Playoff Review: Between TEBOW HAS WON upending the mighty Steelers and Drew Brees vs. Vernon Davis, and some great games in between, this has been an awesome playoffs so far. Still steamed at myself for not picking the Giants last week. All year I said the winner of the NFC East had the best shot at beating the Packers in the playoffs because all 3 teams have good ball-control balanced offenses, and strong pass rushes.
Playoff Record so far: 5-3.
AFC Championship Game: Tom Brady vs. Baltimore's Defense. If you can't get excited for that please stop reading and never watch a football game again. Both played great last week albeit against inferior competition. One big concern for Balitmore was ZERO sacks, but that can be forgiven considering Houston has one of if not the best offensive lines in football, and did a lot of chipping and using backs and tight ends to help block and protect their rookie quarterback. Brady will get his, but won't go ape shit like he did last week, both sides are just too good. The Patriots' lack of a deep-play threat will hamper them in this one, allowing Ed Reed to match up with the Pats' ridiculously talented tight ends. The Patriots will have to run the ball to win, and Lardarius Webb is one of the most underrated players in the game. Him vs. Welker will be fun to watch. Baltimore needs to take a page out of its 2009 script and feed the beast in Ray Rice early and often, to set-up play-action and keep Brady on the sidelines. Ultimately though, Belichick won't let Rice beat him again, he's gonna force Joe Flacco to win a game. Can he? Well I picked Baltimore to win the Super Bowl before the season started, I felt this was their time, and with Pittsburgh out of the picture, it is their and Flacco's time.
Baltimore 24 New England 20
NFC Championship Game: One word: BLOOD. This is going to be a tough and physical football game. Both teams are dominant on the line of scrimmage, and the battle in the trenches will be awesome to watch. The Niners are what the Giants were in 2007, a power-running team with a tough physical defense that made you work for every inch. The Giants defensive line is beast moding right now, but don't forget about that secondary, which blanketed the Packers receivers last week, forcing Aaron Rodgers to check down more times than he did in the Cal-USC 2004 game. Eli Manning has to be considered a top 5 QB at this point, but Alex Smith proved all his haters myself and a shit ton of Niners fans wrong last week by winning a game after his defense had failed him. In a game so evenly matched, I give the Niners the edge because of special teams and turnovers. The Niners were a ridiculous +28 in turnover differential this year, and have pro-bowlers in kicker David Akers and punter Andy Lee. In the 1st matchup which was a dogfight the Niners owned the field position game, and will do so again. Ted Ginn may just break one as well.
Niners 27 Giants 20
Brother vs. Brother for the Super Bowl. Enjoy the games.