We’re just a few days away from a seven-hour stretch that will determine who meets in Super Bowl LV in Tampa. Here are the top individual matchups of the NFL’s conference title games:
Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, and AJ Dillon vs. Lavonte David/Devin White/Antoine Winfield Jr.
Led by David, White, Winfield, and Ndamukong Suh (and possibly even Vita Vea), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ run defense ranked first in the NFL in DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average), rushing yards per attempt allowed, total rushing yards allowed, and rushing touchdowns allowed during the regular season. But Jones has scored 30 touchdowns the last two seasons for the Green Bay Packers, Williams gained 65 yards on only 12 carries in the divisional playoffs, and Dillon is only a few weeks removed from a 124-yard single-game performance late in his rookie season.
Aaron Rodgers vs. Ndamukong Suh
The last time Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Rodgers faced off…
Suh clearly has some hatred towards Aaron. pic.twitter.com/0xXHJZgKS4
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 19, 2021
Donovan Smith/Tristan Wirfs vs. Za’Darius Smith
We all know the key to beating Tom Brady in the playoffs is to get to him with a four-man rush, and Smith will lead that charge for the Packers. He has 29 sacks in 35 total games with Green Bay. Donovan Smith and the rookie Wirfs make up a top-notch offensive tackle duo, and both will likely be lined up one-on-one with Smith at various points on Sunday afternoon.
Tyreek Hill vs. Tre’Davious White/Taron Johnson
The league’s fastest player will likely have to deal with the superstar White when he’s lined up outside, while he’ll draw Johnson quite frequently when he’s utilized in the slot during Sunday evening’s matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills.
Josh Allen vs. Chris Jones
The breakout Bills quarterback could have his hands full with Kansas City’s inside rush, which is led by an absolute game-wrecker in Jones. The two-time Pro Bowl very well could have been MVP of last year’s Super Bowl, and he’ll be responsible for keeping in Allen’s face in this game.
Darrel Williams/Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs. Micah Hyde/Jordan Poyer
Buffalo’s stellar safety duo and linebacker Matt Milano will be charged with dealing with either Williams (who averaged 6.0 yards per carry in the divisional around), Edwards-Helaire (who was one of the best rookies in the league this season and could be back from injury), or both if CEH is healthy and Andy Reid decides to go that route. That will be huge, especially if Patrick Mahomes is inactive or less than 100 percent. The superstar quarterback is currently in concussion protocol and dealing with a toe injury.