It's Championship Sunday. The final four teams in the AFC and NFC will be playing this afternoon as we decide who will meet in Super Bowl 50 at the 49ers stadium in San Francisco. Both of these games are the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds playing so the favorites have been winning so far in the 2016 NFL playoffs.
The first game of the day is on the AFC side with a classic: Tom Brady-Peyton Manning and the Patriots and Broncos meeting in Denver. The Patriots are a 3-point road favorite. The Chiefs of course lost to New England last week and I do think that they're the better team. Brady is the better quarterback right now (and all-time) and Bill Belichick is the better coach. Even if it is on the road, I see the Patriots beating the Broncos today. I just don't think Manning has enough to keep up with New England.
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver
When: Sunday, January 24, 12:05 p.m. PT
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
Radio: Patriots Radio Network | Broncos Radio Network
Online Streaming: CBS Sports
Odds: The Patriots opened as a 2.5-point road favorite. The line climbed to 3.5, but has settled between 3- and 3.5-points, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.
Patriots blog: Pats Pulpit
Broncos blog: Mile High Report
The second game is the Cardinals and Panthers, which should be a great one. The Panthers have lost just once this year but Arizona has an argument that they've looked like the best team in the league. Both teams have offensive firepower with great quarterbacks - arguably No. 1 and 2 in the MVP talk lately. The defenses of both are terrific as well. KC has ties to Bruce Arians who spent some time in KC as an assistant and Ron Rivera, who once coached under Andy Reid in Philly. The Panthers are 3-point home favorites in this game. I'm picking the Cardinals to beat the Panthers. The Carson-Palmer-Larry Fitzgerald combo puts Arizona above Cam Newton and Carolina. It will also be interesting to watch the weather in Carolina after all the snow this weekend. This is how the field looked two days ago:
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
When: Sunday, January 24, 3:40 p.m. PT
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Radio: Cardinals Radio Network | Panthers Radio Network
Online Streaming: FOXSportsGo
Odds: The Panthers opened as a 4-point favorite. The line dropped to a field goal, and has settled there, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.
Cardinals blog: Revenge of the Birds
Panthers blog: Cat Scratch Reader
Sunday, January 24
AFC Championship game: New England Patriots at Denver Broncos, CBS, 3:05 p.m. ET
NFC Championship game: Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers, FOX, 6:40 p.m. ET
Sunday, February 7
Super Bowl 50: AFC champion vs. NFC champion, 6:30 p.m., CBS