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NFL Conference Championship Game Picks

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Predicting the winners of this week’s NFL games.

Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Bleeding Green Nation writers picks are in for the conference championship round of the 2020 NFL Playoffs! Each week we’ll predict the winners of each and every NFL game. We’ll tally the results along the way and see who comes out on top at the end of the season.

John Stolnis still holds the lead but Benjamin Solak is two games behind. Solak also predicted the same results as Stolnis so he can’t beat his overall record ... but Solak can finish with the best playoff record, which he currently holds.

Feel free to post your own predictions or discuss the writer predictions in the comments. You can also vote for who you think will win the games. I’ll tally those results in a “BGN Community” column. Vote in the polls beneath the table.

Let’s get to this week’s picks!

2020 Conference Championship Games

BGN Picks BLG Natan Shamus Alexis Tyler Lee Solak Stolnis Matt BGN Readers
BGN Picks BLG Natan Shamus Alexis Tyler Lee Solak Stolnis Matt BGN Readers
Season Record 161-103 159-105 152-112 156-108 157-107 149-115 162-102 164-100 159-105 159-105
Playoffs Record 2-6 4-4 4-4 2-6 4-4 3-5 5-3 4-4 1-7 3-5
Divisional Record 2-2 3-1 2-2 1-3 3-1 1-3 3-1 3-1 1-3 3-1
Titans at Chiefs Titans Chiefs Chiefs Titans Chiefs Titans Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Vote
Packers at 49ers Packers 49ers Packers 49ers 49ers 49ers 49ers 49ers 49ers Vote

EXPLANATIONS

Since there are only two games this week, the BGN staff gave some explanations for their picks.

BRANDON LEE GOWTON

Titans at Chiefs: I do think the Titans have a real chance to beat the Chiefs. This prediction could easily look silly as KC’s offense drops 40 points on the Titans. But Tennessee’s ball control offense can allow them to keep that offense off the field. The Chiefs’ run defense isn’t good and Derrick Henry could run all over them. Ryan Tannehill is playing at a high level when he does have to throw. And, let’s be real, this is Andy Reid we’re talking about here. I’m rooting for Big Red but I’ll believe he’s back in the Super Bowl when I see it. No one will be shocked if he chokes again. Titans 33, Chiefs 27.

Packers at 49ers: I really do not think the Packers are going to win this game. I have to take them just so I have a chance to tie for first in the final BGN pick standings. Maybe Aaron Rodgers gets hot and the moment is too big for Jimmy Garoppolo? Packers 23, 49ers 21.

BEN NATAN

The Titans’ magic finally runs out as they face down a multifaceted Chiefs offense that proves too much for them. While the Chiefs defense is certainly vulnerable to Derrick Henry and Company, Patrick Mahomes will make it rain on the Titans defense.

Chiefs: 31
Titans: 20

The Niners defense got their juju back last week and stymied the Vikings after a few weeks of regression. The talented group is led by a fierce pass rush that will be the difference in this game. The Packers have been banged up and struggled to pull away last week. Jimmy G does just enough to produce for the Niners and their run game rolls as the Packers struggle to score points.

49ers: 24
Packers: 20

SHAMUS CLANCY

Chiefs - Andy Reid coming back from a 24-point playoff deficit was the turning point in his Kansas City coaching career, as he’s finally able to shake off his old playoff demons with the most talented offense he’s ever coached and make the Super Bowl for the first time in 15 years.

Chiefs - 31, Titans - 14

Packers - In a game reminiscent of the instant-classic 2014 NFC Championship game, Green Bay and San Francisco engage in a high octane, back-and-forth contest that results in Aaron Rodgers and the Packers having the ball while trailing by just four points near the game’s end. You know how this one goes. Rodgers leads a game-winning drive, throwing a touchdown pass to Davante Adams with just seconds remaining on the clock. Rodgers makes his triumphant return to the Super Bowl in his first season since (current Cowboys coach) Mike McCarthy’s firing.

Packers - 24, 49ers - 21

ALEXIS CHASSEN

Titans 35 Chiefs 28

We’ve seen how important momentum is in the postseason, and there is hardly anyone with more momentum right now than the Titans. Not only were they the underdogs of the AFC, but they went on to beat two division favorites in the Patriots and Ravens. The regular season doesn’t matter at this point, and it’s hard for me to see Mike Vrabel and Co. pumping the brakes anytime soon. Sure, Andy Reid knows how to get his teams deep into the playoffs, but we all know his tendencies with the season on the line.

49ers 21 Packers 17

Sure, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are familiar with the postseason, but the Niners have been building something new and special in San Francisco. The defense dominates and could prove challenging for Rodgers with so much pressure up front. Plus, the Niners offense continues to play at a high level and is thriving in their opportunity to make their comeback season end in the Super Bowl.

TYLER JACKSON

Chiefs 38, Titans 13

This is setting up for an Andy Reid classic. The Chiefs, a touchdown favorite welcome in a team that’s largely overachieved, just to see it all blow up, right? Sorry, I don’t see it. As stellar as Tennessee’s defense has been, Patrick Mahomes is a different animal.At home, I see the Chiefs taking an early lead as they exercise their demons, forcing the game into Ryan Tannehill’s hands.

49ers 27, Packers 20

The Packers have the advantage at QB, but nowhere else. Green Bay’s lack of weapons on the outside finally catches up to it and the 49ers jump out to an early lead.Aaron Rodgers frantically tries to catch up, but the SF pass rush makes life miserable for him. Ultimately they make it a one score game late, but it’s not enough. Enjoy the Joe Montana Bowl.

