The San Francisco 49ers are Miami bound!

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

There was a feeling right at the start of the NFC Championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers. A feeling that the 49ers were completely dialed in. And they were. It was pretty much over right after it got going.

The 49ers scored on their second series of the game, and that was pretty much it, they never looked back. Running back Raheem Mostert was definitely the star of the game. He had over 200 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns, becoming the 1st player to score 4 touchdowns in a conference championship game.

The Green Bay Packers? Well, to put it nicely, they never really got going.

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AFC Championship Preview: Titans vs Chiefs

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

On Sunday, the 6th seed Tennessee Titans will head to Kansas City to take on the 2nd seed Chiefs for the AFC Championship Game, with a trip to the Super Bowl at stake.

During the season, there were many who imagined the high powered Chiefs making it to this stage, but I don’t remember anyone mentioning the Titans taking a trip to Miami in February.

I’m going to be honest. I think most people outside of the two teams’ fandoms will be thrilled to see either team win. Not just because it will be two young, fun teams playing, but also because it is the first time in a LONG time that the words New England Patriots haven’t been mentioned in an AFC Championship preview.

Oh, wait… I just mentioned them. Sorry.

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Previewing the NFC Championship game

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

At the beginning of the season, if you’d have told me that the San Fransisco 49ers were going to be in the NFC Championship Game, I think I would’ve responded like this:

via GIPHY

And yet,  here we are. The 49ers are in the NFC Championship Game, with home field no less, and they get to face the Green Bay Packers.  Again. Had you told me at the beginning of the year that the Packers were going to the NFC Championship game, I don’t think I would’ve gone 100% “Sure, Jan” but I still wasn’t 100% sold on them either.

However, both teams have proven me wrong and will face each other to earn a spot in the Super Bowl.  So, what’s it going to take for each team to get there?

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Packers playoff victory over the Seahawks features defense

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Green Bay Packers 28 – 23 Seattle Seahawks

I’ll start off by saying that once the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Minnesota Vikings, all I could think was “We might get to see Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch on the same field again!”  Yeah, I know, different teams, but still… those Seahawks teams were really fun to watch and even a bit of that nostalgia makes me happy.  But it was not to be.

These two teams know each other very well. Their playoff battles have been some of the best around the league. And this year was no exception. The Packers wound up victorious, however, and will move on to face the 49ers in Santa Clara for the NFC Championship while the Seahawks and their fans will have to just sit back and watch.

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The Niners head to the championship round

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

49ers 27- Vikings 10

It was the first playoff game played in Levi Stadium and it was a great one for the home team.  It started off being sorta close.  It really seemed like the Niners had some rust to dust off, and the Vikings were holding on to the momentum from their win against the Saints.

Thanks to some great throws by Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and tight end George Kittle with the touchdown pass to WR Kendrick Bourne, the Niners were up 7-0.

However, Minnesota was able to score and tie the game at 7 going into the 2nd quarter.  Then all the magic started to happen.

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The Chiefs steamroll the Texans, go on to AFC Championship

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

It was a rocky first quarter for the Kansas City Chiefs. Down 21-0, it looked like the underdog Houston Texans were going to destroy the home team. That wasn’t to be the case as the Chiefs took the game over, beating the Texans 51-31. This loss brings up a lot of questions for the Texans coaching staff’s future.

Not many people gave the Texans a chance to win in Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs and their superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes were slated to march right through anything the Texans defense could give them. But in that first quarter, the Chiefs looked lost, confused, and like they had completely underestimated their opponents. Kansas City receivers couldn’t hold on to the ball. Their special teams were a disaster, giving up 2 touchdowns. It was ugly.

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Browns fans react to their new head coach

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

 

As I was driving to meet my daughter and a friend to see the movie “Cats” on Sunday, my phone started blowing up.

Now, as a safe driver, I waited until I got to the theater to see what all the hullabaloo was about…. (*wink*wink*) and of course it was about the Browns.

Sources: The #Browns are planning to hire #Vikings OC Kevin Stefanski as their new head coach. Runner-up last year, winner this year.

So naturally I fired off a few quick tweets, shook my head in dismay, and went to the movies.  (Great movie, by the way. I have no clue what all the hate is about!)

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Seattle at Green Bay: Divisional Preview

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

This weekend, the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs will commence. The game on Sunday at 6:40 pm EST (tv: FOX) where the Green Bay Packers (13-3) will host the Seattle Seahawks (11-5) will feature two top-rated quarterbacks. A showdown between Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson is always thrilling.

Odd-makers have the Packers giving up four points. Typically the home team gets a three-point advantage but since the Seahawks have been just stellar on the road this year, I’m surprised it’s not a closer margin.

And they have the over/under at 47. Hmmm. Do I think this will be a shootout so I bet the over? Or am I predicting some great defensive plays which keep it a low scoring game? Hmmm again.

Ultimately it comes down to one simple question: Are Rodgers and Wilson the two most important players in this game? The “Keys,” if you will. Or will the outcome hinge on someone else?

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Titans vs Ravens. What will this divisional round bring?

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

We are headed into week two of the NFL playoffs. Saturday’s match-up between the Tennessee Titans and the Baltimore Ravens will showcase two different types of offenses.

The Ravens have quarterback Lamar Jackson and his style of offense, which includes his dynamic ability to escape and run out of the pocket. While the Titans have more of a play-action pocket passer in Ryan Tannehill. Either way, both these teams will try to establish a run game. So expect a lot of smash-mouth, in the trenches, football.

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Houston at Kansas City: Divisional Round Preview

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman //@DaynaOG

The Houston Texans will travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs in what could be a fantastic divisional round match up. Or it could be a total blow out…by either team. What we learned from the Wild Card round is to never be comfortable, as something completely unexpected will happen.

I still can’t get over last weekend. Underdog road teams winning over teams that were almost shoe-ins for the AFC and NFC Championships. It taught us all that, at least in football, to always expect the unexpected. This weekend could easily follow suit.

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