NFC Championship: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Green Bay Packers

Date: 1/24

Time: 3:05 pm ET

Network: Fox

Game Preview:

Previous Matchup: When the Buccaneers last played the Packers in Tampa in October, the Buccaneers won triumphantly 38-10. Aaron Rodgers had 2 interceptions and their star wide receiver, Davante Adams, was in his first game post 3 weeks off with a hamstring injury.

What has changed since the previous matchup? : Despite the Week 6 rout, the Packers are favored in this matchup. The Packers’ Davante Adams is now healthy. The game will also be at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, which is known for being cold. While we all know Tom Brady can handle the cold, some have doubts about his Tampa teammates adjusting to the weather. Home advantage for the Packers is also significant as Aaron Rodgers has never had the opportunity to play in the NFC Championship at home, and he is not expected to waste that chance. On the flipside, if the Buccaneers can win this game, they will be the first team to play in the Super Bowl in their home stadium.

Key Players to Watch: For the Packers, Aaron Rodgers is the obvious choice as he looks to claim the NFC Championship at home for the first time. On the Buccaneers side, Antonio Brown could be an X-factor if healthy. Brown injured his knee last Sunday, but MRIs showed no damage. Brady worked hard to bring Brown into the fold, despite already having plenty of weapons, and it is time for Brown to deliver. The Buccaneers also activated Vita Vea, a critical defensive lineman, off the injured reserve. If Vea plays on Sunday, he will add another dimension to an already great defense.

What to Eat: For an afternoon timeslot, reach for snack food duos like Tostitos chips and salsa (my personal favorite is the Tostitos Scoops and Medium Chunky Salsa). If you are devoted to Tom Brady’s diet as well as play, you can choose the Tostitos Lightly Salted Chips which have 50% less sodium than their regular chips, and pair those with homemade guacamole, too.

I can’t mention the Green Bay Packers without mentioning their fan base known as the Cheeseheads. If you are a Cheesehead, try pairing your Tostitos chips with one of their cheesy dips. You can also check out recipes from Tostitos themselves if you would like to spend a little more time preparing your game-day feast.

What to Drink: Feeling chilly? Pretend you are attending the game at Lambeau Field, currently being nicknamed by analysts as the Frozen Tundra, and order a hot chocolate from Dunkin’!

AFC Championship: Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs

Date: 1/24

Time: 6:40 pm ET

Network: CBS

Game Preview:

Previous Matchup: This past October, the Bills lost at home (without fans) to the Kansas City Chiefs 17-26. The running game played a significant role in that victory for the Chiefs, with rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire putting up 161 yards rushing.

What has changed since the previous matchup? : Star Chiefs QB, Patrick Mahomes, suffered a concussion in the Divisional Round against the Cleveland Browns, and his status for Sunday is questionable. While the backup QB, Chad Henne, secured the AFC Championship with his performance last weekend, he is not a reliable quarterback. The Bills have a much better shot with Mahomes not on the field. In addition, with an injured and/or backup quarterback, I expect them to use more of their running game. However, Clyde Edwards-Helaire suffered a high-ankle sprain during the season, has not played in several weeks, and is questionable for Sunday.

Key Players to Watch: On the Chiefs side, quarterbacks excluded, I would look for their running backs, Darrell Williams, Darwin Thompson, and Le’Veon Bell, to see if they can step up to the occasion. On the Bills side, watch Josh Allen connect with Stefon Diggs, who go together like Buffalo wings and ranch dressing. The duo has only been together one season, but they have a strong rapport which has resulted in on-field success. I would also keep an eye out for Bills Mafia fans during the broadcast. They are extremely passionate and likely to travel for this game, putting pressure on the Chiefs, despite their home field advantage.

What to Eat: Since this game is later, you can bring out your dinner and dessert. If you are rooting for the Buffalo Bills, try buffalo wings. If you are a pizza enthusiast, you can try copying Coppola's Pizzeria's buffalo shaped pizza, as seen above. 

If you are rooting for the Chiefs, I would recommend Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes mac n’cheese and ketchup combination; and for dessert, try making M&M's Game Day Cinnamon Bun Monkey Bread.

What to Drink: To go with your dinner, grab a Pepsi. Pepsi sponsors the NFL Rookie of the Year award, which you can vote for here. As a fan of the Pac-12 in college football, I’m a little biased and voted for Justin Herbert, the QB of the LA Chargers, who achieved the record for touchdowns by a rookie this season.

Play: Lastly, play NFL Pick’Em party. The Pick’Em party offers you 15 questions like “Which team will score first?” or “Will Antonio Brown have more receiving yards than Rob Gronkowski?” Entering in the Pick’Em party gives you a chance to win a VIP trip to next year’s Super Bowl in Los Angeles. If you want to make it fun within your household, you can grant clean-up responsibility to whoever comes in last.