NFC Championship Tale of the Tape

Bobby Sansone, Senior Writer

December 11, 2008

Jacobs' Absence Could Be Costly for Huskers

Brandon Jacobs

Will he play? Jacobs and the Huskers aren't talking

Unlike the AFC Championship, there are decisive advantages on both sides at each position match-up in the NFC Conference Championship. The game will likely hinge on if Brandon Jacobs and Frank Gore suit up. The Dragons can live without Gore as YFFL journey man Dom Rhodes will be ready to go. The Huskers however, don't have a back-up for Jacobs that can come close to filling his shoes.

Kevin has waited 6 long years to get the Huskers back to the Super Bowl. In what was arguably the greatest fantasy season in the history of the YFFL, the '02 Huskers reeled off 14 straight wins en route to the Super Bowl. Times have been rough since then though as the Huskers have only made it back to the playoffs once in the past five years.

The Dragons have slipped under the radar this year and were never the feature headline on Jon instead deflected the attention to other teams and let the Dragons sneak up on the league. The Dragons are still feeling the embarrassment of the most lopsided Super Bowl on record just 3 short years ago. The Buddies physically removed Jon's pancreas, liver and spleen (in that order) during an 82-29 whooping of the Dragons during Christmas weekend. Jon hopes to get another shot at his first title since 2001 this week against the Huskers.

Rhodes! Norwood! Stover! Daniels! It's the NFC Conference Championship next on Fox!

Peyton Manning Aaron Rogers

QB: Peyton Manning vs Aaron Rogers

Advantage: Manning (18-12)

Peyton Manning has a cushy match-up against Detroit at home. It doesn't get any sweeter than that. He should get 3 TDs before being yanked for Jim Sorgi. Rodgers meanwhile has a favorable match-up against the Jaguars in Florida.

Tim Hightower Matt Forte

RB1: Tim Hightower vs Matt Forte

Advantage: Forte (10-0)

Hightower won't find the end zone now that the Vikings Williams' duo has won the right to appeal their suspension. Look for Hightower to struggle to 25 yards rushing. Forte, on the other hand should get 25+ carries en route to a 100 yard game Thursday night vs the Saints. Big advantage here to the Dragons

Brandon Jacobs Kevin Faulk Jerious Norwood Frank Gore Dominic Rhodes

RB2: Jacobs/Faulk/Norwood vs Gore/Rhodes

Advantage: Rhodes (8-0)

At this point I'm suspecting Gore and Jacobs to both sit out in favor of Rhodes and Faulk respectively. Kevin really needs his MVP candidate to play on Sunday night. If he does, this becomes a push. Rhodes should get a TD and 50 yards against Detroit.

Brandon Marshall Hines Ward

WR1: Brandon Marshall vs Hines Ward

Advantage: Marshall (8-0)

Marshall will make up for Jacobs' potential absence with a TD and close to 100 yards as the Broncos will likely be playing from behind against Carolina. Ward, meanwhile, has struggled of late and won't get to 50 yards against the Ravens defense.

Lance Moore Wes Welker

WR2: Lance Moore vs Wes Welker

Advantage: Moore (6-4)

This is probably the match-up to watch. Moore has had back-to-back poor fantasy showings but I think he gets a TD tomorrow night against a porous Bears secondary. Welker will get to 100 yards but rarely finds pay dirt.

Owen Daniels L.J. Smith

TE: Owen Daniels vs L.J. Smith

Advantage: Push (0 points)

Anything out of these two is a bonus but Daniels would be the more likely of the two to score. Kevin will need a 10 point lead to feel comfortable going into Monday night. Smith is one of McNabb's favorite targets but only has 3 TDs all season. Daniels hasn't scored or reached 50 yards since Week 9.

Ryan Longwell Matt Stover

K: Ryan Longwell vs Matt Stover

Advantage: Longwell (13-4)

Huge advantage here to Longwell, who will be kicking indoors in what could be a high-scoring game. The FGs should be aplenty given his range and the Vikings struggles in the red zone. Stover has the worst possible kicking match-up playing in Pittsburgh. FGs beyond 40-yards are rare there. Look for Graham to possibly get the call here for the Dragons.

Bernard Berrian Anthony Gonzalez

UT: Bernard Berrian vs Anthony Gonzalez

Advantage: Gonzalez (8-0)

Gonzalez should get a TD and 50 yards which would cancel out with Peyton Manning. Jon will take the bait though. Berrian meanwhile won't be of any fantasy value with Tavaris Jackson back at the helm for the Vikes. Strong advantage here for the Dragons.

Final Tally: Dragons 46 Huskers 45