Here are 10 things from NFL Championship Sunday that intrigue me:
1. Is Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan ready for the moment? Until last Saturday's impressive showing in Atlanta's 36-20 divisional playoff win over the Seahawks, many questioned whether Ryan could handle playoff pressure. They forgot he threw for 396 yards and three touchdowns in the 2012 NFL Championship Game loss to the 49ers. He quieted many critics last week, but if he doesn't play well here, the chatter will start again. This is his chance to end it.
2. Will Falcons receiver Julio Jones be slowed by his toe injury? Jones was injured last week but continued to play. But toes can be tricky. They can really impact a player who cuts and moves like Jones. Keep an eye on him early.
3. What do the Falcons do to slow down Aaron Rodgers? Atlanta has a lot of young players on defense, and it isn't an overly complicated scheme. That can lead to big problems against Rodgers. I would expect some changes Sunday from coordinator Richard Smith. Rodgers will kill their defense if they play their usual stuff.
4. Who is the go-to guy for Rodgers with Jordy Nelson likely out? Nelson worked out this week, but it would be a shock if he plays. The other problem for the Packers is that Davante Adams is dealing with an ankle injury. So that means Randall Cobb and tight end Jared Cook have to play big. With the way Rodgers is playing, he might be able to throw to three guys from the stands and still have success.
5. Can the Packers block Vic Beasley? Beasley didn't get a sack against Seattle and was quiet much of the game. He has to be loud Sunday. But he also has to be careful of his rush lanes. Rodgers is great when he gets by outside contain. Beasley and his pass-rush buddies have to be aware of that.
6. Is the Patriots defense legitimate? It was the league's top-ranked scoring D, but faced only two teams among the top 10 in scoring, one being the Steelers with Landry Jones and not Ben Roethlisberger. They played four games against teams among the bottom five in scoring. So we really don't know how good they are yet.
7. Who will the Patriots focus on taking away from the Steelers offense? I bet it's running back Le'Veon Bell. He has been on a tear the past eight weeks and has 330 yards in two playoff games. Look for the Patriots to make him priority No. 1.
8. Will Patriots corner Malcolm Butler shadow Steelers receiver Antonio Brown? If they truly want to focus on Bell, then Butler will likely spend a lot of time in man coverage on Brown. He will get some help, but Butler is more than capable as a cover corner. It's just that Brown is so good.
9. What will Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler throw at Tom Brady? They can't let him get good pre-snap reads or he will kill them. So I would expect a lot of movement on defense and a lot of different looks. The Steelers will move players around, using a lot of different fronts. The back end has to change up more than normal, too.
10. Patriots right tackle Marcus Cannon vs. Steelers outside rusher Bud Dupree: Dupree has been one of the best on Pittsburgh's defense the past eight weeks, and must be blocked. Cannon has impressed this season after a bad 2015. But can he handle Dupree in one-on-one situations?