Jan 22, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) points to the defense during the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens in the 2011 AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Ravens 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Every year 32 NFL teams enter the season with hopes of going all the way, they all start 0-0 and fight it out over 17 long weeks. Well there are now 4 teams left, 28 are done and looking onto next year. The four teams that remain are the Patriots, the 49ers, the Falcons, and the Ravens. For the most part these are 4 teams that were expected to make it this far, there are no real ‘Cinderella’ teams in this years conference championships. On Sunday night we will know who the two best teams in the league are and they will face off on Feb. 3rd in the Super Bowl. Now for the picks.
San Francisco vs. Atlanta 3:00 pm (FOX)
All week I have tried and tried to come up with a reason to go with Atlanta in this game, but I could not come up with any real solid reasons. The niners just look too good right now, the one aspect of that team that was missing was the quarterback, and right now it looks like they found one. Colin Kaepernick put in a record setting performance last week against the Packers, and he makes the niners offense extremely hard to defend. The niners are very good at running the football inside with Frank Gore, and Colin Kaepernick can bounce it outside. The Falcons run defense was not good this year as they ranked 21st in the league at stopping the run. The Falcons are very vulnerable up the middle, and I think the niners can exploit that. In my opinion the niners have the ability to slow down the Falcons offense. They have to put some pressure on Matt Ryan and don’t let the Falcons outside receivers to get behind them. I believe the niners have the players to do this and that is why they win this game and advance to the Super Bowl.
San Francisco 28 Atlanta 17
Baltimore vs. New England 6:30 pm (CBS)
In a rematch of last years AFC Championship the Patriots meet the Ravens it what looks like will be a very good game. On the Ravens side you have Ray Lewis, a future hall of famer who will be retiring at the end of the season. On the Pats side you have one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game in Tom Brady. These two teams met earlier in the season where the Ravens won 31-30 on a last second field goal. Whenever these two teams meet it is always a very entertaining game. The keys for the Ravens to win are simple, give the ball to Ray Rice to keep Brady off the field, and stop the run on defense. If they do those two things I would think they would be able to win the game. For the Patriots, they need to keep everything in front of them on defense, and be balanced offensively. If you get one dimensional against the Ravens defense then you will be in for a long night. When it is all said and done I believe the Pats will be able to run the ball with their three headed monster at running back, and for the most part keep Torrey Smith and company in check. This will be a very close and intense game but I see the Pats advancing to their second straight Super Bowl.
New England 28 Baltimore 24