Four biggest questions headed into NFL conference title games

Herm: Steelers are ready to go to New England (1:21)

Herm Edwards breaks down what the Steelers have been doing effectively through their first two playoff wins. (1:21)

Only three games remain in the NFL season, and two of them will be played Sunday. The biggest question those two will answer is the one we've been asking since the summertime: Who will play in Super Bowl LI?

But Sunday's conference championship games come with plenty of their own questions that need to be answered along the way. Here's a look at four of the biggest.

Will the Packers have Jordy Nelson back? And does it really matter?

With receivers Randall Cobb and Jared Cook mimicking Nelson's boundary-play magic, QB Aaron Rodgers looked as unstoppable and invulnerable as ever in Sunday's fingernail-shredder in Arlington, Texas. Getting Nelson back from the injury he suffered in the wild-card victory over the Giants would obviously help the Packers win a shootout, especially if No. 1 Falcons receiver Julio Jones is out or struggling with his foot injury. But Rodgers could be on a historic roll that's impervious to outside forces, as if he were the central character in some kind of football-themed Harry Potter reboot. State Farm commercials aside, nothing has gone wrong for Rodgers in months.

Can the Falcons' defensive team speed make the difference?

QB Matt Ryan is playing at an MVP level, and you especially like his chances of matching Rodgers' offensive output at home. But what stood out about Atlanta in Saturday's victory over the Seattle Seahawks was how dynamic and energetic the Falcons were on the other side of the ball. We're not used to thinking defense when we think of the Falcons, but their young defensive stars have been difference-makers down the stretch. Green Bay has one of the best pass-protecting offensive lines in the league, and Seattle had one of the worst. But that doesn't mean Falcons coach Dan Quinn & Co. can't scheme ways for the Falcons' defensive team speed to make a difference in coverage or by chasing down Rodgers outside of the pocket better than Dallas did.

What do the Patriots have in mind for Le'Veon Bell?

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has a long-standing reputation for taking away the opponent's No. 1 weapon, and there's no doubt that Bell is the Steelers' main man at this point. New England's run defense is one of its strengths, and Bell is unlikely to find life easy between the tackles. But Belichick obviously knows the Steelers can find creative ways to use Bell in the passing game as well. It's not as if the Steelers can't find other ways to win, but the design and effectiveness of the Patriots' plan to stop Bell will tell a significant portion of the story of the AFC Championship Game.

How effectively can the Steelers get to Tom Brady?

Pittsburgh's pass rush has been as good as any in the league since October. Whitney Mercilus and the Texans were able to get some pressure on Brady on Saturday. Historically, the way you beat Brady and the Patriots in the postseason is by generating pressure with your pass-rushers up front and dropping as many as you can into coverage. And while the Patriots' offensive line is protecting Brady better this year than it did last year, when Von Miller and the Broncos knocked the Pats out in this game, the Steelers are disruptive at the line of scrimmage. If Brady isn't comfortable in the pocket, that puts Pittsburgh in position to steal one on the road.