There has to be some balance between running and passing the ball. Now running the ball will be hard to do against the number one rushing defense but it has to be done. Defensively, the Packers will have to have some success in not letting Russell Wilson get out of the pocket. Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews will play a crucial part in this while the secondary will have to do their best in covering Seattle's shifty receivers.
For Seattle to get to their second consecutive appearance in the Super Bowl, they would have to play clean football. They were the most penalized team in the NFL this season at 136 averaging eight penalties a game. The offensive line hasn't been great allowing 42 sacks which is 13th worst in the league and starting rookie offensive tackle Justin Britt (started all 16 games) is questionable for Sunday's game. It helps that they will be playing at home where they have been close to invincible-but that is already a given.
Colts @ Patriots: Indianapolis' defense did a heck of a job last week against the Broncos. Primarily the sole reason why they are here in the first place. The impressive game their secondary had holding Denver's receivers to no more than 60 receiving yards each will have to continue. Pats Tight End Rob Gronkowski is the lone guy they have to hold in check. Also, you think Indy will give up four rushing touchdowns and 246 rushing yards again? Highly unlikely, but I do think New England will run the ball as often as they did to see if they can get close to the amount of success they had in that November meeting. Andrew Luck and his magical beard will surely give New England all they can handle being that he is the only part of the Colts offense.