Content Official Users 01/18/2013
Man in Dailymotion: NFL Conference Championship Round 2013
Last week, I came very close to running the table again with my predictions but thanks to the Flacco Fling, Peyton Manning Double OT Pick, and Pete Frickin’ Carroll icing Matt Bryant, I ended up with a 2-2 record.
This week, 3 of the 4 teams that made the Conference Championships last year return for this year’s edition with the Giants being the odd team out. In their place are the #1 seed Atlanta Falcons who just narrowly escaped defeat by my NFC pick for the Super Bowl – the Seahawks.
Here’s my breakdown of the Conference title games along with predictions and some ‘visual aid’ of each host city’s tailgate scene thanks to Tailgate 32 (a docu series following 2 brothers as they tour the country in a 42-foot RV on a 25,000-mile nonstop trek).
SUNDAY, JANUARY 20TH, 2013
SAN FRAN - Colin Kaepernick shook off an early pick six to rush for a playoff record – surpassing the previous mark set by Michael Vick. Green Bay’s D isn’t exactly tough, so Atlanta should provide more of a challenge, but I still think they’ll have trouble with the pistol option. The Falcons gave up 445 yards to Russell Wilson and Kaepernick presents a similar style of play – maybe not as elusive but definitely faster. Many have said the key to San Fran’s success is better utilizing TE Vernon Davis. If they can establish the run (and the option) while mixing in some play-action to a number of receivers (Crabtree being the most targeted), they should advance to the Big Game.
ATLANTA – As I said, Russell Wilson gave them problems last week and it could get worse with the faster Kaepernick. They allow a lot of rushing yards per game and their own rushing attack has been lackluster. Michael Turner looked better last week and if they want a chance to win this week, he’ll need to continue the resurgence. Last week’s win was huge in terms of confidence and morale – it took some weight off their shoulders, now we get to see how they respond. Will it be a letdown or a boost? I say they compete but can’t overcome San Fran’s gameplan.
PREDICTION: SF – 27 , ATL – 23
BALTIMORE - I’m not gonna lie, I’ve gone back and forth on this game more times than I ever should. Baltimore’s regular season finish was uninspiring and foreboding. History has been against them in the playoffs. But the return of Ray Lewis has been humongoid. Joe Flacco has stepped up with some amazing throws and the team appears to have a ton of fight in them. Their offense can’t really compare with New England’s, yet they went blow for blow with Peyton’s MVP-fueled attack last week. However, the Patriots D has a different look and mentality this time around – the addition of Talib has fortified an unfairly criticized D. Belichick’s bend but don’t break strategy might come in handy against Baltimore’s deep threats by letting them have the shorter routes while taking away the verticals.
NEW ENGLAND – You could probably play the AFC Championship game with these two teams for the rest of time and wouldn’t hear many complaints from football fans. Many believe Baltimore should’ve gone to the Super Bowl last year, but, like I said, this is a different Pats team. Even without Gronk, the team scores more than 34 points a game with a wide range of weapons. I say keep an eye on Brandon Lloyd to play a big part in the outcome.
PREDICTION: BAL – 21, NE – 30
WRITTEN BY: Neal – the Editor & Content Manager of Dailymotion’s Sports Channel.
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