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NFL Conference Championship Preview: Keys To Victory For Magic’s Chiefs & TB12 Bucs

Kansas City & Tampa Bay will advance to Super Bowl LV -- an official changing of the QB guard.

All of Kansas City is praying that Patrick Mahomes Jr. passes his concussion protocol and is able to play in the AFC Championship Game against the upstart Buffalo Bills. 

The health of the former Super Bowl MVP is the most important factor entering this weekend. 

The spread for the Buffalo Bills — Kansas City game is currently about 3.5 with the Chiefs as favorites to win, according to the NFL odds at SportsBettingDime.com. Of course, this could change anytime up until the start of the game.

Keep an eye out for any changes as the Mahomes situation becomes more clear. If he can’t go, that will affect the betting lines and everything else considerably. So far, so good for Mahomes, who practiced with the team on Thursday and is going through his concussion protocols. 

The Keys To Victory for Kansas City 

  1. Patrick Mahomes’ Availability 

If Mahomes clears all concussion protocols and can play then Kansas City will still have a tough time against a Bills team that has a poor man’s Mahomes in Josh Allen. 

Allen has emerged as an MVP candidate this season and would be a formidable draw under any circumstances. Mahomes Jr, however, is often the difference for KC in tough games and Sunday’s contest will be no different. He’s also nursing a foot injury, which could cause some problems. 

2. Eric Bieniemy’s Pissed

The genius OC will undoubtedly be devising his game plan with a chip on his shoulder as NFL jobs fly out the window (six to be exact) and none have landed in his lap. The OC will be extra motivated — ESPECIALLY if Mahomes can’t play or his reps are limited. Bieniemy would have to navigate journeyman Chad Henne through the AFC Championship game. 

Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs 30, Buffalo Bills 26 

In the NFC Battle, you have two of the drop back QB kings of the past era, still holding on and competing against the younguns in the league. 

Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers for the first time in this spot is a fitting final goodbye (for the most part) for two legends of the game. Two guys whose names are constantly pitted against each other when we discuss the livest QBs of the past 15 years. We will probably never see these two legends faceoff again. This is legacy sh*t right here.

The Keys To Victory for Tampa Bay 

  1. TB12 Can Prove That It Was Him, Not Belichick’s System 

He’s been spreading the ball around well this season, throwing for over 4,600 yards to a bevy of different pass snatchers. Arians went as far as to say he’s been letting Brady “coach.”

Brady’s air attack will be hampered a bit by not having Antonio Brown, who is out with a knee injury. 

This is the moment that the Bucs signed the future Hall of Fame wide receiver for. There’s nobody on the field that can check him and what a story it would be if AB ends up with a ring after all of the turmoil in leaving Pittsburgh, the social media beating he took and the off-field drama over the past two seasons. Hope he can come back if they win. 

But at 43 years old, Brady is still ticking, and let’s hope he has a better ending than Joe Montana had when he took KC to the AFC Championship game after leaving the 49ers. Montana was knocked out of that game with a concussion.

2. This is Bruce Arians’ shining moment as a head coach.

Arians has long been considered an elite sideline stalker and quarterback whisperer of sorts, but didn’t have the personal accolades as a head coach. This season he has no excuses. They blamed Jameis Winston for his past failures and then loaded his team up with veteran All-stars and future Hall of Famers (Brady, Gronkowski, Antonio Brown) on the offensive side of the rock.

The Bucs have more talent than Green Bay, but the Packers have Aaron Rodgers who is always capable of a bit of magic. Arians has to call the right plays and make the right moves to pull this out and advance to the Super Bowl. 

Prediction: Tampa Bay 36, Green Bay 24

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