And for the icing on the cake, my postseason predictions stand at 7-1 with both of my preseason Super Bowl picks alive— Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. My record would be much more impressive if I didn’t jump off the Ravens bandwagon (it was a tough decision, but I succumbed to “Golden boy” Peyton Manning’s indomitable season statistics and the Denver Broncos 11-game win streak), but I’m sure those that bleed purple will forgive me. And if you don’t forgive me,
But the past is the past, and I’m ready to move on to my picks for the championship games.
AFC Championship Game
Baltimore Ravens vs New England Patriots
Just when my Baltimore followers forgave me lol. Hear me out before you exit the site though. Despite me selecting the Ravens as a preseason favorite, I’ve always been apprehensive of Baltimore’s offense going all the way back to Trent Dilfer. The prowess to explode is always high, but the consistency is Casper (translation- ghost) as I would like to say. And the reason for my trepidation is Joe Flacco.
My best comparison for Flacco is a yo-yo. Great arm, but who knows what to expect on any given Sunday with him. He can throw for 300 yards and 3 TD’s and then combine for only four touchdowns total in the next four weeks. In addition, that bomb to Jacoby Jones should have never taken place. Putrid timing by the safety, but nonetheless, the Ravens were thrown a bone and took advantage of it. But next week’s road show is one that won’t be up for grabs. Ray Lewis and company will have to go into Foxboro and smack the Pats in the mouth.
Where the Patriots and Broncos differ is that Patriots have a litany of weapons. As I mentioned in my tweet this last weekend in regards to Shane Veeren’s standout performance, the Patriots are the best at drafting no-names and turning them into gems. The obvious reason for this of course is the unflappable Tom Brady. But because I’m feeling nice, I’ll let you all in on Brady’s kryptonite. Not really as esoteric as some may think, but here it is. Brady, similar to every other quarterback, doesn’t do well under pressure (told you it wasn't that classified). As I alluded to above, knock down Brady repeatedly and the rest will handle it self. There’s a reason why the Giants have his number on the big stage. Hit him hard and often is the anecdote for success for Baltimore. But because I don’t see this happening, I have chosen Brady to reach his sixth Super Bowl. So much for a rubber match.
NFC Championship Game
San Francisco 49ers vs Atlanta Falcons
My pick: 49ers
Just when you thought the monkey grew into a gorilla on Matt Ryan's back, Ryan motionlessly responded with two big throws in 31 seconds to earn his first playoff victory (La Heim!). But all good things must come to an end; the Falcons train isn't destined for New Orleans. Russell Wilson torched the dirty birds for 445 total yards last week, and the Falcons welcome in another 400+ yard freak. He goes by the name of Colin Kaepernick and for young player, he plays with a lot panache. Just asked the Packers defense who was burned for 444 yards in his playoff debut.
The 49ers offense is just as explosive as the Falcons with one big difference: Kaepernick’s legs. I’ll hold off on calling him Michael Vick 2.0, but he did break the single-game playoff record for QB rushing yards with 181 yards (previously held by Vick). The scary thing is that Kaepernick doesn’t use his legs unless it’s a last resort. So not only will Asante Samuel have to tackle, but actually attempt to defend. Scary thought right? And I haven’t even mentioned who the young star has running routes for him and in his back field. Good luck with that task Atlanta.
In closing I pinpoint the Falcons offense who hasn’t really faced a stout defenses this entire year. They will Sunday. The 49ers-D is the reason I’ve been high on this team all year long. The verve and electricity they portray is exciting. San Francisco fell short last year due to some costly fumbles against the New York Giants and this weekend will be time to avenge that slip-up.