It's game day!
Today the NFC and AFC conference championships will be played, including the AFC Championship game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots at 6:40 p.m. ET on CBS. Three of our writers picked the Colts to win that game, while two of our writers picked the Patriots. The rest of the media isn't nearly as split; in fact, most are picking the Patriots to defeat the Colts and advance to the Super Bowl.
Of ESPN's thirteen NFL analysts predicting the game, only two of them picked the Colts to win, meaning eleven of them picked the Patriots:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Just about everyone has a Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl. <a href="http://t.co/FytCKR0vDO">pic.twitter.com/FytCKR0vDO</a></p>— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNNFL/status/556647196620107776">January 18, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith and Mike Florio both picked the Patriots, by scores of 31-17 and 41-21, respectively.
And that's just from a couple of people in the national media… look at the New England media and you wouldn't think it'll even be a contest. In Indianapolis, it seems about 50-50 in predictions, but nowhere else is anybody giving the Colts that much of a chance.
No worries, though. The Colts are used to being the underdog. And they're used to proving media wrong in their predictions:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Oh ok.. Wrong horse fellas <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Colts?src=hash">#Colts</a> <a href="http://t.co/MoCUjIjC35">pic.twitter.com/MoCUjIjC35</a></p>— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) <a href="https://twitter.com/PatMcAfeeShow/status/554442838365048832">January 12, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Looking at this from a pure talent standpoint, it's pretty clear that the Patriots are the better team. But the Broncos were a better team than the Colts as well, and the Colts beat them. Full transparency: I didn't pick the Colts to win this weekend. But I think they absolutely have a chance. They're a confident team and they're used to playing the role of the underdog. And one more upset on Sunday would send them to Arizona to play in the Super Bowl.
Now it's time for YOUR predictions: who do you predict the winner of Sunday's game to be to advance to the Super Bowl?