The return of WR Julio Jones to the Falcons is sure to mean problems for the Packers' secondary. (Courtesy of Yahoo Sports)

1. #4 Green Bay Packers (10-6) @ #2 Atlanta Falcons (11-5) Sunday at 3:05pm on FOX

The return of WR Julio Jones to the Falcons is sure to mean problems for the Packers’ secondary. (Courtesy of Yahoo Sports)

With the Packers bringing in a eight-game winning streak and the Falcons on a five-gamer, both of these two teams are scorching hot. Due to the inept defenses on both sides, the key to their success has been to pile on the points. The crazy part is that both Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan have been doing their damage without their top weapons, Jordy Nelson and Julio Jones. Seeing as both Nelson and Jones will be returning to the lineup, Sunday is sure to be a shootout. I pick the Falcons only because their cache of weapons versus the Packers defense will make the scoring explosion atomic.

Atlanta 42 – Green Bay 32

 

2. #3 Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5) @ #1 New England Patriots (14-2) Sunday at 6:40pm ET on CBS

After his social media gaff last week, Steelers WR Antonio Brown must prove his performance outweighs his distractions. (Courtesy of Sports Illustrated)

Though the media would have you think otherwise, this game is more than Big Ben Roethlisberger vs, Tom Brady. This is a game between two true AFC titans. In 13 of the last 15 years, one of these two teams has been in the AFC Championship game. In the same time span, one of these two teams have went on to the Super Bowl in nine of the past 15. Surprisingly, this marks only the third time these teams have met in the 2000s and the first since 2004’s AFC Championship. This game includes a multitude of stars on both sides (Le’Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount, Antonio Brown, Malcolm Butler) but I think the game will come down to the coaching matchup. Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin has a tall task ahead of him taking on Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, arguably the greatest coach in NFL history. I think this game will come down to which coach makes the most mistakes and Bill Belichick can’t miss.

Patriots 35 – Steelers 28

 

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