The NFL playoffs schedule picks up on Sunday with the AFC and NFC championship games and the TV coverage will be split on CBS and Fox for the matchups.
The Denver Broncos will host the New England Patriots in the early game, while the Arizona Cardinals will visit the Carolina Panthers in the late game. The AFC Championship game starts up at 3:05 pm ET and TV coverage will be on CBS as Tom Brady and the Pats travel to Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Panthers matchup starts at 6:40 pm ET and will have TV coverage from Fox as the Cardinals go to Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
This is the first time in over a decade that the top two seeds from each conference have made it to the title game. The Broncos have the number one seed in the AFC, while the Panthers have the top seed in the NFC. The Panthers went 15-1 this season after starting off 14-0 and they host the 13-3 Cardinals, who were one of the best teams in the NFL this season.
The Broncos-Steelers matchup has the Patriots coming in as favorites based on the betting lines, but the Broncos were the top seed in the conference. This will be the 17th meeting between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning and this could be the last time that the two quarterbacks play against each other. Brady comes in with a 2-6 record in Denver and that could be a factor in this game.
The two teams matched up in the AFC title game a couple years ago and that game saw Manning win over Brady and the Patriots. This time around the Pats come in as defending Super Bowl champions and they are looking to get to the game for the second straight year. The Broncos and Patriots played earlier in the season, but Manning missed that matchup with a foot injury. Brock Osweiler started against Tom Brady and led the Broncos to a comeback win in overtime.
Cam Newton and Carson Palmer are battling in the NFC and both players are trying to make it to the Super Bowl for the first time. The Panthers come in as favorites with the betting lines, but the team will be a bit banged up for Sunday. Jared Allen has been ruled out for the Panthers, while Jonathan Stewart missed some practice this week but is expected to play. The Broncos have Chris Harris banged up and he will be a game time decision, while Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins are expected to be active for the Patriots after being forced to leave the game last week against the Chiefs.