2014 NFL Conference Championships: Predicting 10 Players Who Will Shine

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10 Players Who Will Stand Out on Championship Sunday

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

One of the best days of the NFL season is upon us. Championship Sunday is nearly here and you can bet that fans across the country are ready for it. This year fans will be treated to a couple of familiar, but still extremely entertaining matchups. The AFC title game will feature the Broncos and Patriots, while the NFC title game will feature two rival clubs in the form of the Seahawks and 49ers.

The AFC title game doesn't feature two teams that are historically rivals, but it does of course feature two familiar foes facing off at the QB positions. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are set to square off for the 15th time in their illustrious careers, with this marking the fourth time they've faced each other in the postseason. So far, Brady has won two of the three playoff matchups. Obviously, this fourth game means a lot in the scheme of things for both players.

The NFC title game will feature arguably the top two rivals in the NFL today. The 49ers and Seahawks don't like each other, and that starts with the guys running both teams. Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll are far from friends and the chippiness between the two trickles down to both teams. The NFC title game figures to be a very old school battle, with neither team sporting an incredibly high-flying offense like you see all the time these days.

So who will shine on Championship Sunday? What players will have career-defining games that will help propel their team to victory? Here are 10 players that will stand out above the rest:

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Wes Welker

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Welker didn't fair well against his former team the first time they met this season. He had a couple of drops and he screwed up on fielding the punt that ultimately cost Denver the game. I'm predicting a different outcome for Welker in this game. He'll find the end zone on at least one occasion, while hauling in more than five passes.

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LeGarrette Blount

LeGarrette Blount
USA Today Sports

There's no way that Blount will equal his performance in the divisional round, but there's no doubt that he's hot right now. Blount is in the zone and he'll have another good game on Sunday.

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Marshawn Lynch

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Beast Mode has been in full effect this postseason. I look for him to carry the Seahawks once again this Sunday on his way to well over 100 yards rushing.

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Richard Sherman

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USA Today Sports

Sherman will be tasked with shutting down the Patriots top pass catchers like Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola this Sunday. I think he'll be up to it, and then some.

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Danny Trevathan

Danny Trevathan
USA Today Sports

Trevathan led the Broncos in tackles this season and really put himself on the map. Will he take his game to the next level on Sunday and shine on the big stage? I'm predicting that he will once again lead Denver in tackles and that he'll make a couple of game-changing plays along the way.

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Earl Thomas

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Thomas is a candidate for defensive player of the year for good reason. The guy simply makes big plays. He was a game-changer in the divisional round and the same thing will happen on Sunday. I wouldn't be surprised if he came up with an interception to go along with numerous tackles and pass breakups.

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Anquan Boldin

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

As great as the Seattle defense is, it won't be able to fully stop Anquan Boldin on Sunday. He's just too good and he'll get his. As for the rest of the 49ers' receivers, I'm predicting that they'll have a hard time against Richard Sherman and company.

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Tom Brady

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USA Today Sports

Let's face it, without Brady, the Patriots would have no chance of winning the AFC. He'll keep things interesting, just like he always does.

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Knowshon Moreno

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USA Today Sports

One of the keys to Denver's victory over San Diego was time of possession. The Broncos were able to run the ball successfully all game long and as a result, the Chargers were on their heels. I'm predicting the same thing will happen against New England. Moreno will once again rush for over 100 yards and give the Broncos the time of possession advantage they need.

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Peyton Manning

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USA Today Sports

Saying that Manning is going to be a top performer is not exactly going out on a limb. However, if there's a guy that's going to outshine everybody else on championship Sunday, it's Peyton. This is his game to lose. It's at home and the weather isn't expected to be bad. Manning wants that second ring more than we know and he'll step up and propel his team to New York with a big performance in the AFC title game.


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