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Sunday, January 15, 2012

3 out of 4 in the Divisional Round

And now there are only 4 teams remaining. I did pretty well having successfully chosen winners in 3 of the 4 games. My losing pick was the New Orleans Saints who lost 36 to 32 to the San Francisco 49ers in the very last minute of the game. The Saints were handicapped by an uncharacteristic 5 turnovers in the game. Were it not for this I figure the Saints would have won handily by a couple of touchdowns, but we can't just blame the Saints, we must credit the defense of the 49ers. They pressured Drew Brees all day long causing him to hurry his throws and make mistakes. The Saints ball carriers looked like wishbones with the 49ers defenders pulling at their extremities and the ball flying away. The Saints took the lead with a couple of minutes remaining, but the 49ers would not be denied as QB Alex Smith mustered enough offense to score the deciding touchdown in the final minute.

Tim Tebow's Denver Broncos fell in a humiliating defeat to the high powered Patriots, 45-10. I predicted a New England win but I thought it would have been a much more spirited game. I did not see it. I had it recorded but decided not to watch when I heard the score. Congrats Tom Brady. Better luck next year, Tim Tebow.

Good defense was more than the Houston Texans could stand as the Baltimore Ravens battled them to a 20-13 victory. It was hard fought and it wasn't pretty but the Ravens prevailed in the end and advance to the AFC Championship Game at New England.

It seemed as if the Green Bay Packers were at one point unstoppable.  Not so as Eli Manning and the New York Giants marched into Green Bay and went away with a convincing 37-20 win. I predicted this victory. The Giants defense has stepped up recently and certainly gave Aaron Rogers' offense all he wanted forcing 4 Packer turnovers. Eli Manning did not have much trouble against the Packers mediocre defense. The Giants win was no shock to me. The Giants are not the same team they were a month or two ago. They are peaking at just the right time.

So now for next weeks' predictions:

AFC Championship Game, Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots
Tom Brady and company won't enjoy a walk in the park as they did against the Broncos. The Ravens defense is tough, tough, tough. Nevertheless, the Patriot offense is extremely dangerous. Brady will hit enough big plays to give the Patriots a 10 point victory.

NFC Championship Game, New York Giants at San Francisco 49er 

The 49ers have a much better defense than the Packers. Eli Manning will be under a lot of pressure. On the flip side the Giants defense will give the 49ers much more trouble than did the Saints. I have a feeling it will be a war and a low to moderate scoring game with no team scoring more than 20 points. Alex Smith looks impressive but he doesn't quite have the experience and savvy of Eli Manning. I am going to predict a 3 point Giant victory and it may well happen in overtime.

So there you have it. Anyone want to argue?

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