NFL Conference Championship Picks + Review of Preseason Picks

     The Super Bowl is only two weeks away, but before we get there are two conference championship games tomorrow to decide who will play for it all on February 1st in Phoenix.  The interesting thing about these matchups is that both games are rematches of games earlier in the season.  

     In the first week of the season, the reigning Super Bowl champion Seahawks hosted and defeated the Green Bay Packers 36-16.  Then in week 11, Tom Brady’s Patriots went into Indianapolis to dominate Andrew Luck’s Colts 42-20 in Jonas Gray’s breakout game, where he rushed for 201 yards and 4 touchdowns, leading to him being a top fantasy waiver wire pickup before only rushing for 80 yards the rest of the season.
     Before I get into my picks for the Super Bowl, I’m going to first see how me and my dad’s preseason picks fared.  Before week 1 started, we podcasted and gave our predictions for the division winners along with Super Bowl predictions.  Additionally, if you didn’t know, you can find my podcast at this link: http://kiwi6.com/artists/TopLevelPodcast.
     AFC East:
     Me: Patriots
     Dad: Patriots
     Actual: Patriots
     AFC North:
     Me: Steelers (they did make the playoffs though)
     Dad: Bengals
     Actual: Bengals
     AFC South:
     Me: Colts
     Dad: Colts
     Actual: Colts
     AFC West:
     Me: Broncos
     Dad: Broncos
     Actual: Broncos
     NFC East:
     Me: Eagles
     Dad: Eagles
     Actual: Cowboys
     NFC North:
     Me: Packers
     Dad: Bears (at 5-11 easily our worst pick)
     Actual: Packers
     NFC South:  (I labeled this division a juggernaut in the podcast.  Oh boy was that wrong, although many expected every team to be pretty good, I was far from the only one.  Additionally, everyone’s surprise team to make the playoffs (the Bucs) currently hold the #1 pick).
     Me: Saints
     Dad: Saints
     Actual: Panthers 
     NFC West:
     Me: Seahawks
     Dad: 49ers
     Actual: Seahawks
     Overall:
     Me: 5/8
     Dad: 3/8
     Super Bowl Predictions:
     Me: Broncos over Saints
     Dad: Patriots over Eagles
     So it looks like I won the division picks, but my Super Bowl predictions definitely weren’t on point.  My dad and I both had a Super Bowl team that missed the playoffs, but at least our winners managed to have strong seasons although Peyton Manning fell short again.  My dad definitely has a strong chance of nailing the Super Bowl champion.
     Alright, so who do I have advancing to the Super Bowl?  Well, before the playoffs started I had the Patriots beating the Packers in the Super Bowl, and since they’ve both made it this far, I have to stick with them.  That’s just how I operate, I won’t change my picks until they’re out.
     Sure, the majority of people seem to believe that the Seahawks will advance to the Super Bowl for the second consecutive season, and there’s certainly good reason for that.  However, I do feel like if anyone is going to go into Seattle and win, it’s going to be the Packers.  They simply have so many offensive weapons that when matched up against the incredible Seahawks defense they may be able to produce the few big plays they’ll need to come out victorious.  Another reason I really like the Packers is that they led the league in turnover differential this season at +14.  As we all know, turnovers can drastically affect the outcome of a game, and they’ve been forcing on average one more turnover than they commit, which could give them a huge advantage if they’re aggressive defense can come up with some big plays.  Interestingly enough, the second best team in terms of turnover differential at +12 is the Patriots, my other pick to advance to the Super Bowl.
     I feel pretty comfortable overall with my Patriots pick, and I think that regardless of how good Andrew Luck may be, a lot of great quarterbacks just seem to fall apart when they go into New England.  The weather might have an impact on the game, and Andrew Luck does commit far too many turnovers for me to like the Colts chances.  Their offense will also be hurt by the lack of Trent Richardson in the game, who did not make the trip for personal reasons.  On offense, the Patriots have been absolutely rolling for the majority of the season, and averaged 37 points per game at home during the regular season.  Additionally, the Patriots just seem to be Andrew Luck’s kryptonite, as he is 0-3 against the Pats in his career thus far.  In my opinion, Tom Brady’s quest for a forth ring will continue on to February where he will try to win his first ring since the 2004-05 season (and he’s lucky the Giants aren’t there to stop him again).
     Well, those are my picks.  Regardless of the outcome, both games should be very enjoyable to watch, and I hope you all are as excited as I am to see who will play for the Lombardi trophy.  
     

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