Five years ago, we began honoring radio legend Steve Czaban — who was surprisingly booted from the SB Nation Radio morning lineup in 2016, despite having perhaps the most engaging program in the radio marketplace — with a “You Are Looking Live!” preview of each NFL weekend.
The bit was so well-received, so roundly praised by media pundits (including a few SB Nation writers) and Czabe’s legion of fans alike, that we decided to make You Are Looking Live! a permanent Friday staple of the BATSBY Sports Network programming.
As such, it makes perfect sense to include Brent Musburger and Joey Porter into the presentation, via YouTube:
#5 TAMPA BAY @ #1 GREEN BAY (NFC)
TIME: 3:05 p.m. EST
LINE: Packers (-3 1/2) … Over/Under: 52
REFEREE: Clete Blakeman
WEATHER FORECAST: Mostly cloudy, chance of snow, 27 degrees
TV CREW: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Tom Rinaldi (FOX)
FUN FACT #1: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (4,299 yards passing, 51 total TDs, 5 INTs) has posted multiple touchdowns in eight consecutive playoff games (22 scores overall), coinciding with the Packers’ 5-3 record during that postseason stretch.
FUN FACT #2: The legend of Tom Brady includes six Lombardi trophies, three NFL MVP honors, three Super Bowl MVP awards and perhaps the greatest passing numbers in league history, when it’s all said and done.
But did you know this?
Sunday will mark Brady’s 14th conference championship outing, with the future first-ballot Hall of Famer boasting a 9-4 record on Conference Championship Sunday; and of his last four title games — all being played amid frigid outdoor temperatures — Brady owns elite-level averages of 316 yards passing and 2.3 touchdowns.
After all, the Brady-led Buccaneers have notched 30 or more points in five straight outings (including the playoffs); and Packers playmakers Davante Adams and Aaron Jones have cumulatively amassed 12 touchdowns since NFL Week 13.
Perhaps the middling over/under has something to do with the likelihood of snow in Green Bay, Antonio Brown’s announced absence (knee injury) or maybe it’s related to the following nuggets:
a) Charting the last eight NFC title games (2012-19), the combined cumulative averages shake out to 52.8 points.
b) Brady and Rodgers have met on the same field — as their teams’ starting quarterbacks — just three times in history (2014, 2018, 2020). For those three encounters, the combined totals were merely 47, 48 and 48 points (47.7 average).
B-I-G WEEKEND PREP WORK
#2 BUFFALO @ #1 KANSAS CITY (AFC)
TIME: 6:40 p.m. EST
LINE: Chiefs (-3) … Over/Under: 54
REFEREE: Bill Vinovich
WEATHER FORECAST: Overcast skies, 35 degrees
TV: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson, Evan Washburn (CBS)
THE MILLION-DOLLAR QUESTION: Will Patrick Mahomes (concussion protocol) suit up for the Chiefs, who are vying to become the NFL’s first back-to-back champion since the 2003-04 Patriots?
UPDATE: Just seconds after hitting ‘PUBLISH‘ on today’s piece, the Chiefs announced that Mahomes (24 total touchdowns in his last nine games) has officially cleared the NFL’s Concussion Protocol program.
And that’s a good thing … since we don’t have a flood of Chad Henne-related nuggets to celebrate.
BETTOR’S HUNCHES: Here are three strong reasons to take the UNDER for Sunday’s encounter in Kansas City … with none of ’em lamenting Chad Henne as a fixture in the Chiefs’ offense:
a) The last six AFC title games (2014-19) have yielded combined scoring averages of 52.3 points.
b) The red-hot Chiefs have won 11 straight games, cementing their standing as the likely favorites to repeat as Super Bowl champions. However, citing Kansas City’s last eight victories, each win involved a razor-thin spread of six or fewer points.
c) Buffalo’s defense has been terrific in December/January, allowing a super-low average of 16 points in their last six games (all victories).
Along those lines, Kansas City has held the opposition to 17 or fewer points three times in its last six outings.
A FAIL-SAFE SUPER SUNDAY: With Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen and Mahomes taking center stage on Sunday, the TV ratings for both clashes could approach record-highs.
By proxy, we’re essentially promised a great Super Bowl matchup, storyline- and hype-wise, regardless of the results of the championship bouts:
PACKERS VS. CHIEFS: A clash of the NFL’s two best teams, and the likely 1-2 candidates in the NFL MVP voting race (Rodgers then Mahomes or vice versa).
Oh, and for the history majors out there, it would also be a wonderful repeat of the very first Super Bowl.
PACKERS VS. BILLS: Only the NFL could have two of the league’s smallest media markets (Green Bay, Buffalo) meet on Super Sunday … and still generate a TV audience that exceeds 100 million viewers.
BUCCANEERS VS. CHIEFS: NFL fans have quickly grown accustomed to Brady and Mahomes meeting in titanic matchups.
Even better, within this scenario (and the one below), the Bucs would become the first-ever franchise to host the Super Bowl in its own home stadium. Incredibly, this has never happened in the previous 54 Super Bowl campaigns.
(The 1979 Rams played in the Pasadena Super Bowl; and the 1984 Niners partook in the Palo Alto Super Sunday.)
BUCS VS. BILLS: Brady vs. Allen immediately stands out, when hyping this clash of Old Heads and Young Studs.
Howevere, here’s another way of looking at things: The Bucs have never lost a Super Bowl (1-0 overall) … and the Bills (four straight defeats from 1990-93) have never raised the Lombardi Trophy in celebration.