New England Patriots vs Baltimore Ravens
The New England Patriots have the best quarterback left in the playoffs and probably the best quarterback in the NFL. He has carried them all season with a magical elf named Wes and a giant they call Gronk. The Patriots are 7-point favorites playing at home in Foxboro. Many are picking the Patriots to win this game. However, I just don't think they are going to. I'm not sure what it is, but I have a feeling the Raven defense is going to take away Gronkowski and pressure Brady all game. I think the New England defense is going to struggle like they have for most of the season. This game is going to come down to the Baltimore defense versus Tom Brady. I think Ed Reed intercepts Brady or at the very least makes a few game changing plays with the game on the line. I believe Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs harrass Brady for most of the game and impose their will on that Patriot offense. The team that wins the battle of the trenches wins the game. The Ravens win this battle and they win a very Raven-like (ugly) game.
Baltimore Ravens: 20 New England Patriots: 17
|Will Ray Lewis (right) be able to put enough pressure on Brady (left) |
to disrupt the high powered Patriot offense?
New York Giants vs San Francisco 49ers
This game should be the better of the two games this weekend. On paper, this game is a toss up. San Francisco has a very good defense and they are at home. They are a 2.5-point favorite and are coming off of a huge win against the Saints last week. Can they beat the Giants and punch a ticket to the Super Bowl? My answer is no, they can’t and they won’t. New York has an elite quarterback in Eli Manning. Does San Francisco? No, they have a solid quarterback in Alex Smith, but he is certainly not elite. Eli Manning has a pro bowl level wide receiving core. Victor Cruz has come out of nowhere and had a tremendous year. Hakeem Nicks has had four touchdown catches in just two playoff games and Mario Manningham is about as good of a #3 wideout as you can find in the NFL today. The most important part to the Giants success is their physical defensive line. They are big, athletic, quick and they get to the quarterback. I think that Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, and Osi Umenyiora are going to keep Alex Smith uncomfortable all game, which will shut down the 49er offense. The G-Men have won five games in a row dating back to the regular season and are the hotest team in the NFL. But, as I mentioned earlier San Francisco is at home, they have a great defense and will not go down without a fight. With that said, I’ll take the Giants in a tight one.
New York Giants: 24 San Francisco 49ers: 16
|Eli Manning (left) and Alex Smith (right) face off, with the winner|
punching his ticket to the Super Bowl.