Super Bowl XLVII Pick: San Francisco Has a Little More

February 1, 2013

As the countdown to Super Bowl XLVII reaches its final hours, fans of the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens are making their final arguments for why their team is better.

Players and coaches are putting the final touches on the game-plan they hope is the best one, or at least the winning one.

It is also the last pick of the NFL season, and everyone, including myself, is hopeful to go out on a winning note.

Conference Championship Picks:  1-1 (.500)

Playoffs Overall:  5-5 (.500)

Season Overall:  177-88-1

Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers

Why Baltimore Will Win?  Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco continues his strong play in the postseason.  Flacco has looked like the best quarterback in the NFL, a title he gave himself before the season.  Baltimore also manages to run a balanced attack against a great 49ers’ defense, with an emphasis on utilizing RB Ray Rice both running and receiving.   The Ravens’ defense, led by the retiring LB Ray Lewis, rises up to the challenge of stopping 49ers’ QB Colin Kaepernick, making him one-dimensional.

Why San Francisco Will Win?  The 49ers’ manage to do everything just a little better.  Baltimore’s defense makes a play, San Francisco follows with a bigger play.  Flacco manages a deep pass, Kaepernick follows with a big run.  Much like Baltimore, the 49ers’ effectively use RB Frank Gore to take pressure off of its young quarterback.  The young, athletic linebackers for San Francisco fly to the ball and limit the Ravens’ offense from moving the ball.  K David Akers steps up big and finally makes a clutch field goal.

Final Thoughts?  While on paper this game appears to be very even, San Francisco is just a little better.  San Francisco has a slightly more dynamic offense and a slightly more athletic defense.  The 49ers also have the coaching edge.  Both Jim and John Harbaugh are two of the top coaches in the NFL.  However, Jim might be willing to take a few more risks (and has the luxury to do so with the players he has), than John does.  Last, but not least, San Francisco just doesn’t lose Super Bowls (to be fair, Baltimore hasn’t either, but it has only been in one compared to San Francisco’s five.)

Final Score?  San Francisco 49ers 24, Baltimore Ravens 20


NFL Conference Championship Weekend Picks

January 18, 2013

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.

NFL Playoffs Divisional Round Picks

January 11, 2013

This could be considered Week 19 in the NFL, but it is more commonly known as the Divisional Round in the NFL Playoffs.

Last week’s picks saw a split, as the two upsets didn’t come through.

Last Week:  2-2 (.500)

Overall:  174-85-1 (.669)

Ravens vs. Broncos  (Going with the home, and better team.)

Packers vs. 49ers  (Playoff situation, even on the road, I trust Aaron Rodgers more.)

Seahawks vs. Falcons  (If Seattle can get past Atlanta, they might become the Super Bowl favorites out of the NFC.)

Texans vs. Patriots  (Just can’t go against Tom Brady in the playoffs.)

NFL Wild Card Weekend Picks

January 1, 2013

The NFL postseason is here at last.  Wild Card Weekend features a rematch from Week 17 and a battle of old and new.

The regular season finished on a high note, and the picks will keep coming.

Last Week:  12-4 (.750)

Overall:  172-83-1 (.672)

Bengals vs. Texans

Vikings vs. Packers  (What a great game last week, but with the game shifting to Lambeau Field, Green Bay gets the advantage.)

Colts vs. Ravens  (This year’s inspirational story continues.  Baltimore has been too inconsistent.)

Seahawks vs. Redskins  (Probably an upset pick, but Washington is hot, and Seattle struggles on the road.)

Week 16 NFL Picks

December 20, 2012

The NFL is on Saturday and Sunday this week to avoid conflicts with Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, hopefully the holiday season is as good to you, as it is to my picks.

Last week was great in the early games, but went downhill quick as soon as the 4 p.m. games started.

Last Week:  10-6 (.625)

Overall:  147-76-1 (.656)

Falcons vs. Lions  (What a disappointing season for the Lions this season.)

Saints vs. Cowboys  (It pains me to pick the Cowboys, because as soon as I jump on that bandwagon, they will disappoint.)

Titans vs. Packers

Colts vs. Chiefs

Bills vs. Dolphins

Chargers vs. Jets  (The thriller of a game to pick.  Second straight week of two teams who will have new head coaches.)

Redskins vs. Eagles

Bengals vs. Steelers  (I refuse to believe the Steelers are as bad as they have been playing.)

Rams vs. Buccaneers  (Two teams going in different directions at this point in the season.)

Raiders vs. Panthers

Patriots vs. Jaguars

Vikings vs. Texans

Browns vs. Broncos  (This one might be closer than people think.)

Bears vs. Cardinals

Giants vs. Ravens

49ers vs. Seahawks  (Seattle is hard to beat at home.)

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Week 15 NFL Picks

December 13, 2012

A good weekend of football ahead in the NFL for Week 15, but there are also a number of ‘stinkers,’ or teams looking to position themselves for the 2013 NFL Draft.

Last Week:  9-7  (.563)

Overall:  137-70-1  (.659)

Bengals vs. Eagles

Giants vs. Falcons  (Giants usually start playing well this time of the year, Falcons don’t look so good right now.)

Packers vs. Bears

Redskins vs. Browns

Vikings vs. Rams

Jaguars vs. Dolphins

Buccaneers vs. Saints

Broncos vs. Ravens  (I just do not trust the Ravens, very inconsistent.)

Colts vs. Texans

Seahawks vs. Bills

Lions vs. Cardinals

Panthers vs. Chargers

Steelers vs. Cowboys  (Look for Ben Roethlisberger to have a big game.)

Chiefs vs. Raiders

49ers vs. Patriots  (Brady and the Pats are hitting their stride right now.)

Jets vs. Titans

Week 14 NFL Picks PLUS Navy vs. Army

December 5, 2012

Not too bad of a week for Week 13 in the NFL, losing a couple of heart-breakers, and thankfully missing out on two teams tying, again.

Hopefully Week 14 proves to be a winner as well, with only one week picking below-.500 this season.

Last Week:  11-5 (.688)

Overall:  128-63-1 (.667)

Broncos vs. Raiders  (It was tempting to take the upset, but Oakland isn’t very good, and the potential for a ‘trap’ game goes out the window.)

Rams vs. Bills

Cowboys vs. Bengals

Chiefs vs. Browns  (Win for the Browns would be three-in-a-row; let that sink in for a moment.)

Titans vs. Colts

Bears vs. Vikings

Chargers vs. Steelers (The Chargers are not a good football team.)

Eagles vs. Buccaneers

Ravens vs. Redskins  (How close this game is depends on which Joe Flacco shows up.)

Falcons vs. Panthers

Jets vs. Jaguars  (The most painful game possible to have to pick.  This should be a slam dunk, but this might end up being the most entertaining game of the weekend.)

Dolphins vs. 49ers

Saints vs. Giants  (If New Orleans could just stop an offense, they’d win another game or two.)

Cardinals vs. Seahawks

Lions vs. Packers

Texans vs. Patriots  (This is actually an upset pick; New England’s defense just not quite good enough to beat the Texans.)

And…instead of another whole post for one college football game, here is last week’s summary for college football, and the pick for one of America’s best rivalry games.

Last Week:  15-4 (.789)

Overall:  301-77 (.796)

Navy vs. Army  (Just not Army’s year.)