Conference Championships Match-ups
Baltimore Ravens Vs. New England Patriots
They say that defense wins championships. They also say running the ball wins championships. In both these areas the Ravens have a decided edge over the Patriots. In last years’ playoffs the Jets laid out the blueprint to shut down Tom Brady and the NE air attack. Baltimore has better players at key positions on D than the Jets and look for them to replicate that blueprint.
Baltimore will ground and pound the football to keep Brady and his receiving targets off the field. We expect the Ravens to throw more on first down on the first play of new series and then run the ball on subsequent plays. We expect Baltimore to occasionally to take a shot down field to their young WR playmaker Smith while mixing in passes underneath coverage to Boldin. NE’s defense won’t get into Baltimore’s QB Flacco’s head like the Texans did. Called out earlier in the week by his own teammate S Ed Reed we expect Flacco to step up and execute the game plan laid out for him.
New England will counter on offense with quick short strikes to Welker and their dynamic Tight Ends Gronkowski and Hernandez. Baltimore will pressure Brady into making quick throws thereby not allowing the time necessary for his targets to gain separation from the defending players. Without a run game to keep Baltimore honest, the Patriots will not march up and down field. The one factor that could tilt the game in the Patriots favor is the officials. If the officials call a tight game it could lead to several defensive holding and P.I. calls against Ravens. In the end, we believe too much Ray Rice, Ed Reed and Ray Lewis as the Ravens emerge victorious 24 – 20.
New York Giants vs. New England Patriots
In the later game on Sunday, it will be a match up of two stellar defenses. We believe the defenses will play to a drawer so the game comes down to special teams and offenses. We give the edge to the 49ers when it comes to special teams and big edge to the Giants on offense. The difference in the game comes down to turnovers. The 49ers did a great job of protecting the ball this year while Eli Manning for the Giants was prone to turnovers. However, in the biggest game of his career, 49ers Alex Smith commits more turnovers than Eli and the Giants offense capitalizes on the mistakes in the slop in San Francisco. Final Score: Giants 27 49ers 19
What do you think? Do you see a different outcome? Tell us why.