The Divisional round was not the greatest for my predictions but this week is arguably the best football weekend of the year. Championship Sunday could be even better than the Super Bowl in terms of entertainment value. When you consider that you get two games back to back of teams fighting it out for a chance to play in the Super Bowl.
Divisional round results:
Straight up: 2-2, Playoffs: 6-2
Against the Spread: 1-3, Playoffs: 3-5
49ers 26 Falcons (+4.5) 21: Matt Ryan and the Falcons finally got their playoff victory out of the way, but now a daunting task is in their way to New Orleans. The 49ers came out last week and flat out dominated the Packers who many including myself thought would represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Colin Kaepernick at quarterback makes this team even more dangerous with his arm let alone the scrambling ability he showed off last week. One thing the Falcons must do is keep it close as coming back against this daunting 49ers defense is not an easy task. For the 49ers, look for them to try and get Vernon Davis involved this week. Davis hasn’t seen many targets since Kaepernick took over but Zach Miller’s performance against the Falcons shows potential for a huge game is there.
Ravens 23 Patriots (-9.5) 28: Joe Flacco has already knocked off Peyton Manning in an incredible fashion this postseason. Can Tom Brady be next? Flacco does have the knack for stepping up in big games and the Patriots pass defense can be beat. Unfortunately, the same can also be said about the Ravens secondary and Tom Brady doesn’t let a mismatch go to waste. In order to win, the Ravens need to put pressure on Brady early and often to get in his head and force possible mistakes. On offense, look for the Ravens to also run the ball early and often with Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce to keep Brady and the Patriots off the field. Like last year, look for this one to come down to the very end in what could end up being Ray Lewis’ last game.