Not much else to report on today, so I’ll jump right into playoff football. I got 2/4 of my predictions right this weekend, albeit by a fingernail, as it looked like the Seahawks were about to pull off one of the greatest comebacks in NFL postseason football, only to fall short by giving Atlanta too much time left to kick a game winning field goal. Ironically, Seattle would’ve been better off if Lynch’s TD was called short on the goal line, they would’ve been able to run the clock down further. I can’t help but feel a little cheated in the Broncos-Ravens game, the Ravens had no business winning that game; the Broncos gave the game away. The only game which really surprised me was Packers-49ers; I got that game completely wrong and the Niners really showed me something.
Onto the Conference Championship round of the NFL playoffs:
Ravens v Patriots:
So how does the saying go? “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice on me, fool me three times _______ “. I’ve picked against the Ravens every week so far this postseason, all because I wanted to see specific QB match-ups. I didn’t get to see Luck-Manning, and I won’t get to see Brady-Manning either. It seems that in his last season, Ray Lewis really wants to send a reminder to the NFL that defense wins championships. I know I said that without the NYG in the playoffs, the Pats seemed like a “team of destiny”. But the Patriots are actually only 3-3 in the postseason since they lost to the Giants in SB XLII. The teams they have lost to: The Giants (SB XLVI), The Jets, and The Ravens. If not for a missed FG in last year’s AFC championship game, that record would have been 2-3 with 2 losses to the Ravens. So now we have two teams of destiny playing one another. Tommy Terrific and the Pats see a clear path to the SB with no NYG to spoil their run. The Ravens want to send Mr. Raven Ray Lewis out with another SB ring and Lombardi Trophy on his H.O.F. resume.
Maybe it’s because I can’t think of a word to fill in that blank. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to be wrong about the same team (and a team I actually like a lot) 3 times in one postseason. Maybe it’s because I cannot stand the idea of Tom Brady having the most SB wins of any QB ever (and dislike the Patriots in general). Or maybe it’s because the Ravens are a better team, and are playing with house money after that improbable victory in double-OT last weekend. I had the Broncos going to the SB from the AFC, now I have the team that beat them going instead.
Predicted Winner: Ravens
49ers v Falcons:
I was wrong about the 49ers just like I was wrong about the Ravens; consider this my official apology to the whole Harbaugh family. Colin Kaepernick, in a record day on the ground for a QB, sliced up the Packers defense. The Falcons are a great team, arguably another “team of destiny”; Matty Ice finally broke his playoff losing streak, and future H.O.F.er Tony Gonzalez finally won his first postseason game in what is probably his last season as well.However, I just do not think the Falcons defense can contain Crabtree, Davis, Gore, Randy Moss (he’s got a big play in him this postseason), and Kaepernick. The 49ers defense, on the other hand, can stop anybody if they play well. That’s anybody: the Falcons, the Patriots, the Ravens, anybody. The Falcons almost gave away a 20 point lead in the second half of their divisional round playoff game versus the Seahawks and were lucky to escape with the win. The 49ers are similar but better than the Seahawks, and will beat the Falcons.
Predicted Winner: 49ers
So there you have it, I predict SB XLVII will feature the Baltimore Ravens v the San Francisco 49ers (Harbaugh-Bowl!). I seem to be leaning towards the 49ers to win it all, but I’ll hold off on that pick until the results are in from the next round of action.
Side note: Is there any term more overused in playoff football than “team of destiny”? I heard an announcer call the Seahawks a team of destiny during their comeback yesterday too; is whatever team happens to have momentum in any given playoff game at any given moment really a “team of destiny”? Football is about a lot of things, but destiny is not one of them.