I have to say, last weekend’s playoff games brought some surprises to the table. While the AFC games were fairly predictable, the NFC games brought thrill and shock to the football world. With both the Saints and Packers out of the picture, the Giants and 49ers are left to fight for the beloved NFC Super Bowl spot. On the AFC side of things, the Patriots and Ravens will be battling for a chance to contend for the Super Bowl. Here are the matchups for this weekend and my picks for both games.
Giants at 49ers: I really hate to doubt Eli Manning and the Giants after that impressive road dismantling of the previously 15-1 and unstoppable “discount double-check” Packers. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Giants will play a fantastic game this weekend. However, I am really impressed with the way that the whole 49ers squad handled the pressure this past weekend in coming back twice to beat the Saints. The coaching staff made one of the best calls in a while by calling for that 28-yard Alex Smith bootleg touchdown run to the left (major props to Staley for the block at the knees, click here to watch the play). Watch #74 (Staley) truck down the field to provide that wonderful block. Anyhow, this 49ers team has a good feel to them, and they have solid play all around. And who doesn’t love a great comeback story in the former #1 draft pick Alex Smith. That throw at the end of the game was unreal (click here to watch the game winning play). You can just tell that those guys love playing for Jim Harbaugh and are having the time of their lives.
Ravens at Patriots: This was a tough pick for me as well, because I’ve been picking the Ravens to make the Super Bowl on the AFC for quite some time. However, things change as games are played. Tom Brady looked like a man on the mission last week, and the tandem of Gronkowski and Hernandez is the most impressive tight end duo I’ve seen in a long, long time. On the other hand, the Ravens looked a bit iffy against the Texans. They do find ways to win ugly, but their offense isn’t clicking well enough to match points with the Patriots. Yes, defense may win championships; however, stopping the Patriots offense will be a tough task.
Enjoy the games!
By: Brandon Klein
(Photo by Charlie Lyons Pardue under a Creative Commons license)