NFL Conference Finals predictions

Peter Sblendorio
Sports Editor

AFC Championship:
The Jets have been the most impressive team in the postseason thus far. Behind a pair of stout defensive performances and the hot play of sophomore QB Mark Sanchez, New York has dominated on both sides of the play at times in knocking off Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and their respective teams. The Steelers, on the other hand, looked shaky on offense against the Ravens last week, and it was their defense that got them back into the game after a weak first half performance. Points should be at a premium in this one, but based on last week’s performances, the Jets seemed poised to win their third rpad game of the postseason.

Jets 21, Steelers 17

NFC Championship:
Like the Jets, the Packers have defied the odds as the conference 6th seed by winning tough games in Philadelphia and Atlanta and looking good in doing so. Since his return from a concussion injury, QB Aaron Rodgers has been playing off the charts, and his deep receiving core of Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones and Jordy Nelson make the Packers a tough cover for any defensive secondary. The Bears, too, looked dominant in their win last Sunday over a punchless 7-9 Seahawks team. The defense looked scary good in the first half, and QB Jay Cutler provided perhaps his best performance as a Bear, throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for two more. The Packers held off the Bears in Week 17 in a 10-3 struggle, but this go round the Bears should be stronger offensively in front of their home crowd.

Bears 31, Packers 21

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