And then there were four. After two weeks of playoff football, the NFL season is down to just four teams. The Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, and Atlanta Falcons are the lone remaining teams in contention, vying for the ultimate honor of being crowned Super Bowl Champions. First, though, they face the difficult task of playing in their respective conference championship, which, often times, has proven to be a bigger test than the Super Bowl itself.
Last week was a harsh reminder for us here at FFTS why we are fans and NOT experts. Our predictions were under par for the week, but we once again feel confident about our picks for the conference championship games this weekend.
Chad – Divisional Round Record: 1-3, Overall Playoff Record: 4-4
Zane – Divisional Round Record: 1-3, Overall Playoff Record: 3-5
Here are our picks for this weekend’s AFC and NFC Championship games:
[box_dark] AFC Championship – Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots [/box_dark]
Chad – This is, of course a rematch of last year’s AFC title game…which the Ravens should have won. They will not be intimated by the Patriots, and as motivated and emotional as this team has been since Ray Lewis announced his retirement, this one should go down to the wire. But I’ll take my chances with Tom Brady over Joe Flacco. Predicted Winner – Patriots
Zane – While New England has not had success in past postseasons when it comes to winning the big game, they have still managed a way to be there on Super Sunday and I think this year will be no different. New England still has Brady and Belichick, they are at home, and Baltimore needed a blown coverage assignment to get this far. While I do see this being a close game like last year, in the end, Brady > Flacco. Predicted Winner – Patriots
[box_dark] NFC Championship – San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons [/box_dark]
Chad – Many people picked against both of these teams last week in the Divisional Round, and both put forth impressive performances on their way to this weekend’s matchup. Atlanta finally proved they can show up in the playoffs, even after blowing a huge fourth quarter lead against the Seattle Seahawks. Matt Ryan & Co. took a big step forward this year, but their defense did struggle against a Russell Wilson last week. Imagine what Colin Kapernik and the rest of the 49ers’ offense can do. Predicted Winner – 49ers
Zane – The NFC matchup features a 49ers team that has a lot of momentum on their side, while Atlanta has holding on for their playoff lives at the end of their win over Seattle. Kapernik has added a new threat to the offense and their defense has the ability to shut a team down. The Falcons used up their playoff magic last week and will fall short of a Super Bowl birth. Predicted Winner – 49ers
Be sure to check back here to FFTS after the games on Sunday to see how we faired with our predictions!