LEE SIFFORD

Titans: 28
Chiefs: 23

Throughout his career, Andy Reid has developed quite a reputation for not only making it to the conference championship but also for losing the game. While I generally think historical records have nothing to do with the present, in this particular case, history is going to repeat itself. Just as was the case with the 2017 Eagles, the Titans are proving to the world that they can win games with their back-up quarterback and their passing defense. In the end, Andy Reid’s inability to finish the job will leave the residents of Kansas City stunned.

San Francisco: 24
Green Bay: 7

The 49ers have been the team to beat from the NFC since week 1, even if we didn’t realize it at the time, and nothing changes here. They’re favorited, they’ve got a better offense, and they’ve got a better defense. The only way the Packers win this game is through a signature performance on the shoulders of Aaron Rodgers but to say he’ll have his work cut out for him would be the understatement of the year considering San Francisco had the number 1 ranked pass-defense this season. In fact, The 49ers allowed more than 1000 yards LESS than the Packers did through the air in 2019.

BENJAMIN SOLAK

Chiefs: 30

Titans: 23

It’s easy to look at the Chiefs’ offensive output against the Texans and buy in to another explosion against the Titans — but I’d preach caution there. The Titans’ have a sickening secondary and enough pass rush juice to throw five at the Chiefs’ offensive line and force Mahomes into hasty decisions. The Chiefs should still be able to bridge any multi-score gaps that Baltimore couldn’t handle last week, in the event that the Titans get control of the clock early. The Chiefs’ defense isn’t great, but they do have solid outside rush ability, and tackles are where the Titans’ OL is weak. I think the firepower is enough on the Kansas City offense.

Green Bay: 17

San Francisco: 34

Green Bay is not well-equipped to handle San Francisco on the defensive side of the ball. They have coverage liabilities at both safety and linebacker, which means George Kittle is in a good spot, as is Deebo Samuel when he works from the slot. Green Bay’s impressive EDGE penetration also will have to deal with heavy PA flow that could be used to neutralize Za’Darius Smith, if the Niners want to get super deliberate. Meanwhile, Green Bay’s passing attack relies on Aaron Rodgers’ 3rd down magic, but the Niners’ pass rush is going to win way more reps than the Seattle front did on third down this week. I think, much like in the Minnesota game, San Francisco controls it pole to pole.

JOHN STOLNIS

Titans at Chiefs: CHIEFS

The Titans have had a terrific ride, improbable, impressive, and now, over. It’s time for a return to reality and, as much as Andy Reid is physically allergic to winning conference title games, he’s going to win this one. Derrick Henry will likely run all over the Chiefs’ defense, no doubt about it, but Kansas City’s firepower is too much for Tennessee to handle. I mean, for crying out loud, Houston went up 24-0 and KC was leading by halftime. Ryan Tannehill vs. Patrick Mahomes is simply not a contest. The only thing going against the Chiefs is Reid himself, who has lost in similar spots in the past, specifically his NFC title losses to the Bucs and Panthers in 2002 and ‘03. The Chiefs should be able to prevent another Panthers-like upset, with Mahomes playing at this high a level. Great run, Tennessee. Now, you’re done.

Chiefs 38 Titans 20

Packers at 49ers: 49ERS

I know it’s lazy to take the two home favorites, but San Francisco’s defense is no joke and, with only three offensive players of note, the Niners should be able to handle Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones and DeVante Adams. Green Bay has been extraordinarily fortunate in close games this year and outside the confines of Lambeau Field, is a different team. Outside of Jimmy G., I don’t love San Fran’s offensive weapons, but Green Bay’s defense isn’t that good and Kyle Shanahan is a master at getting the most out of what he has. Also, George Kittle rocks. Rodgers will keep things close, but this has felt like San Francisco’s year from the beginning, and I don’t see them getting upset at home to a Packers team with a point differential of just +63 (San Fran’s is +169, highest in the NFC).

49ers 27 Packers 21

MATT HARKENREADER

AFC Championship: Chiefs 35, Titans 31

The Titans have shocked the world the past two weeks, but their Cinderella story ends in Missouri. There’s no way Kansas City’s defense can slow down the one-man offense that is Derrick Henry, but stopping Patrick Mahomes and his unguardable weapons is a much taller task than shutting down a washed up Tom Brady and Baltimore’s mediocre receiving corps. And even if the Titans do threaten to pull away, last week’s magic against the Texans should give the Chiefs the resiliency they need to overcome any adversity and send Andy Reid to his much-deserved second Super Bowl. It would have taken him another 3 conference championship games to get there, but better late than never.

NFC Championship: 49ers 24, Packers 17

Green Bay rides into Santa Clara having (barely) fended off a Seahawks team that would have likely lost in the Wild Card round had they not {strikethrough/}targeted{/strikethrough} unintentionally concussed Carson Wentz to knock him out of the game. They were also fortunate to be playing a team that had to rely on the corpse of Marshawn Lynch at the running back position, considering how they have been terrible at defending the run all season (see Week 4). They will have no such luck against the 49ers, who feature a three-headed monster at running back with Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, and Raheem Mostert, plus fullback Kyle Juszczyk for good measure. Throw on the league’s best defense and you have a recipe for an old-school slugfest where the more physical team (hint: that’s the 49ers) punches their ticket to Miami in the end.

MAKE YOUR PICKS

Vote for your picks in the polls below, or perish.

Poll

Who will win: Titans or Chiefs?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    Titans
    (150 votes)
  • 72%
    Chiefs
    (391 votes)
541 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who will win: Packers or 49ers?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Packers
    (171 votes)
  • 69%
    49ers
    (385 votes)
556 votes total Vote Now