Sunday games to decide Super Bowl match up

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 17, 2014

The AFC and NFC National Football League Championships highlight Sunday’s round of postseason play.

New England travels to play Denver in the AFC title game, while San Francisco visits the Seahawks in the NFC title game.

Last week during the divisional round, the Seahawks beat New Orleans 23-15 and held on despite a late Saints surge; the Patriots pulled away on their running game to top Indianapolis 43-22; the 49ers were too much for the Panthers in a 23-10 win; and quarterback Peyton Manning and the Broncos won 24-17 over San Diego.

The winners of this week’s games gain a berth to play in Super Bowl XLVIII, which will be played at MetLife Stadium on what is expected to be a chilly Sun., Feb. 2.

There are only two teams who are playing in the conference championships this week who are suitable to play in the Super Bowl comfortably — New England and Denver.

The big story this week leading up to the game is that of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady playing against Manning — both considered to be the league’s best right now.

During the week, Brady suffered an illness that caused him to miss practice Wednesday. Fortunately for Pats fans, he was back to full form on Thursday.

Entering this week, Brady has went 380-for-628 for 4,343 yards and 25 touchdowns.

The NFL crowd didn’t get to see much from Brady’s arm during the divisional as New England running back LeGarrette Blount ran for four TDs in the win over the Colts.

Brady’s favorite receiver is Julian Edelman, who has 105 receptions for 1,056 yards and six TDs.

On the other side, Manning has had a career-season, throwing 450-for-659 for 5,477 yards and 55 TDs.

Knowshon Moreno went for 1,038 yards on 241 carries and 10 touchdowns on the ground for the Broncos.

Demaryius Thomas has caught 92 receptions for 1,430 yards and 14 TDs to become Manning’s primary target down field.

Both teams’ defenses will be on high alert against the potent quarterback attack.

The big question this week is what will the Patriots’ offense throw at the Broncos at Mile High Stadium?

On the west coast, the 49ers will face off against the Seahawks in one of the NFL’s best rivalries.

Colin Kaepernick 243-for-416 for 3,197 yards and 21 touchdowns) will be looking for wide receiver Anquan Boldin (85 receptions, 1,179 yards and 7 touchdowns) to have a good game.

Boldin has been playing good ball as of late, and expect him to do so this week.

Seattle QB Russell Wilson, who has went 257-for-407 for 3,357 yards and 26 TDs, will use his versatility in the pocket to either find receivers down field or run the ball himself.

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle’s best of a running back, will carry the load on the ground, as he has racked up 301 carries for 1,257 yards and 12 TDs this season.

The NFC Championship will be offense versus offense as a high-scoring game will unfold.

The Broncos-Patriots game will be held at 2 p.m. on CBS, while the Seahawks-49ers game will be at 5:30 p.m. on FOX.