Friday, January 18, 2013

Conference Championships

At the end of Sunday, two teams will be singing this song and two will not be singing that song.

Playoff Picks
Sean: 5-3
Jon: 5-3
Steve: 2-4

AFC Championship Game
*Note that all picks are against the spread not straight up

Patriots v. Ravens (-9)
Probably good? Probably good.
Sean: The Patriots looked really good last week, but they were also playing a team that can't throw deep and game planned for Gronkowski. The Ravens are better than the Texans and crazily actually have a better QB in Flacco. Throw in how familiar these two teams are with one another and this looks like a much closer game than 9 points. Tom Brady needs to be the asshole that ends Ray Lewis' career and I have no doubt that he will. Ravens to cover, Patriots to the ship.

Steve: Let's get one thing straight once and for all: the Ravens are NOT a better team than the Texans. And I think it's misguided to imply that Gronkowski getting injured was somehow a disadvantage for the Texans in that game. The fact is that the Patriots come into this game as the much better team. Their game earlier this year is indicative of almost nothing: it was a replacement refs game and both of these teams are playing pretty differently now. Joe Flacco is not a GD hero for having a decent game against the Broncos. I'm going Patriots by 10+ because the only reason the Patriots should lose is if they have one of their patented awful playoff games, like, for instance, last year against the Ravens in the AFC Championship game. F.

Jon: The Ravens are among the most offensively inconsistent teams in football, primarily because the vast majority of their passing game (which they've chosen to feature, in lieu of Ray Rice) is dependent on the long bomb (and defensive pass interference on those passes). The Patriots have a pretty good linebacking corps, but struggle to get pressure and don't have a great secondary so they should be pretty susceptible to the Ravens' attempts to go down-field. On the other side, the Patriots are relatively inconsistent considering this season's team was one of the best offenses in NFL history, but they'll definitely put up points on an injured Ravens team. The Patriots and Ravens always seem to play close games, and I expect this to be no different. Patriots win, but Ravens cover.


Falcons v. Niners (+4.5)

Sean: I truly have blacked out most of the Niners-Packers game and am fine with the loss because, you know, two years ago the Packers had me poppin' bottles. At the same time, Kapernick and Harbaugh suck and I hate San Francisco. This line is way too high for the Niners. The Niners are still the same freaking team that needed nearly 10 quarters to beat the Rams. The Georgia Dome is going to go crazy, the Dirty Birds are going to dance, and the Falcons are covering the spread.

Steve: The Falcons are not great. The 49ers look to be pretty great. Let's put it this way: the Falcons more or less tied the Seahawks, and the 49ers beat the Packers convincingly. The Niners of this week have a lot more to do with the Niners of last week than the Niners of early December. San Fran is gonna win.

Jon: I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to talk about it. Falcons nearly squandered an ideal start last week and needed a great last-second drive and a foolish kicker icing to win, and the 49ers handed the Packers their ass on a platter basically from start to finish. 49ers cover on Sunday.

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