NFL Playoffs: City Of Champions Picks Conference Championship Games

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Nov 24, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) is tackled by Denver Broncos strong safety Duke Ihenacho (33) and outside linebacker Danny Trevathan (59) during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Broncos 34-31 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Three City of Champions staffers went with all favorites last week, and they were rewarded with perfect 4-0 records in the NFL’s divisional round games.

It’s no coincidence those lads – Matt Shetler, Zac Weiss and Larry Snyder – are in the lead as we head into conference championship Sunday. Shetler and Weiss boast 6-2 records with three games to play; Snyder is close behind that front-running duo at 5-3.

I went 2-2 for the second straight week – that’s what I get for sticking my neck out for the Panthers and Chargers – while Brett Tunno and Erin McDowell man the caboose at 3-5 overall.

There’s still much to be decided, so let’s get to the picks!

New England Patriots (13-4) at Denver Broncos (14-3), 3 p.m. Sunday on CBS

Shetler: Football fans can’t ask for anything more than another epic battle of the two best quarterbacks of this generation. This is a big game for Peyton Manning‘s legacy, but unfortunately for him it comes against his arch-nemesis, his Kryptonite, so to speak. At the end of the day Manning will be denied by Tom Brady once again. I like the Pats’ ability to run the football and create turnovers. And oh yeah, I like that Brady guy in the clutch. New England wins an epic battle. Prediction: Patriots 27, Broncos 24.

Weiss: This is a shootout to say the least, but I have to go with the Patriots. Frankly, Brady has impressed me more this season than Manning because he has had much less to work with. The Patriots seem to have a nose for the Super Bowl and this season seems no different. Regardless of if the Pats win, I don’t think Brady will get a high five at game’s end. Patriots 41, Broncos 38.

Snyder: Brady is 10-4 all time against Manning. I think it will be a high scoring matchup as the Pats are averaging 39.3 points a game while the Broncos are averaging 31.7. Let the air show begin! Patriots 37, Broncos 34.

Matt Gajtka: The Broncos survived a scare last week, as Manning led them to a game-clinching drive late in the fourth quarter. Peyton won’t be able to lean on the power of Omaha against the well-schooled Patriots, but I see Denver as the better all-around team. With the hometown energy on their side, the Broncos make enough plays in a game that will reduce defense to an afterthought. Broncos 41, Patriots 34.

Tunno: Manning picks apart the Patriots secondary in a revenge match, and the Broncos do not blow a lead (24-0) like they did Nov. 24 in Foxboro. Manning heads to the Super Bowl looking for his second ring. Broncos 38, Patriots 24.

McDowell: Knowshon Moreno and Brady were the big players when these teams met up earlier this season, but this time the game is in Denver. I expect both teams will lean on the run but Manning and his amazing receivers will send the Bill Belichick home. Broncos 34, Patriots 30.

Staff Total: Tied 3-3

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