So…we did OKAY in our NFL Playoff picks from last week. We may not be NFL Analysts, but one thing that we are is ACCOUNTABLE. So instead of not discussing the picks from last week we figured we’d address it head on and move on to this weekend’s games as well! So we were 0-2 in Saturday’s games and then 2-0 in Sunday’s games. We did say that the Ravens/Bronco’s game would be closer than the ‘experts’ thought, and we were right, but we didn’t have the Ravens edging out Denver…what an incredible game! And for Saturday night…2 words describe that game “COLIN KAEPERNICK!” The 49ers QB had a game for the ages and totally outplayed Arron Rodgers. We nailed Sunday’s games – The Falcons edged out a great Seahawks team and Tom Brady, well, is Tom Brady. On to this weekend… So we are down to the final 4 and two games separate 4 teams from the ultimate prize – THE SUPER BOWL!
Let’s look at the NFC Championship Game 1st:
49ers vs. Falcons – Sunday, 3pm The Falcons are the #1 seed and get to host the NFC Championship for the 1st time in Franchise History (43 years)! The Falcons played a flawless 1st half last week vs. SEA, a game that many predicted the Falcons would lose and had a 20pt lead going into the 4th quarter….and lost that lead with 30 seconds left but somehow found a way to kick a last second FG to win! The Falcons are coming off an emotional high and are currently the LARGEST HOME UNDERDOG IN THE HISTORY OF THE NFL PLAYOFFS! Currently they are 5.5 point underdogs…at home! Keep in mind, Matt Ryan is now 34-6 inside the Georgia Dome in his 5 years in the league. Looking to the 49ers…is there a more scary team in the NFL right now? They have FIVE Pro-Bowlers on the Defensive side of the ball and their Defense is one of the best in the NFL. They have an enormous offensive line and have the best running attack in the NFL. And to make matters worse for the Falcons, their 1st year starter QB Colin Kaepernick just played one of the greatest games at QB in the history of the league.
Bold Prediction: The Falcons shock the world and win this game. I am a believer in destiny and the world has seemed to be against the Falcons last week and now this week. The Falcons put together a very solid game plan against a running QB last week (Russell Wilson) and contained him. We also heard all week that Falcons terrible Rush Defense would not be able to contain Mershawn Lynch, one of the best RBs in the league – the Falcons held him to 70 yards. If they can replicate this defensive game plan and contain the running aspect of the 49ers Offense they will win this game. Additionally, the 49ers have not seen a high powered offense like the Falcons all year. Falcons win: 27-20
Now on to the AFC Championship Game:
Ravens vs. Patriots – Sunday, 6:30pm The Patriots are ROLLING into this game Sunday evening and playing fantastic football. They have now averaged over 40pts per game the past TWELVE WEEKS…that is incredible. The Ravens have been the story of this postseason though, with their star LB Ray Lewis on his last run before retirement they beat the Colts and then went to Denver and as a 9+ point underdog they stormed back in a game they were losing by 7 with a minute left and scored a TD to force overtime and then won in double overtime! The Patriots had a big blow in Sunday’s win over the Texans as their star TE Rob Gronkowski re-broke his arm and will miss the rest of the playoffs. However, they managed to all step up and handily beat the Texans on their home field. Tom Brady is the only QB better than Matt Ryan at home over the past years, losing only 5 times at Gillette Stadium. Surprisingly compared to previous Patriots teams, this team can run the ball and they run it well. The RB tandem of Ridley/Vareen is playing great and will keep Baltimore on their toes. The Ravens are at this point playing with ‘house money.’ No one expected them to be here and they are confident winning the past 2 games and having beat the Patriots earlier in the season. If any team has had the Patriots number over the past few years it’s the Ravens…they have either played incredibly close games or beat the Patriots in the past 4 seasons. Joe Flacco is playing much better and looks like the “elite” QB he claims to be. Coupled with some physical receivers and tight-ends + the “X Factor” Ray Rice, this team can put up points to match the Patriots.
Prediction: The Patriots’ offense is too much for the aging Baltimore Defense. It has been an incredible run for the Ravens but their quest to play in the Super Bowl ends on Sunday. Patriots win: 38-30 Either way, enjoy the games and have a great NFL CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY!