One final step until it’s time for the two week-long break to build up the Super Bowl. With only two games this week, there will be a little bit more analysis with the pick.
Last Week: 2-2 (.500)
Playoffs: 4-4 (.500)
Overall: 176-87-1 (.667)
NFC Championship: San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Why could San Francisco win? They keep the momentum rolling from last week’s win over Green Bay. The 49ers’ offense is running on all cylinders once the reins were taken off QB Colin Kaepernick. Plus, the 49ers’ defense isn’t that bad either. If there is no let down, this could be an easy win.
Why could Atlanta win? Atlanta could win based on the game being in the Georgia Dome, which brings a major home field advantage. QB Matt Ryan is more consistent than Kaepernick, but does not bring the big play threat that Kaepernick does. The Falcons also run the ball effectively to control the ball and wear down San Francisco’s defense.
The pick: San Francisco wins by at least a touchdown. What the 49ers did against Green Bay last week confirmed that Jim Harbaugh made the right choice in going to and sticking with Kaepernick. Somewhat due to injuries, Atlanta’s defense just does not have enough to stop the 49ers.
AFC Championship: Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots
Why could Baltimore win? The Ravens buy into the whole ‘win one in Ray Lewis’ final season’ hype. Baltimore’s offense does not abandon the run, like it seems they have the last few weeks. Joe Flacco also continues his development after last week’s statement game for the young quarterback. Ravens’ S Ed Reed makes several big plays to shut down Patriots’ QB Tom Brady.
Why could New England win? Brady is just too good. It is so hard to bet against him in playoff situations. Flacco follows the path of his career, of a breakthrough game followed by a disappointment. Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick is able to out-smart Baltimore, and dominates en route to another Super Bowl trip.
The pick: New England wins in a game that is close for awhile, but Brady and Belichick are just too good. The only difference is that this year’s game won’t come down to a field goal. The Patriots’ win by at least four points, and Ravens’ fans are left wondering what is the last piece of the puzzle to get past this round of the playoffs again.