NFL Playoffs conference championship games preview

One idiot's predictions for Conference Championship Weekend

1/18/13 in NFL   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

Jan 12, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) runs the ball past Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Erik Walden (93) for a touchdown during the third quarter of the NFC divisional round playoff game at Candlestick Park.  Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsThe Divisional Round weekend is always the best weekend of the NFL season.

Last weekend was no exception.

The Ravens and Broncos kicked it off with an instant classic 2OT thriller.

Colin Kaepernick absolutely blew everyone's minds with one of the best QB performances of the year in Saturday's 2nd game.

The Falcons and Seahawks put on an incredibly show, with each team going on a big run, and then serious drama at the end.

The Patriots and Texans gave us a pretty anti-climactic ending, but was a nice pressure-free way to finish off the weekend and transition back into real life.

This weekend is Championship weekend, and there are a few great matchups. Let's check them out:

Blog Photo - NFL Playoffs conference championship games preview
Blog Photo - NFL Playoffs conference championship games preview
NFC Championship
49ers at Falcons
3:00 p.m. EST, on FOX

The two top seeds in the NFC made it to the end. The #1 Atlanta Falcons will host the #2 San Francisco 49ers in what should be a great game.

The 49ers are favored to win, and if Colin Kaepernick plays anything like he did last week, I'm not sure anyone can beat them.

Matt Ryan and the Falcons finally got the playoff monkey off their back, but now have much loftier goals.

The Falcons' running game came alive last week. Jacquizz Rodgers and Michael Turner combined for 162 yards on 24 carries. On top of that, Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White made some outstanding catches in big moments.

The Falcons did all that against a very good Seattle defense. Can they do it again on Sunday against the 49ers? There's a chance, for sure. But I'm not sure they can repeat that level of performance.

The 49ers are the better team, and they'll prove that on Sunday.

Prediction: 49ers 31, Falcons 20

Blog Photo - NFL Playoffs conference championship games previewAFC Championship
Ravens at Patriots
6:30 p.m. EST, on CBS

It's a rematch of last year's AFC Championship, but not many people were predicting that from the start. The Ravens are the surprise team here, after "upsetting" the Broncos in the divisional round. Their defense often gets rave reviews, but let's not forget that the Broncos hung 35 points on them in regulation.

Ray Lewis is having quite the time in his retirement run, but I'm afraid it's going to end here.

The Patriots lost to the Ravens in their previous meeting this year, but Bill Belichick is one of the best coaches of all time when it comes to making adjustments after a loss.

The Patriots offense is as well-rounded as it has ever been, and their running backs Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley combined for 123 rushing yards and 1 rushing TD apiece. Vereen also had 2 receiving touchdowns.

Tom Brady was simply Tom Brady against the Texans, with 3 TD and 0 INT and 344 yards.

Joe Flacco was excellent against the Broncos, exploiting Champ Bailey and their secondary numerous times with the deep ball. The Patriots have a very suspect secondary, but I doubt Belichick will leave his cornerbacks out on an island the way the Broncos did with Bailey early in the game.

Unfortunately for the Ravens, I see this one finishing similar to last year's version.

Prediction: Patriots 27, Ravens 23

Like my picks? Hate them? Let us know in the comments below.
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1/20/13   |   JenX63   |   32776 respect

Niners/Falcons game hard to call. Both Defenses have had their mini implosions this year. I see some one winning by a field goal.

1/19/13   |   Nebraska4life

Same Falcon's, same results.  Only by sheer luck did they not lose last week.  They don't change year to year. They think they can win with what they have and can't.  Starting at the coach, yay you can win regular season games in that weak division good job, win something when it counts.  Matt Ryan, had hopes he was going to be a special QB but turned out so far as only normal.  They won't run against the 49'ers, forcing Romo Jr to pass and that spells bad news for Falcon fans.  49'ers in a rout.

1/18/13   |   huskerdoug2009   |   2790 respect

I will be rooting for Falcons and Patriots to play in Super Bowl.  I am kind of upset with all the coverage of Armstrong and Te'o only because I would like to haer more people tell me why Atlanta seems to get less respect as a #1 seed in the playoffs than I can remember any team in history getting.  So having Colin Kaepernick and a defense that still gave up 31 points last week makes them that much of a threat to beat the Falcons on road?  I think Falcons are better than Green Bay on defense and are close to if not even a little bit better than them on offense since Michael Turner/Jaquizz Rogers are 200% better than anything Packers have running the ball.