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NFL Picks: Championship Weekend

Harbaugh Bowl? (Getty Images)

What we learned last weekend:

  • Not all 32 points are created the same. Did anyone else watch the 49ers-Saints game and come away utterly impressed with a defense that just gave up 32 points? I know I did.
  • The Giants are so good, they demolished the Packers despite countless calls going against them.
  • The Patriots looked so good Sunday that we forgot that they basically dominated a JV team who somehow beat a Steeler team decimated by injuries.
  • The Ravens are winning in spite of Joe Flacco and because of their ball-hawking defense.
  • The Texans are going to be REALLY, REALLY good next season with the pass rushing combination of J.J. Watt, Brooks Redd, and the returning Mario Williams.
  • The Packers added more fuel to the argument against resting your starters Week 17 if you have a first round bye. The Packers looked rusty all day, particularly Aaron Rodgers missing a couple of wide-open receivers.
  • It’s been well publicized but good for Vernon Davis and Alex Smith for stepping up in crunch time.

Can they repeat their performance Sunday afternoon against a game Giants team? On to the picks.

New York Giants @ San Francisco

The one defining moment I remember most vividly from the 49ers-Saints game wasn’t a tearful Vernon Davis but the hit Donte Whitner laid on Pierre Thomas at the 49ers two yard line. Whitner had been wrongfully called for a pass interference penalty against Jimmy Graham on a critical third down that would have forced the Saints to punt. On the play to Thomas, he looked almost certain to score a touchdown before he was stoned, cold, by Whitner. It was a statement play, they weren’t going to let the Saints offensive come to SF and have their way. The game was going to be played on the 49ers terms.

Back to the game at hand, I’ve flipped back and forth between the eventually winner all week, and I finally took a look back at the regular season battle between these two teams and left thinking one thing: the Giants will not be able to run the ball against the 49ers. The Giants will not be able to score in the red-zone and the 49ers have a huge home field advantage, definitely more so than had this game been played at MetLife Stadium. If this game were being played at a neutral site or at New York, I think the Giants win. But the thing is, it’s not, it’s in San Francisco, where the 49ers are really good and you know the crowd will be pumped up for their first NFC Championship game in forever. The 49ers win a close, defensive slugfest.

Upset Special

Baltimore @ New England

After the Ravens had beaten the Steelers for a second time, I anointed them the team to beat in the AFC. I’ve said all season that I don’t think the Patriots are good enough to win the Super Bowl because they lacked everything a team needs to win, besides a quarterback. For most of the season, they had no defense, they have no running game, their team is well… Tom Brady. And even though Tom Brady is quite possibly the best QB ever, one man can’t do it all. Then all of a sudden the Patriots play the Broncos and everyone leaves impressed with how well the Patriots defense played. I’m not buying it. Based on last week’s performances, the Patriots should win this game but as we know about the NFL, every week is different. The Ravens find a way to slow down Tom Brady and company and win to set up… an all Harbaugh Super Bowl, what a treat.

My Record:

Last Week: 4-0

Upset Special: 7-12

Overall: 176-88


About A Lee

I'm as happy as the Mets, Knicks, Lions, and Devils allow me to be.

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