Saturday, January 21, 2012

NFL Championship Weekend Predictions

Giants vs. 49ers
6:30pm (American Idol comes afterwards at 10pm!!!! lol)

Keys to the Game:
1. Eli Manning has thrown 3 touchdowns in his last two playoff games, Drew Brees got away with 4 touchdowns in last week's loss to the GMen

2. Alex Smith has a 96.75 QB rating vs. the blitz and threw 3 touchdowns of his own to keep up with the high-powered Saints offense.

3. The last quarterback to have 3 pass touchdowns and 1 rushing touchdown in a divisional matchup of the playoffs like Alex Smith did last week won a Super Bowl (Aaron Rodgers)

4. The Giants running tandem had 5 yards per rush last week vs. the worst rush defense in the league, they will be facing the best rush D in the league who only allows 3.49 yds per rush

5. Giants have 17 sacks in their last 4 games, Alex Smith was sacked 4 times last week

Who Has the Edge?
OK, let me be honest. None of those stats matter when it comes to my prediction, lol. This is going to a close game and could even go to overtime but I think the Giants will pull the upset. The Giants will be able to rush Alex Smith and pressure him enough not necessarily to throw picks but to stay stagnant throughout the game. The 49ers are going to need Frank Gore to stay on course with the Giants offense because Eli is going to play relentlessly trying to prove that he is an elite quarterback. It's a tossup for me just like all of the playoff games have been but I'm taking the upset.
FINAL SCORE: 49ers 35 Giants 42 F/OT (Giants shouldn't be too confident though, I picked the Saints over the 9ers last wk and that didn't work out too well, lol)

Ravens vs. Patriots

Keys to the Game: 
1. Ravens are undefeated when Ray Rice gets at least 20 total touches (21 carries for 60 yds. last week vs. Texans)

2. Patriots have not won a game this season against a winning team

3. With a win, Tom Brady passes Joe Montana and John Elway for most playoff wins by a quarterback while Joe Flacco would tie Tom Brady for most playoff wins in their first four seasons.

4. Ravens have only allowed 5 red zone touchdowns this season and the third fewest amount of receiving yards for tight ends in the league

5. In three games this season where Tom Brady played a top 5 defense, Brady has 7 touchdowns and zero interceptions, also when you rush 5 or more vs. Brady he has a better pass completion percentage

6. Ray Rice is the Ravens' 3rd leading receiver, as is Aaron Hernandez for the Patriots despite their main jobs respectively being to run the ball and block.

7. Vince Wilfork led the Pats D-Line in tackles this year with 74.

8.  No team has ever won a Super Bowl with a defense worse than 25th in the league, Patriots defense is 31st in the league behind the Packers while the Ravens are 3rd. (2009 Saints, 25th)

9. The Patriots defense is 15th in points allowed per game, basically in the middle of the league.

10. Joe Flacco is tied with Eli Manning and Mark Sanchez for the most playoff wins on the road.

Who Has The Edge?
As I said in THIS POST, if the Ravens want to win they need to:

  • Utilize Ray Rice as much as possible by giving him the rock. 
  • Win the turnovers battle by not committing any turnovers on offense and playing as physical as possible to cause turnovers on defense. 
  • Let Joe Flacco manage the game by extending plays and getting us 1st downs through short passes, then depending on the Pats pass defense, take risks with long balls, something he's very accurate at, doing all this while balancing the offense with runs.
  • Control time of possesion and keep Tom Brady off the field while keeping the ball on offense for at least 4 mins. per possesion.
 I'm too emotionally indebted to the Ravens and superstitious to come up with a final score, I just need a win on Sunday so we can inch one step closer to the Super Bowl!


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