2014 NFL Playoffs: Power Ranking Conference Championship Teams

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2014 NFL Playoffs: Power Ranking the Conference Championship Teams

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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Thus far, the NFL playoffs have brought us an incredibly exciting Wild Card round which was followed by a pretty underwhelming divisional round of as far as entertainment value goes. The AFC and NFC Championship Games should put us back on track for exciting football with what should be two very competitive games.

The last time the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks met, the 49ers came away with a 19-17 victory on a field goal with 26 seconds left in the game. They’ll be in Seattle this time around, which is one of the toughest places to win. However, despite the Beast Quakes, the 12th man does not make the Seahawks invincible.

In the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots' last meeting, we saw one of the most memorable games of the year as the Patriots erased a 24-0 deficit to win in overtime by a score of 34-31. The Pats won’t have the Foxboro crowd on their side this time, but they do have a quarterback who is much more reliable in big games.

Power ranking these four teams is going to be tough to do as the lowest-ranked team is not that far behind the top-ranked team. If anyone disagrees with this list, I won’t disagree with you because all of the teams have a legitimate case to be at the top. All of them are well deserving of their spots in the conference championship games. Let’s start from bottom to top, and cap it off with predictions for each contest.

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4. Denver Broncos

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Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Denver has one of the best offenses of all time and their special teams crew is also great, but a suspect defense that is now without Von Miller is a major concern.

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3. Seattle Seahawks

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Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seahawks are a great team with a decent argument as the best of these four teams, but these are power rankings which have a "what have you done for me lately?" aspect to them. The Seahawks lost two of their last four regular season games, including a loss at home to the Arizona Cardinals.

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2. New England Patriots

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Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots are the only team that really put a beating on their playoff opponent with a 43-22 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. They look ready for a good shootout with Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

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1. San Francisco 49ers

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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers are the hottest team left with eight straight victories, including two playoff wins on the road. With Michael Crabtree and Aldon Smith back in the lineup, this team has been firing on all cylinders.

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NFC Championship Game Prediction

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Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The last time these teams met in Seattle, the Seahawks won in a blowout, but that was back in Week 2. The 49ers are not the same team they were early in the season. They are playing with all the confidence in the world and with all of their key players in the lineup. This is going to be a great game between two very well-rounded teams, but somebody from the Wild Card round has to make the Super Bowl, right?

Prediction: 49ers 20 -- Seahawks 13

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AFC Championship Game Prediction

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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick is one of the best at slowing down Manning with a record of 11-6 against him as the head coach of the Patriots. The other factor that I believe gives New England the edge can be illustrated with a question. Who would you rather have in a huge game, Tom Brady or Manning?

Prediction: Patriots 38 -- Broncos 30


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