Sunday, January 22, 2012

NFL Conference Championship Predictions

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
If Brady can find Gronk often and early, the Ravens don't stand a chance
against the top offense in the NFL.

Ravens vs. Patriots: 30-20 Patriots

The Ravens might have one of the best defenses in the league, but it's physically impossible to stop the three headed attack of Gronkowski, Hernandez, and Welker. Add to that attack, a future Hall of Fame quarterback, an experienced offensive line, and a decent running back, and you've got yourself a lethal offense.

Yes, I expect Suggs, Reed, and the Baltimore D to do better than the Broncos defense last week, but as long as the Patriots can put at least 28 on the scoreboard, game over.

Picking this game is as easy as this: Joe Flacco cannot compete with Tom Brady, it's not even close. As long as the Patriots can limit Ray Rice, this game will be piece of cake. Rice struggled last week against the Texans, and the Ravens only put up 20 points. The Patriots have scored in the 20's only four times this season, the rest in the 30's and 40's.

Next up is the head coaching battle. Yes, John Harbaugh deserves all the credit he is receiving, but Bill Belichick will go down as one of the greatest coaches of all time. He has proven himself, winning three Super Bowls last decade. Harbaugh can take a major step in his coaching career with a win over the Patriots, but I don't see it happening.

Giants vs. Niners: 27-23 Giants

Five weeks ago, how many of you readers would have predicted the Giants to be in the NFC Championship game, and have a great chance of going to the Super Bowl?

In these past five weeks, the Giants have transformed from a good team in the NFL, to an elite team, and are proving everyone wrong game after game. Remember when Eli was criticized for calling himself an elite quarterback? Looks like he was right after all.

The Giants are heading into this game wanting revenge. They lost to the Niners in Week 13, but weren't all full strength. They even would have won the game if it weren't for a drop by Mario Manningham.

Alex Smith may have burned the Saints last week, but now he has to go up against a much better defense, a defense that shut down the presumed MVP of the regular season last week. Both the Giants and 49ers have incredible front lines, so whoever wins that battle will win the game. Aldon and Justin Smith vs. JPP, Osi, and Tuck. Whoever gets to the quarterback more will win this game, it's as simple as that.

Like his brother, Jim Harbaugh has accomplished so much in just his first year as a head coach in the NFL, but his season will come to an end this week.

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