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The Last Quatro- Of the NFL

The Last Quatro.  I was going to use the Final Four, but was afraid the NCAA would sue me for millions.   I have no BLOG proof, but when the playoffs began I had a strong feeling that the Giants would be playing the Ravens in the Super Bowl.  So far, I am on track.  Eli Manning is going to win the NFL MVP (hot sports opinion) and the Ravens seem to have one more shot before a lot of their key players get too old or move on (talking to you Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs).  Here is what I see happening this weekend:

AFC Championship

Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots– Tom Brady threw for six touchdowns against Denver…that is nuts.  Throw in the added dimension of Aaron Hernandez (hope he’s healthy) running the ball, the Patriots offense is even more dynamic than it has been all season.  Rob Gronkowski has had an unbelievable breakout season, but I do believe the Ravens will be able to cover him with athletic linebackers and heady safeties, so watch for Wes Welker to shine this week.   The Patriots defense only gave up 10 points to Tim Tebow and the Broncos, which has reduced a lot of talk about this Patriot D, but it shouldn’t.  This defense is beatable, and will be challenged by Ray Rice who torched the Pats back in 09.  The Ravens defense is still one of the best in the league, but again, aging and will have to face one of the best QB’s of the modern era.  Ray Rice is a top three NFL running back, and should be able to find some holes against a questionable defense.  I’m not sure what is in Joe Flacco’s mind, but according to Ed Reed he is rattled…we shall see.  Is it Brady’s time again, or does Baltimore have enough to make it to their first Super Bowl since 2000?  I gotta go with what I said earlier in the playoffs….
My Pick:   Baltimore 27  Patriots 24

NFC Championship

New York Giants vs. San Francisco Giants- What is this…1988?  Feels like it.  The Giants are the hottest team still in the playoffs, and are rallying behind a terrifying defensive line and great QB play.  Hmm, sounds like the 80’s to me.  Eli Manning has been great.  He out-played everyone’s favorite Aaron Rodgers last week, and against Atlanta he shredded the defense for another 3 td’s and nearly 300 yards.  He just might win the NFL MVP, which would not be a bad choice.  While the Giants do rely on Manning’s ability to move the ball, they will have to establish SOME kind of running game just to keep the 49ers aggressive defense honest.  I’m talking to you Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs.  The 49ers are a surprise to me.  I have to be honest, I didn’t think they would win last week against the Saints.  Alex Smith has been the butt of a lot of jokes, but it isn’t his fault he has had about seven different coordinators during his career.  Last weekend, Smith played like a legitimate quarterback and used his favorite target, Vernon Davis the way he should…a lot.  If Smith keeps up the stellar play, this game will be close.  If the San Fran offensive line can keep Smith upright, it will be close, but the Giants defense has been playing well.  This will be a tough, physical game.
My Pick:  New York 23  San Francisco 20 

 

Oh, lets see what “Little Jim Mora” thinks about this one:

 

 

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