Well so much for my prediction of a Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl. As you probably know by now, both those teams lost this past Saturday and Sunday. The Baltimore Ravens beat the Broncos 38-35 in OT at mile high and the Atlanta Falcons edged their way past Seattle by a score of 30-28 in Hot-lanta. The other two teams to advance were the New England Patriots who defeated Houston 41-28 and the San Francisco 49ers who beat Green Bay 45-31.
With that, here’s a look at the AFC and NFC Championship games, and My New Predictions:
AFC: New England Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens:
Tom Brady and Joe Flacco meet up in the AFC Championship game for round two of what is sure to be a great grudge match between these two squads. If you find yourself feeling a sense of Deja Vu’ this Sunday, that’s because these two teams met up in last year’s AFC Champ showdown. The Ravens though are hoping this Sunday is anything but a re-run of last year’s finish, which left them a few plays away from reaching Super Bowl XLVI.
Meanwhile, the Pats will be trying to return to the Super Bowl once more to avenge last year’s loss to the New York Giants and capture their first Lombardi Trophy since 2005. The Patriots will also have to try and beat Baltimore without the help of Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski. Gronk suffered an injury to his forearm in last Sunday’s win over Houston and will miss the remainder of the post-season.
My Prediction: Despite missing a big-time weapon like Gronk, I feel as though the Pats can outlast the Ravens in a great showdown between Brady and Flacco. Though on a sad note, it will be tough to watch knowing it could likely be NFL linebacker great Ray Lewis’ last NFL game. Nevertheless, New England wins 24-21 edging Baltimore out again and returning to their second straight Super Bowl.
NFC: Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers:
This matchup will be a slightly different grudge match between these two teams. On one side you have San Francisco who like Baltimore were a few plays away from last years Super Bowl when they lost to the Giants in OT by a field goal. So, like Baltimore, the 49ers will look to avoid the same fate twice against 1st seeded Atlanta.
On the other hand, the Falcons want to prove their the same team who started the season 8-0 and finished the season tied for he NFL’s best record with the Denver Broncos at 13-3. Atlanta will look to avoid another fruitless post-season and return to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1998 (where the Falcons lost the then defending Denver Broncos 34-19).
My Prediction: This game will ultimately come down to one key factor that has been absent throughout this year’s playoffs…DEFENSE. The Falcons arguably sport one of the top QB’s in the league with Matt Ryan behind center. Ryan can light up a scoreboard and uses his weapons on offense like a General on the battlefield.
Meanwhile, the 49ers, have an X-factor at QB…Colin Kaepernick. He put up a stat line against Green Bay that was like something straight out of a Madden game: 444 total yards of offense with 4TDS (2 passing, 2 rushing) that’s 263 passing yards and 181 rushing yards (the most ever by a QB in a playoff game).
With that said, whichever defense can hault the others QB first wins this battle. I give this one to San Fran as Patrick Willis and Co. find away to stop Matt Ryan and the Falcons at home. 49ers win 31-21 as Kaepernick does it again with 276yds passing for 2TDS and 77yds rushing and 1 rushing TD.
Super Bowl XLVII: New England Patriots vs. San Francisco 49ers:
On the games biggest stage two storied franchises collide in a Super Bowl for the ages. In what will be a grueling back and forth battle in the Superdome of New Orleans, I have the Patriots edging out the 49ers 28-24 as the Pats capture their first Super Bowl title since 2005. Tom Brady wins SB MVP.
Final Thoughts: We’ll see how it all plays out this Sunday. Until then, what do you think will happen in the Championship games? Who do you have winning Super Bowl XLVII? Leave a comment.