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Former Cats Prepare for NFL Conference Championships

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Are you ready for some football!? 

Welcome to Championship Sunday! The NFL’s best four teams are about to kickoff, playing to earn their spot in Super Bowl 51. Fortunately for the BBN, both games will feature former Wildcats.

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The first match-up will be the NFC Championship game between the Green Bay Packers & the Atlanta Falcons. Randall Cobb has been a man on a mission during the 2017 playoffs, as he looks to continue his success against the Falcons’ defense. Cobb has 12 catches for 178 yards and three touchdowns so far this postseason. He had an amazing game against the Giants two weeks ago, where he caught all three touchdowns, one of which on a crazy “hail mary” pass.

Earlier this week, Falcons’ safety Ricardo Allen praised Cobb for his abilities on the field:

“He can do it all. He can get in the backfield. He was an ex-quarterback, so he can do double passes. He can play running back. He can play slot. He can play inside; he can play outside. He’s a screen guy. Just looking at him a little bit on TV, he kind of reminds me a little bit of Antonio Brown. He’s a good route-runner with good hands and a good intermediate guy. But he can also take you deep. He’s a short and deep-ball threat. He’s probably one of the best wide receivers Poole will go against this whole year.

While Allen mentioned rookie cornerback Brian Poole would be covering Cobb, it now looks like that task will move to Jalen Collins. With the Packers’ Jordy Nelson out with injured ribs, Cobb becomes their number one receiver. You’ll definitely want to keep an eye on #18 today.

Unfortunately, on the other side of the field, Jacob Tamme will be sitting on the Falcons’ sidelines. Tamme suffered a season-ending shoulder injury back in November, after being a contributing player in Matt Ryan’s passing game.

The NFC Championship begins at 3:05 pm ET, with live coverage of the game on FOX.

The AFC Championship game will immediately follow the NFC’s. In this hard-nosed match-up, we have the Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the New England Patriots. Much like Cobb, Bud Dupree has emerged as a major contributor for his team in the postseason. So far, Dupree has 10 combined tackles and one-half sack in the playoffs, but it’s his pressure on the QB that’s been crucial.

Who could forget that vicious hit on Matt Moore of the Miami Dolphins? Even though it was ruled illegal, it’s this style of play that gains attention around the league. Believe me, Tom Brady knows who wears #48 in black & yellow.

Speaking of Tom Brady, the Texans were able to pressure the elite QB into making mistakes last week. The Steelers’ 3-4 defense hope to continue that pressure. Dupree has been watching the tape, trying to learn how he can rattle the Patriots’ QB in similar fashion:

“We watched it, but they’re probably prepared for that so we probably have to take different angles,” Dupree said. “They’re too good a team to let something like that repeat. They do a lot of great things to systematically try to prevent him from being touched. You got to man-up and win your 1-on-1’s.”

The AFC Championship is set to kickoff at 6:40 pm ET, live on CBS.

Good luck to our former Cats!

Article written by Kory Henry

"We will kick, pass, and run, til the battle is won!" Bleeding blue since 1990. @KoryHenryKSR