NFL Picks: Will we get a Giants-Pats rematch?Published 8:24am Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The best weekend of the NFL is finally here – Conference Championship Sunday.
While the Super Bowl brings the glitz and glamor, the conference championship games are played in front of home crowds that can turn quite rabid and they always seem to deliver. You also have a full Sunday slate of two games instead of just one.
While the Super Bowl has delivered some gems as of late, it has also had its fair share of blowouts in the past.
Either way, I always love watching the conference championships – even if my Packers pathetically bowed out of the chase this year.
Here are the picks:
Baltimore at New England
This game is trickier than it seems. Just a couple years ago the Ravens went into New England and throttled the Patriots in a playoff game so they will not feel any fear while playing on the road.
The Patriots’ defense looked good against a Broncos offense that was one dimensional, but the Ravens have plenty of receivers who can go deep, which is the biggest weakness of the Pats’ secondary.
The Ravens bring a defense that features some heavy hitters in Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis and a ball hawk in Ed Reed. They’re not going to give up 40 points like the Broncos did.
However, that Ravens defense will have a tough time matching up with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez – both are fast and very physical. Tom Brady’s also coming off one of the best games of his career and I expect him to be on the money again.
Throw in one or two Joe Flacco interceptions and the Pats are headed back to the Bowl.
PATRIOTS 24, RAVENS 17
Every bone in my body tells me to pick the 49ers. Their defense is the best in the NFL and their offense showed it can put up 36 points in an incredible win over the Saints.
But there’s something about this Giants team. They didn’t play the most impressive game against the Packers, but they made Green Bay pay for every mistake it made and they made every big play in the game.
There’s something dangerous about a team that thinks it can’t lose and I think the Giants have reached that point.
GIANTS 17, 49ERS 14
Playoffs: 5-3; overall: 166-96