clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Boston College Football: The Official NFL Playoffs Rooting Guide - Conference Championships

The Lamar Hunt and George Halas Trophies will be awarded this weekend with a trip to Santa Clara on the horizon. Who should you be hoping makes the trip to Super Bowl 50?

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Games in the NFL Playoffs seem to follow a trend. In the Divisional Round, each of the four games fall into a singular category:

The Instant Classic. Green Bay and Arizona played one of the greatest football games of the season thanks solely to its last two minutes and overtime. Arizona scores to take the lead, making it 77% likely they win. That total rises to 99.99% by the time Aaron Rodgers chucks a Hail Mary to midfield to Jeff Janis. All of a sudden, Green Bay's chances go through to the roof—to 1%. Then another Hail Mary, a weirded out coin toss in overtime, an Arizona cross-body pass to Larry Fitzgerald, and a shovel pass for the game-winning touchdown.

All in a day's work.

The Full Fledged Butt Whupping. This would've been Carolina-Seattle, but the second half changed my opinion of that. Instead, it's Kansas City-New England, where the Chiefs kind of threatened but not really.

The One That Makes You Drink Heavily. Carolina-Seattle. Who knew the difference in the game would be a missed field goal at the end of the first half when the road team went into the locker room trailing 31-0?

Sets Football Back 50 Years. Pittsburgh-Denver. That game was awful.

Anyways, we've got our Final Four for the NFL in its Golden Anniversary season. Let's see who you should be rooting for to make it to the Bay Area for Super Bowl 50.

AFC Championship
#2 New England Patriots at #1 Denver Broncos
Sunday, January 24, 2016
3:05 PM, CBS

There are no BC rooting interests in this game, so instead I'm going to wax poetic about the matchup.

This is where "In Bill We Trust" becomes a thing for New Englanders. Immediately following Denver's win over Pittsburgh, I thought about Week 17 and the loss to the Miami Dolphins. The Patriots played that game tentatively, nearly getting their QB killed in the process, in an attempt to get healthy without caring about the top seed. Now instead of playing this game in New England, where I would've bet my life savings on the Patriots to ruin Peyton Manning, I, like so many others, am a little nervous about playing on the road.

But as a Patriots fan, I come to back to one conclusion: "In Bill We Trust." The Patriots are a much different team than when they played the Broncos the first time; for that matter, so is Denver. But Bill Belichick loves playing teams the second time around, and he's usually great in these situations.

Earlier this season, the media hype machine was robbed of Manning-Brady XVII when Peyton was injured. Now they get that chance, and the discussion and hype is already rolling for this one. Hype aside, I'll say this:

This could be the final time these two guys play against each other. Whether you hate the Patriots or hate Manning, sit back and consider what these guys accomplished in the past 17 years. You have to appreciate what it means to have them play one more time, and you have to appreciate that this could be the final time. Since Super Bowl XXXVI, every AFC Championship-winning QB has been named Brady, Manning, or Roethlisberger with two exceptions: SB37 (Oakland and Rich Gannon) and SB47 (Baltimore and Joe Flacco). That Brady and Manning get one more shot against each other is everything we could want.

If this is the last time, then we should thank them. If we ever get one more, we should thank them. And then in true Patriot fan fashion, I'm going to taunt Manning by singing Nationwide commercial jingles about him. He probably wouldn't have it any other way.


NFC Championship
#2 Arizona Cardinals at #1 Carolina Panthers
Sunday, January 24, 2016
6:40 PM, Fox

We all know about the rooting interest so it'll probably very easy to pick your team in this game, but I'm going to try and muddle it down anyways.

Carolina has Luke Kuechly. Arizona has Ifeanyi Momah on injured reserve. As much as we love Momah and would love a shot for him at the Lombardi Trophy, Kuechly is still our Superman (sorry, Cam) as BC fans, even as he came back this year from a concussion.

But rewind to last week. Arizona advanced to the NFC Championship by using two plays in overtime, both taken right from the Boston College offensive playbook. The first play was Carson Palmer scrambling to his right, turning around, and heaving a pass across his body to Larry Fitzgerald. The play was eerily reminiscent of a pass from Tyler Murphy to Josh Bordner, only on longer field and using a speed receiver to run the length of the gridiron.

Then Arizona won the game by using a shovel pass to Fitzgerald. That's another Murphy-to-Bordner favorite.

I'll let that marinate for a few.

Okay whatever we all know you're rooting for Carolina in this game.

Rooting Interest: Carolina Panthers