Last week: 3-1 (.750)
Season record: 168-96 (.636)
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
New England Patriots (13-4) at Denver Broncos (14-3), 3 p.m.
The Skinny: Since putting up 55 points against the Steelers, the Patriots have scored 34 or more points in five of their past eight games. Not even the Broncos, the NFL’s highest-scouring team, could match that (four times in their final eight games). The Patriots won the regular-season meeting between the teams, 34-31, and suddenlyu have the look of a well-balanced offense. Peyton Manning has not always fared well in his 14 previous matchups with Tom Brady, going 4-10 overall, 1-2 in the postseason. But it will be up to him, and solely him, to beat the Patriots.
Prediction: Patriots, 34-31
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
San Francisco 49ers (14-4) at Seattle Seahawks (14-3), 6:30 p.m.
The Skinny: This divisional matchup is mindful of the old Steelers-Ravens meetings where the players and head coaches don’t like each other. The teams split the regular-season series, each winning at home, but the 49ers appear to be the hotter team. They won have eight in a row and haven’t allowed any team to score more than 20 points during their winning streak. The Seahawks would love nothing more than to beat the 49ers, but, even at home, that might not happen.
Prediction: 49ers, 16-13