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#StanfordNFL: Championship Preview – GoStanford.com

­Packers at Falcons
Five former-Cardinal — Blake Martinez, Ty Montgomery, Kyle Murphy, Austin Hooper and LeVine Toilolo — will suit up in the NFC Championship game. Martinez, who has battled injury through a largely successful rookie season, played almost exclusively on special teams in Green Bay’s 34-31 win at Dallas. Montgomery, playing in his native Texas for the first time in years, scored two touchdowns to help beat the Cowboys, cementing his importance in the Packers’ offense.

Tight ends Austin Hooper and LeVine Toilolo have been key components of Kyle Shanahan’s offense in Atlanta this season, filling the void of injured first-choice tight end Jacob Tamme. Hooper and Toilolo have each caught touchdowns this season, and are a big part of Atlanta’s rushing attack, which tops the league, according to PFF.

Steelers at Patriots
Pittsburgh travels to New England for the AFC Championship to face the Patriots, who enter the game as the favorite. David DeCastro, Pittsburgh’s All-Pro right guard and former unanimous All-American at Stanford, has been a force on the Steelers’ offensive line this postseason, helping Le’Veon Bell twice break the postseason franchise rushing record. According to Pro Football Focus, Pittsburgh’s offensive line ranked second in pass blocking and fifth in run blocking during the regular season. They will have their hands full against New England’s stout defense, which ranks second in total defense and run defense in PFF’s regular season rankings.

On the other side of the ball, Cameron Fleming aims to make his second Super Bowl appearance in three seasons, while Jordan Richards targets his first. Although he was a healthy scratch for Sunday’s win against Houston, Richards, along with Patriots practice squad member Tyler Gaffney, was honored as one of New England’s “Practice Players of the Week” for his role in preparing the Patriots for Houston’s excellent defense.


Date Time (PT)/TV Network Matchup
Sunday, Jan. 22 12:05 p.m./FOX Packers (Blake Martinez, Ty Montgomery, Kyle Murphy) at Falcons (Jacob Tamme, LeVine Toilolo)
Sunday, Jan. 22 3:40 p.m./CBS Steelers (David DeCastro) at Patriots (Cameron Fleming, Jordan Richards)

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