One Game Away People! One Game Away!

This last football weekend was crazy! I went 2 for 4 on my predictions, which means I failed! 50% is not so good.

What was the deal with the dang Packers? I really thought they would go out there and beat Harbaugh, but they didn’t! They lost 45-31. It was a high scoring game and both QBs had pretty similar stats. The difference being Kaepernick ran around Green Bay’s defense like he was invisible or something. Maybe they were sleeping? He had 181 yards rushing! How does that happen?!? Green Bay handled the Vikings pretty handedly the week before and the 49ers aren’t all that different of a team. A mobile QB is a mobile QB; your defense should be able to shut that crap down. Anyway, the Packers lost and the 49ers are playing the Falcons in the NFC Championship in Atlanta on Sunday at 3 pm ET. This is the 2nd year in a row the 49ers have made it to the championship. Last year they lost to the Giants (gag!). The 49ers made some mistakes in that game and turned the ball over at some key points in the game. The 49ers need to control the ball and have a back up plan in case Atlanta’s defense shows up and stops Kaepernick’s run game.

The Atlanta Seattle game was crazy!! I hope you all got a chance to watch it; it was one of the most thrilling games I’ve seen in awhile. I’m from Washington so I have A LOT of friends and family who were very invested in this game. My Facebook and phone were blowing up! At one point Atlanta had a 20-point lead; Seattle was in fact scoreless at half. The Seahawks are a big time 2nd half team. That is when they produce. Seattle ended up ahead by 1 when Marshawn Lynch rushed for a TD with 31 seconds left. Everybody thought the game was over and Seattle would be on to the NFC Championship for a rematch against the 49ers. It was not to be though. Atlanta got the ball and completed some decent passes and with 8 seconds left Matt Bryant kicked a 49 yard field goal to lift the Falcons over the Seahawks by 2 points, final score was 30-28. Something really funny was that Carroll iced the kicker. He called a time out and Bryant kicked the field goal figuring he had a freebie and he missed it! Then Carroll tried to say he didn’t in fact call a time out. They have him on replay calling the time out! I felt bad for the Seahawks and the 12th Man, they had a great season and made it pretty dang far. My poor son, who is a Seahawks fan, cried after the game. It’s hard to lose this close to the Big Game. They’ll be back next year though and my guess is that they have another stellar season ahead of them. Atlanta will host the 49ers for the NFC Championship. I can tell you this, if Atlanta plays the 49ers like they did Seattle, they will lose. The Seahawks and the 49ers are similar. Their QBs are mobile and are good at it. The 49ers rely on their running game just like the Seahawks. In fact, the Seahawks embarrassed the 49ers when they played them. I recommend watching that game and making sure your run defense surpasses all expectations, you are going to need it. If Atlanta can force Kaepernick to throw and neutralize his running then I believe they have a good chance at moving on to the Big Game. Kaepernick isn’t the best passer out there; it would be a definite blow to the 49ers offense if Kaepernick weren’t able to run the ball. We’ll just have to see what happens on Sunday.

There was a bit of a shock in the AFC when the Ravens beat the Broncos. It wasn’t a complete upset, but I think plenty of people were surprised. Everybody expected the Broncos to host the AFC Championship at Mile High. The Broncos looked as if they were going to blow the Ravens out in the beginning of the game. Then the Ravens found their stride and it was score for score. It looked like the Broncos had the game sewn up until Joe Flacco threw a 70-yard TD pass to Jacoby Jones to tie the game up with 31 seconds left of regulation. The Broncos had 3 timeouts and 31 seconds, but they decided to kneel the ball and go into overtime. 1st quarter of OT was uneventful as they played punt the ball. Then in the 2nd overtime Peyton Manning threw an interception that will probably haunt him and Bronco nation for a long time. The interception ended in a 47-yard field goal by Justin Tucker that lifted the Ravens over the Broncos 38-35. The Ravens travel to Foxboro to take on the Patriots in the AFC Championship. This is Ray Lewis’ last season and he is trying to make it to the Big Game. They’ll have to go through the Patriots for that to happen. The Ravens and Patriots played each other in the AFC Championship last year and it was a really close game. One of the Ravens receivers dropped a pass in the last minute or so of the game that would have put them ahead and then Billy Cundiff kicked wide left and missed the tying field goal. I’m sure the Ravens are remembering that game and want retribution. The Ravens and pretty much every team out there knows how it works against the Patriots. If you get to Brady, you have a good chance at winning. Give Brady too much time and he will throw over you all the live long game. Pressure Pressure Pressure is the name of the game for the Ravens. They have to get Brady off his rhythm. He is the key and the Ravens know it. Flacco also has to preform better. Bert, I mean Flacco, hasn’t in my opinion been performing real well. Besides defense, the Ravens need to put points on the board and in order for that to happen Flacco needs to be at the top of his game. It’ll be exciting to watch (nerve wracking for me), game starts at 6:30 ET on Sunday.

Tom Brady broke Joe Montana’s postseason win record when the Patriots beat the Texans 41-28. He is now the winningest QB in postseason play with 17 wins. The Texans’ offense performed much better in this game than in the last match up between these two. Their defense performed about the same since the Pats scored about the same amount of points. The Patriots suffered a big loss when Gronkowski broke his forearm. The tight end broke his forearm and had surgery almost 2 months ago, it is reported that the break is actually in a different spot, but one thing remains clear. Gronk is out for the rest of the post season. Danny Woodhead also suffered an injury to his wrist/hand, but it is reported that he may be ready for the AFC Championship against the Ravens. Schaub and Brady had 687 passing yards and 5 TDs between them and Schaub had an interception. Pats defense did a great job at neutralizing Arian Foster; they held him to 90 rushing yards. Shane Vereen had his best game of the season; he had 82 rushing yards, 41 receiving yards, a rushing TD, and 2 receiving TDs. It was a good game with hardly any turnovers. I think people were curious as to how this game was going to go down since the Pats trounced the Texans so badly in the last match up. The Patriots are hosting the Ravens for the AFC Championship in Foxboro. I described the last AFC Championship match-up above between these two teams so I’m to get right into what the Pats need to do to get to the Big Game. The O line needs to protect Brady. He needs time, if he has time they will score. Ball control will be a big one, no turnovers. The receivers and tight ends need to catch the ball when it’s thrown to them, the Pats don’t typically have this problem but they need to maximize every opportunity and that includes all passes. The defense needs to put pressure on Ray Rice and shut him down and they need to get pressure on Flacco and keep him from executing the big throws that ultimately cost the Broncos the game last weekend. If the Pats can do this, they’ll get to the Big Game for the second year in a row.

MY PREDICTIONS:

 ATLANTA OVER SAN FRAN

PATRIOTS OVER RAVENS.

 

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