NFL Playoffs 2011: First-Look Predictions of the Championship Games

Eli ChesnerCorrespondent IJanuary 16, 2011

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Mark Sanchez #6 and LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the New York Jets celebrate after the Jets defeated the Patriots 28 to 21 in their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Oh, this past weekend was a great weekend for the NFL (well except if you are a Seahawk, Falcon, Raven or Patriot fan). But the Packers made a statement by dominating the Falcons, the Steelers were all over the Ravens in their come-from-behind victory, the Bears dominated the Seahawks and the Jets made a huge statement as well by beating the Patriots.

So here we are. There are now four teams left in the NFL that have a chance of winning the Super Bowl. 

Here is a first-look set of predictions of the two championship games between the Packers and Bears and the Jets and Steelers.


NFC Championship

No. 6 Packers @ No. 2 Bears

3 P.M. ET. FOX (Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. Yay...)

The huge rivalry will meet in the playoffs for the second time (that's it?). 

The Packers made huge statements by beating the Eagles and Falcons on the road. The Bears really didn't have a test with Seattle, so they should be well rested for this one.

Last time these two teams met, the Packers were fighting for a playoff spot, and they won 10-3. This should be another defensive and tough battle for these teams.

Believe it or not, this game could be better than the Super Bowl.

Prediction: This is going to be a fantastic game. But the Packers will pull it out at the end and win 17-14 on a last-second field goal.


AFC Championship

No. 6 Jets @ No. 2 Steelers

6:30 P.M. ET. CBS

The Steelers had a tough game with the Ravens, but came from behind to beat them 31-24. The Jets, who were nine-point underdogs, beat the Patriots and shut down Brady 28-21 (and Brady finally threw a pick).

When these teams met in Week 15, the Jets needed a win after coming off two horrific losses against the Patriots and Dolphins. They wound up beating Big Ben and Co. anyway. But the Steelers didn't have their Pro Bowl safety Troy Palamalu.

Prediction: This will also be a great game. But the Jets have beaten the Patriots, and that pretty much means they can beat the Steelers, who they beat already. Another low-scoring game as the Jets win 21-20.