Home / Latest News / NFL Conference Weekend Preview

NFL Conference Weekend Preview

Embed from Getty Images

The NFL’s four best teams are left. The New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers have all played brilliant football to reach this stage, and now two more must drop out. The AFC Conference game is on Saturday, with the Brady-Manning rivalry brought to life once again, while the Cardinals and the Panthers play in the NFC Conference game on Sunday evening.


(#2) New England Patriots @ (#1) Denver Broncos

There is a chance that this could be the last ever meeting between arguably the two greatest quarterbacks to ever play the sport. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have had fantastic careers, and the 17th meeting between the two promises to be a good one. It will only be the third match-up between the two QBs in the AFC Championship Game, with the 2006 game going down in history as Manning brought the Colts back from an 18 point deficit to win the game. This could be his last season, and a win here would be a fitting end to the rivalry over Tom Brady.

Embed from Getty Images

To do that, however, he will have to be back to his best. Manning has only thrown 9 TD passes this year. Compare that to the 36 that Brady has thrown, including 11 to his main target, TE Rob Gronkowski. With Gronk back, along with Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman, their passing game is stronger than ever. For the Broncos, the running game has been their go-to. Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson have scored 12 TDs between them, accumulating 1600 yards in the process.

As ever, the match-ups between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are the games that every football wants to watch. This time, it will be no different, but with the AFC Championship on the line, and a possible 7th and 4th Super Bowl appearance respectively, it could be the biggest game of the lot. Denver will be the favourites, as neither QB has beat the other away from home in the postseason.


(#2) Arizona Cardinals @ (#1) Carolina Panthers

Embed from Getty Images

This will be the first ever meeting between these two teams in the NFC Championship game, and they both deserve it. They are the two best teams in football in 2015, with a 14-2 and 15-1 record in the regular season respectively. Had it not been for a surprise defeat in Atlanta, the Panthers would have been looking at the first perfect 19-0 season since the 1972 Miami Dolphins. They are still the clear favourites to take home the Vince Lombardi trophy on the 7th February, however.

In the QB department, Manning and Brady have been good, but Carson Palmer and Cam Newton have been different class this season. Both have thrown 35 TDs. Palmer threw for a league high 4671 yards in the regular season, while Newton has the use of his legs, scoring 10 rushing TDs, averaging almost 5 yards a carry. His WRs, in Greg Olsen, Ted Ginn and Devin Funchess, in his rookie season, have been superb. The Cardinals still have their main man, however, who can rival anyone out wide. Larry Fitzgerald caught 109 passes for 1215 yards in the regular season, but 8 for 176 last weekend. He is the star WR that Palmer likes to go to, and the battle between him and Josh Norman could be the interesting one to watch on Sunday.

The Panthers will go into the game as the favourites thanks to their better record, but they have not been this far in an NFL season since 2003 and that could hinder them. The Cardinals last made the Championship game in 2008, and won, so they will be looking for a repeat of that here.


Both of these games are showpiece events this weekend, and there will be some fantastic football to be seen on both Saturday and Sunday evenings. The two winners will go on Santa Clara to play in Super Bowl 50 in two weeks time.

Arizona Cardinals Cam Newton Carolina Panthers Carson Palmer Denver Broncos Larry Fitzgerald New England Patriots Peyton Manning Rob Gronkowski Super Bowl 50 Tom Brady Vince Lombardi

About Matt Coles

Check Also

Champions League – 13/9

It was another good night in Europe for English sides as both Tottenham and Manchester ...