For those already freaking out about the fact that the Super Bowl is coming up in just over three weeks, the AFC and NFC Championship Games might suffice.
Just four teams remain, with the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts facing off after the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers do battle. With a Super Bowl spot on the line, fans can expect an all-out brawl in both championship games.
Bettors looking to place their wagers on the eventual winner will want to jump on with a new team this weekend. Those who chose a team already eliminated might want to bank on a favorite or another underdog like the Colts.
Before the championship round kicks off, here's a look at the full Super Bowl odds and players expected to step up in the crucial matchups.
|2015 Super Bowl Odds|
|Green Bay Packers||119-20|
|New England Patriots||193-100|
|Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com|
Who Will Shine Brightest on the Big Stage?
Trying to narrow this weekend's list down to just three players is tough, especially considering the amount of superstars on the field. The only team left off the list was the Patriots, due in large part to the fact that they have so many weapons it's literally impossible to choose just one.
Both quarterbacks have been catalysts for their respective franchises, but Rodgers has been doing this just a little longer. He's also already led the Packers to a Super Bowl win, something Luck is still working on in Indy.
One key part of Rodgers' game to watch this weekend will be his ability to roll out of the pocket and create plays. ESPN Stats & Info noted just how significant that asset has been for the Packers:
The elite quarterback suffered a calf injury in the final game of the season and hasn't been at full strength throughout the postseason. Despite the injury, Rodgers still threw two of his three touchdowns against the Dallas Cowboys out of the pocket.
Seahawks safety Earl Thomas isn't quite believing the ailment is hindering him too much.
“I'm not buying into this leg issue,” Thomas said, via Terry Blount of ESPN.com. “I saw him scramble close to the goal line on the Cowboys, so he's not fooling me with that. I'm not falling into that.”
OBJ's Trade to Cleveland Has the Browns Hyped
Le'Veon's Power Move Pays Off After Signing Massive Deal with Jets
Friends to Foes, Ex-UGA Teammates Meet in Super Bowl
Cooks Gave a Super Gift to This Rams Employee
Mahomes Loves Ketchup as Much as Torching Defenses
Bears Hoping to Ride Club Dub to the Super Bowl
The Worst Fantasy Football Punishments for Last Place
NFL Players Bring Soccer Traditions to the NFL
JuJu Is a Man of the People
Bills Superfan 'Pancho Billa' Continues to Inspire
Happy 26th Birthday to OBJ 🎉
Mahomes Is 'Showtime' Off the Field Too
Thielen's Ride from Underdog to Record-Breaking WR
Shanahan and His Son Carter Are Hyped for Carter V
Browns Winning Off the Field with Community Service
Conner's Journey from Beating Cancer to Starting RB
Does Donovan McNabb Deserve Your 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame Vote?
B/R Fantasy Expert Matt Camp Gives His Picks for Keep or Release After Week 2
Does Hines Ward Deserve Your 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame Vote?
Shaquem Griffin Starting for Seahawks in Week 1
One player who is clearly at full health this postseason is Luck. The third-year quarterback has played phenomenal football all season and has the Colts in the AFC Championship for the first time in his career.
Now, he'll have to beat the Big Bad Brady in order to advance. Unlike Rodgers, Luck told coach Chuck Pagano he feels the best he has all season, via Zak Keefer of The Indianapolis Star:
Expect Luck to come out and put on a show at Foxborough, though it may not be enough to take down the Patriots. With three wins already over Luck by an average margin of 26 points, Brady and Bill Belichick seem to have his number. He can change that perception this weekend.
Last, but certainly not least, is Marshawn Lynch. Beast Mode was put on pause against the Carolina Panthers, but that's normal. In his last four games against Carolina, Lynch has not reached more than 85 yards rushing in a game and has no touchdowns.
However, his last date with the Packers saw a completely different side of Lynch. He went off for 124 total yards and two touchdowns against Green Bay. Even when he was held in check by Carolina, Lynch still found a way to break away for one big run, as ESPN Stats & Info notes:
He might not put up the exact same numbers, but there is no better big-game running back in the league than Lynch. When the pressure's on this Sunday, look for him to shine against the Packers defense.
Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.