January 20, 2012 | Leave a Comment
The NFL season is just about finished. All we have left is the Conference Championships and the Super Bowl. For me Championship Sunday is the last real football weekend of the year. Superbowl Sunday is mostly glam, glitz, and hype with a little bit of football mixed in. Championship Sunday is all about the games. As much as I hate predicting NFL games I feel compelled to do so. So I will take this opportunity to peak up the skirts of the remaining four QBs and tell you what I see for the games this weekend.
NFC Championship Game: 49ers vs. Giants
This game offers some nostalgia for fans like me that grew up in the 80′s. These were the two dominate franchises of the late 80′s. Of course the roles have been reversed now. The Giants are now the team with the lethal passing offense led by a big game QB while the 49ers feature a dominating defense. I continue to question whether Eli Manning is really a Manning. Either he was adopted or the clutch gene skips siblings. There is no questioning now that Eli Manning is an elite QB. Right now he is playing the best football of his career. Defensively the NY Giants have turned a complete 180 degrees. They don’t even resemble the unit that stumbled through the entire month of November. After two straight dominating performances against the Falcons and the Green Bay Discount Double Chokes they now face an offensively challenged 49ers team. The 49ers have struggled most of the year in the red zone. They’ve played a safe ball control offense all season and let their defense carry them. The formula worked so well that San Francisco went 13-3 in the regular season. But in their Divisional Round Playoff Game versus the Saints last week they needed to find another way. And find another way they did. QB Alex Smith flipped the script on his dismal career by bringing the 49ers back twice on long drives to regain the lead in the final minutes. It was a signature win for a career that until this year had lacked many wins of any variety. Last week Alex Smith played out of his friggin mind and I simply don’t expect that to happen again. You don’t struggle for 7 years and all of sudden become John Elway. My prediction: Giants 24 – 49ers 17
AFC Championship Game: Patriots vs. Ravens
Joe Flacco is in his 4th NFL season. Each of those seasons he has taken the Baltimore Ravens to the playoffs. Each of those seasons he has won at least one playoff game. That is a record folks. Joe Flacco accumulates the most important stat for any player. Wins. Despite his winning ways Flacco has played great in ZERO postseason games. For the most part he has benefited from the Ed Reed and the Ravens defense drawing some fortunate playoff match ups. When the Ravens have needed Flacco to be more than just an average QB he has let them down. That can’t happen this week if the Ravens are going to upset Tom Brady and the Patriots. The Ravens defense has given Brady problems the past few seasons including a 33-14 whipping in the playoffs two seasons ago, but I don’t believe they can dominate this game like the previous time they hooked up in the postseason. The Ravens have not played well on the road this season and they have not pressured opposing QBs much of late. If you don’t get pressure on Marsha Brady she will carve you up. Even if the Ravens pass rush does get some heat on Brady it is hard to imagine the refs allowing it. Brady gets more protection from the officials than any player in the league. And he knows how to sell it to get the calls. There is a reason he is a two time best actress nominee…errr….I mean two time MVP. I expect Tom Brady will get to ball to his monster tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez who pose huge match up problems for Baltimore. The Patriots are going score some points in this game and I don’t think Flacco has what it takes to keep up. My Prediction: Patriots 34 – Ravens 24