NFL Championship Weekend Predictions: Patriots, Niners Advance

The NFL season is drawing to a close, as only three games remain in the 2013-14 season. The AFC and NFC Championships will be played tomorrow, as the Broncos, Patriots, Niners, and Seahawks all battle to advance to the Super Bowl. Both of these games will be extremely tight, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of them go to overtime.

Here are my predictions.

Jan 5, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) prior to the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers 23 Seattle Seahawks 20

This game was probably the hardest contest to pick all year long, and I honestly didn’t decide until about five minutes before I wrote this piece. On paper, the Niners are definitely the better overall team, but Seattle’s home-field advantage cancels that out. Ultimately, the Niners have the better front seven, the better receiving core, and the better quarterback. I think that will be enough to upset the Seahawks in Seattle. Frank Gore must have a good game, because if the Niners turn into a one dimensional offense, Seattle’s secondary will eat them alive. Staying balanced is something you have to do when playing the Seahawks, simply because they have a ridiculous defensive backfield. San Francisco’s front seven will rise to the occasion, contain Marshawn Lynch, and force Russell Wilson to win the game for them. I personally don’t think that Wilson has the ability to do this, and right now, I trust Kaepernick much more than I trust Wilson, even though Wilson will be at home.

Jan 11, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts after a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts in the first half during the 2013 AFC divisional playoff football game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots 31 Denver Broncos 28

Two of the best quarterbacks in the history of the NFL will share the field for the 15th time tomorrow, as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady attempt to advance to yet another Super Bowl. To me, the difference in this game will be the running game of the Pats. In past meetings, everything is on Brady and the passing game, and if he slips up, New England generally doesn’t win. But this year Brady can rely on a power running game, that is led by a dominating offensive line, and a trio of running backs that know how to get it done. Expect the Patriots to stick to the ground attack all game long, which will not only keep the ball away from Manning’s offense, but it will open up opportunities in the passing game as well. Brady’s receiving core is as healthy as it has been all year long, and I think they will find a lot of favorable matchups against a depleted Denver secondary. On defense, I am confident that the Pats secondary will be able to slow down Denver’s receivers, but the key will be the front seven. If they can get after Manning and limit Knowshon Moreno on the ground, they will win this game. Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich have to come up big, because we all know that blitzing quarterbacks like Peyton is not a good idea. Plus, when it is all said and done, Tom Brady is one of the best big game quarterbacks to ever walk this earth, while Manning tends to struggle in big postseason games.

Topics: AFC Championship, New England Patriots, NFC Championship, NFL Playoffs, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady

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  • http://sbpra.com/paulvsuffriti Paul V. Suffriti

    Yeah…I have the Niners also winning by a score of 23-20.
    I like the Pats in a high scoring game….41-34

    All four favorites won last week….at least one underdog will win Sunday but I like both dogs.

    • RayINLv

      3 out of 4 wins for me. I really do not like the Pats. Will never forget those years they won cheating.

      • http://sbpra.com/paulvsuffriti Paul V. Suffriti

        Get over it….every team in the NFL crossed the line at some point to gain an advantage in one way or another….the Pats got caught.

        • RayINLv

          That’s the wrong way to look at it. Cheating is wrong. Ruins the game, getting over it promotes the next instance. Patriots won SB cheating. They should take the game away, just like they took other awards away when cheating was found.

          Most of time it is an individual and drugs that you see. In this case it was a Team’s leadership.

          Money payment is not enough ….

          • http://sbpra.com/paulvsuffriti Paul V. Suffriti

            No…the Pats got caught cheating against the Jets during the regular season…..there is no proof they cheated in a SB….or do you know something the rest of us do not know?

      • Cyrus Geller

        Every team did it. Bill Cowher came out and said it. Pats just got caught.

  • DXW

    AFC

    Pats lose this one.

    Denver 42
    NE 28

    No way NE can cover all of Denver’s receivers AND stop their run game. Just not going to happen. Only way Pats win this one is if Denver comes out sloppy and makes mistakes. Denver’s “A” game is unstoppable.

    NFC

    I hope Seattle wins, but I think 49′ers pull it off.

    SF – 28
    SEA – 21

  • RayINLv

    Exactly the opposite of what I hope happens. Seattle vs Denver in Super Bowl would be great. Pete Carroll’s team getting the Ring would be even better. Vikes have invested too much in this Team to let it fail now.

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