It’s hard to believe the NFL season is almost over, but here we are.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5) at Green Bay Packers (13-3)
Time: 3:05 p.m. ET
Opening spread: Packers -3.5
It’s Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers. Lambeau Field. Freezing temperatures. High likelihood of snow. It doesn’t get any better than this on paper. This is an iconcic matchup, but the fact that Tampa beat Green Bay 38-10 earlier this season makes me wonder if this game will be as close as advertised.
The Packers defense has improved a lot since these teams last met, Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams seem unstoppable together, and the cold weather should favor Green Bay. The thing is, they’re dealing with Tom Brady, a guy who doesn’t do a whole lot of losing. When Tom Brady is involved in an equation, throw conventional wisdom out of the window. The Bucs have improved on both sides of the ball the second half of the season, and they’re a dangerous team in their own right. The Packers are favored, but not by much, and it’s impossible for me to bet against Tom Brady on this high stage.
Buffalo Bills (13-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (14-2)
Time: 6:40 p.m. ET
Opening spread: Chiefs -2.5
Patrick Mahomes is full-systems go after suffering a concussion last week, and the crowd is going to be rocking in KC. The Chiefs are going to have their work cut out for them, though, as they’re playing a team that doesn’t really know how to give up.
The Bills have one of the best passing attacks in the league with QB Josh Allen and reception leader Stefon Diggs and the criminally underrated Cole Beasley. Even when the passing game falters and things aren’t looking pretty, the Bills have rattled off numerous ugly victories where they gutted it out.
I expect the Chiefs to kill each and every opponent, because at points during games it feels like their offense can never be stopped. But they’re human, they bleed, and they can be stopped too. It’s just one of the hardest things to do in the history of professional football. While the Bills certainly can win this game, I’m not going to say they will. The Chiefs are the best team until proven otherwise.