The Super Bowl will officially be set later this afternoon when the AFC Championship Game wraps up our Sunday double-header. The New England Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts, with the game kicking off at 3:40 p.m. PT on CBS. The NFC Championship Game will be a wrap at that point, and the two winners will face off in Super Bowl XLIX.
I am looking forward to this game much more than the NFC Championship Game, and I wouldn't be surprised if a few of you are in agreement. I think this will be the much more competitive game, and the sometimes inconsistent defenses could provide us with some decent scoring. While I have enjoyed the defensive matchups between the 49ers and Seahawks, outside of that I usually prefer a nice shootout. I think we see something like that up in Foxboro.
The other reason I look forward to this is that I actually enjoy both teams. I am strictly a 49ers fan, but I enjoy different aspects of these two teams. For the Colts, I have been an Andrew Luck fan since his Stanford days. He just seems like a fun, goofy guy, who happens to be a great quarterback. He has his inconsistencies at times, but he is one of the better quarterbacks in this league.
On the other side, I actually don't mind the Patriots. My dad is originally from outside of Boston, and he has been a Patriots fan all his life. While I don't think Tom Brady is as good as Joe Montana, I don't mind Brady. He certainly can be whiny at times, and he and Peyton Manning are big reasons the NFL has made notable rule changes in favor of offenses. Nonetheless, I respect his game. And seeing either of these two teams beat the NFC participant in the Super Bowl would be fine by me.
The Patriots are a 6.5-point favorite over the Colts. The two teams faced off earlier this season, and New England easily covered in a 42-20 victory. That means both conference championship games features both No. 1 seeds having easy 2014 victories over their opponent. I don't know if either will reverse itself on Sunday, but I do think the Colts have the better shot. I picked the Patriots to win, but the Colts to cover. The Patriots offensive line features a notable question mark. Starting center Bryan Stork is out with a knee injury. Right guard Ryan Wendell will move over to center, and Josh Kline will move in at right guard. Having two changes like that will be something to track. The Colts finished ninth in adjusted sack rate, so we'll see how they attack this weakness.
I have the Patriots winning this game 34-30. How do you see it shaking out?
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
When: 6:40 p.m. ET
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
Radio: Patriots Radio Network | Colts Radio Network
Online Streaming: Verizon NFL Mobile | CBS Sports
Odds: The Patriots opened up as 7-point favorites on most books, according to OddsShark
Patriots blog: Pats Pulpit
Colts blog: Stampede Blue