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NFL Playoffs 2017: Conference championship games and schedule set

The Steelers are moving on to the AFC Conference Championship game. UGH.

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Conference Championship games are set after a Divisional Round that was much more exciting than the Wild Card round last weekend.

The weekend started with the Falcons taking down the Seahawks. Former Bengals wide receiver Mohamed Sanu caught a touchdown, and was impressive in the 36-20 win. The Falcons will go on to face the Packers who looked highly impressive themselves, led by Aaron Rodgers against the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon. The Cowboys put up a good fight, but the Packers proved to be the better team on Sunday. Rodgers will be hard to beat, but in a game featuring two of the top MVP candidates on each team, we should be in for a great matchup that see lots of points put on the board. It would be great to see Sanu make an impact in a Falcons win over the Packers in the NFC Championship game.

In the AFC, the Patriots beat the Texans with relative ease on Saturday night. Tom Brady threw two interceptions, but Brock Osweiler threw three and was hopeless for much of the game. Dion Lewis made NFL history by becoming the first player with a kick return for a touchdown, receiving touchdown and rushing touchdown all in one playoff game.

On Sunday, the Steelers made multiple dirty plays on their way to a win over the Chiefs. Pittsburgh failed to score a touchdown and instead won the game exclusive on Chris Boswell’s leg. Boswell attempted six field goals and made them all. Alex Smith couldn’t do enough to lead his team to a victory. Though the Steelers certainly got some help to move on to the Conference Championship. After scoring a touchdown to bring the game within two, the Chiefs went for the two point conversion, and while it would have been good and should have tied the game, Eric Fisher was called for holding and the two points were taken off the board. The Steelers got the ball back, ran out the clock and knocked the Chiefs out of the playoffs.

Earlier in the game, Travis Kelce was flagged for unnecessary roughness after shoving Ross Cockrell onto the ground. It was clearly prompted by Cockrell, as we know, the Steelers have a way with provoking the opposition. "He's a hothead," Chris Collinsworth said of Kelce. Yet, later in the game, when the Steelers were making dirty plays, there was no talk of that variety. It just can’t be a coincidence that Steelers games so often include extracurriculars and dirty play. No other game this weekend included anything of the sort.

Before the Chiefs scored on a 1-yard Spencer Ware touchdown run, and attempted the two-point conversion, Steelers safety Sean Davis was flagged for an illegal hit after a helmet-to-helmet hit on Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley that kept him just more than one yard shy of the end zone. Conley remained down on the field for several minutes before walking off the field. He passed a concussion test and returned to the field shortly after. Luckily, Conley wasn’t concussed like Giovani Bernard was during the Bengals vs Steelers playoff game last year.

Kelce, who clearly wasn’t happy to see the Chiefs’ season end, went off regarding the refs after the game. “Obviously, I’m frustrated with the call,” Kelce said. “With the game on the line and for me to let the team down it’s going to be a hard one to let go.”

Teams who play the Steelers all seem to end the game with the same sour taste in their mouths.

So, after a dramatic Divisional Round, the four remaining teams are the Steelers, Patriots, Packers and Falcons.

We’re going to be becoming Patriots fans around here this week.

Conference Championships TV Schedule

NFC Championship

No. 4 Green Bay Packers at No. 2 Atlanta Falcons

Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

Date/Time: Sunday, January 22, 2017; 3:05 p.m. ET


AFC Championship

No. 3 Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 1 New England Patriots

Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

Date/Time: Sunday, January 22, 2017; 6:40 p.m. ET