The NFL Divisional Playoff weekend was a bit underwhelming. But considering the conference championship matchups it produced, I’ll gladly take today’s two games in place of a mediocre divisional weekend.
Two games that feature opponents that know each other all too well.
It;s one of those rare years, when you look at the four teams left, you’d be plenty fine with any of the Super Bowl possibilities. I think the least desirable matchup could be Seattle-New England, but that’s not even close to a terrible game.
Here are my picks for what should be an outstanding championship
(Editor’s Note: If both games are blowouts, I’ll be incredibly pissed)
Brady vs. Manning could be a bit overplayed at this point (you think?) but who are we kidding, it’s the most desirable matchup year in and year out in the NFL because both quarterbacks are living legends.
The weather in Denver looks favorable to passing, but the running games and defense should be the difference. That and the fact that Denver choked away a huge lead back in November in Foxboro.
Crazy note: This is the first Patriots playoff road game since 2006?!
I think that could actually be a big factor. Not for Brady of course but he’s young receivers. Hostile environment, huge stakes, I’m not sure I trust them. Plus the Patriots have been depleted on defense and Denver’s offense is arguably the best in football. It’s incredible what the Patriots have done given all they’ve lost this year(Aaron Hernandez, Gronk, Jerod Mayo, Vince Wilfork) but I think their run stops in Denver.
Denver has key holes on defense (Von Miller Chris Harris) but there’s still enough there to give the Patriots offense trouble. Or at least slow down the suddenly potent running game.
Plus, I just don’t see how Peyton blows another opportunity at a second Super Bowl title. And he doesn’t want to let Brady and Belichick come into his house and beat him again.
Broncos 31- Patriots 17
I’m probably looking forward to watching this game more than Brady vs. Peyton. Both of these teams are so much fun to watch, even if they’re not high-flying and high scoring.
Plus anytime there’s a game at CenturyLink Field, no doubt the loudest and most hostile stadium in the NFL, I watch. What a fun atmosphere for football(unless you’re a visiting team).
With that said, I’m pretty sure the hostile crowd is the biggest hurdle for the 49ers who have been obliterated in their last two trips to Seattle.
If they can get past the crowd (third times the charm?) early in the game, I think its their’s to lose.
I just think the 49ers are more slightly complete than the Seahawks especially when it comes to the respective passing games.
I mean would you rather have Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis or Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse?
Plus the 49ers have the front seven to slow down Marshawn (Beastmode) Lynch and that terrific Seattle offensive line.
I know Colin Kaepernick has started slow in big playoff games before, but I think he’ll be ready for revenge in this one. Seattle has been the one place where he’s not looked like a starting-caliber quarterback. That and Russell Wilson just hasn’t been very good over the past five games. At least good enough to win a Super Bowl (Stats).
I’ve been down on the Seahawks this year mainly because I feel everyone crowned them too soon. Don’t get me wrong they’re a great team. I’m beyond jealous with that amazing secondary and homefield advantage.
But they are beatable at home as we learned when Arizona went up there on Dec. 22 and gave them their first home loss in two seasons. That may have been the must important result of the season. It sent a message to the rest of the league that it’s not a guaranteed loss when you head to the Pacific Northwest.
In in a close game, I don’t think they have enough weapons offensively to beat the 49ers and I’m not as high on Russell Wilson as everyone else, although I’m sure he’ll get better as he gets older.
49ers 23 Seahawks 16