There are only three games left in this NFL season, which on the surface is a sad thing (how did this season go by so fast??!?), but luckily for football fans, the two games this weekend are setting up to be a couple fantastic match-ups. The four remaining teams in the postseason – the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers – each finished with 12 or more wins and are considered by football experts to truly be the four best teams in the NFL this season.
While being the best team is obviously important to having a awesome conference championship weekend, it's all the additional story-lines and rivalries that are setting this weekend up to be one of the greatest weekends of football in memory.
Brady vs. Manning
For the past decade, the debate has raged on across the NFL – who is better: Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? Whichever side you choose, there are plenty of good reasons why you are right. Manning has the huge numbers and more MVP awards; Brady has more championship rings and the most playoff wins in league history. I fall on the side of Tom Brady, although I am extremely biased due to the fact that I am a Patriots fan. However, for many people, this weekend's game between the Broncos and Patriots is the line drawn in the sand; whoever wins the game is the better quarterback and perhaps the greatest of all-time. Of course, that may be going a little overboard, but it has thrown gasoline on the fire of this QB rivalry, which is only adding to the anticipation of the game.
Wilson vs. Kaepernick
While the Brady-Manning quarterback rivalry is getting the majority of the headlines, Russell Wilson vs. Colin Kaepernick has been turning into the next generation quarterback rivalry. Both have seen lots of success early in there careers, both share similar playing styles, and like it or not, both will be compared to each other for the rest of their careers. The fact that their two respective teams are bitter rivals, whose fans hate each other, doesn't hurt. Earlier this week, there was an Instagram battle between the fan bases comparing Wilson and Kaepernick, and it got got kind of ugly. Check it out and judge for yourself.
NFC West Rivals
The Broncos vs. Patriots game is really only a rivalry because of its quarterbacks, but the Seahawks and 49ers rivalry is real and heated. The players don't like each other. The coaches don't like each other. The fans don't like each other. Why is the rivalry so fierce? The answer is simple: they are both very good teams, that play very similar types of games. This game will definitely not be the end of this rivalry, just another chapter.
Everybody Hates Bill Belichick
With his monotone voice and overall bristly attitude, people generally don't like Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. Much of that hate may be also be due in part to jealously over his success. He has the most wins of any coach the last decade and a half, including three championships. Now, he has a chance to tie Tom Landry for the most wins by a head coach in NFL history this weekend. People, or at least those that don't hate him, are starting to wonder if he is the greatest coach of all-time. A couple more wins this season will help grow his resume for that title.
There are more story-lines involved in this weekend's conference championship games, like Seahawks CB Richard Sherman continuously trash talking or Wes Welker facing his old team, but we'll stop here. It is shaping up to be a weekend of games not to be missed, because history will almost certainly be made.