A look at the conference championships

The conference championships are here in the NFL and by the looks of it, there could be two good battles going on this Sunday.

The New England Patriots will take their impressive victory over the Colts to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers at Hines Field where they were dominated earlier this season. The Patriots, however, were without Corey Dillon that time around and rushed the ball only five times for six yards. This weekend Dillon will be ready to go, giving the Patriots the rushing attack they need to play their style of game, which is controlling the clock.

On defense, the Patriots will be fired up the way they were against Indianapolis. Bill Belichek and his staff won?t allow the Patriots to lose to the same team twice in a season and will have plenty of schemes to throw at Ben Roethlisberger. They will be prepared to shut down the highly potent Steeler running game and make Roethlisberger beat them through the air. Roethlisberger played terrible in his first playoff game against the Jets. The only reason the Steelers won is because New York literally handed them the game on numerous occasions. Look for the Patriots defense to make Roethlisberger look like the rookie he truly is and make critical mistakes that cost his team a shot at the Super Bowl.

In no way can I see Pittsburgh winning this game. A rookie quarterback, a non-deserving win last week against the Jets and a Patriots team that proves time and time again that they are a dynasty destined to pave way into history as one of the greatest teams ever. That just simply doesn?t look good if you?re Steelers fan. But the Steelers are 16-1 and haven?t come this far to allow the Patriots to take over early. They will be ready to roll as well and should put up a great effort against a great New England team. But in the end, the Patriots will be on their way to Jacksonville to play for their third Super Bowl in four years.

The Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons game should be a very interesting one. You?ve got Donovan McNabb vs. Michael Vick. Which of these quarterbacks will come through and lead their team to the big game.

Last week, both teams dominated their opponents. Those opponents (Minnesota and St Louis), however, didn?t belong in the playoffs and proved so last weekend. Both Atlanta and Philadelphia looked like they were tuning up for the NFC championship game.

The Falcons ran all over St Louis in the divisional round and expect them to attempt to do so in Philadelphia. Atlanta is number one in the NFL in rushing the football and should be able to run the ball well against a solid Eagles defense. The Eagles run defense has always been labeled their weak point but ever since Jeremiah Trotter took over as middle linebacker, they have improved. Still, the speed of Warrick Dunn and Michael Vick and the power of T.J. Duckett should take a toll on the Eagles defense.

Look for this to be a game decided by three points or less. Both teams are fairly evenly matched. This could be an NFC championship game for the ages.

In the end, I see Atlanta winning the game on a couple big runs by Dunn and Vick.


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