NFL Playoffs: Championship Round Predictions
Road to the Super Bowl
Sunday will be the final game of the season for two teams. The Atlanta Falcons seem to be the team that nobody is talking about. After a record setting day by San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, Baltimore Ravens LB Ray Lewis's constant retirement party and New England Patriots QB Tom Brady because he is Tom Brady, the Falcons seem to blend in with the background. QB Matt Ryan got his first playoff win, so he has no pressure. If I were the 49ers, I'd be very scared of a team that has nothing holding them back.
The Ravens barely squeezed a win out against the Denver Broncos. In my opinion, they had a lot of help from the officials. They missed calls for both teams, but none were as bad a a phantom pass interference call on Champ Bailey in the fourth quarter or the no call on an interception that was returned for a touchdown in the first quarter. It's over now and it's time to move on.
Most of the nation's attention will be on the late game between the Patriots and Ravens. Its got the essence of a playoff game and the reality TV show background that everybody loves these days. On one hand, you have Brady. Possibly the best quarterback to have in the playoffs in the history of the NFL and on the other, you have Lewis. The heart and soul of an old Ravens team that may be facing their last chance to win a Super Bowl for some time and the very last chance for Lewis.
Each team still alive showed us they can put up a lot of points if necessary, but which teams will show they can do it two weeks in a row? The season is on the line. There will be no blowouts or upsets. This is the playoffs, everybody has a chance. Here are my predictions for the Championship round of the 2013 NFL Playoffs.
Playoffs Prediction Record: 5-3
Follow Kase Brammer on Twitter @KBlive33
San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons had a cake schedule the entire year, but they showed they can beat a gritty team like the Seattle Seahawks, so the schedule argument is no longer available. They are playing a San Francisco team that really put a whoopin' on the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers know that the Falcons are going to want to throw the ball, but they also need to watch out for RB Michael Turner. He has a solid game last week. The Falcons need to watch out for QB Colin Kaepernick. As much as I dislike his playing style, he seems to have figured out how to win playing like a college quarterback. The Falcons need to keep him in the pocket and stay in their lanes while they are rushing the passer, or he will run on them all day.
Prediction: The 49ers defense is too much for Matt Ryan. 49ers 31, Falcons 27
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots
If there was a game of the week, this would be it. The Patriots seem to rotate who will be the star of the game outside of Tom Brady and Wes Welker. Last week it was Shane Vareen going for 124 total yards and three scores. The Ravens got one of their best games ever out of QB Joe Flacco. The Broncos terrible defense that day surely helped, but Flacco did not hesitate to take advantage of the situation. The Patriots secondary has some holes, so if the Ravens want to win the game they will need to run the ball first and open up deep passes down the field later in the game. Unfortunately, if Brady plays like himself, the Ravens are going to lose.
Prediction: The sign in Boston that is counting down the seconds until Ray Lewis's retirement is 100 percent correct. Ravens 31, Patriots 38