So we’re down to Championship Weekend, the games that will send two teams to the Super Bowl in New York (well NJ but still…):
New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos – Patriots win 30-24
This one will be close from start to finish as neither Tom nor Peyton will allow the opponent to pull away. There will be more defense in this game than some people like to think, but both offenses will prevail. The Patriots will pound it on the ground from start to finish, seizing the lead early and refusing to give it up. Brady will make big throws that will move the chains and guide the team into the red zone, where Blount and Ridley will plow to the endzone. Manning will put up his numbers in this one as he almost always does. The Broncos do not have a single receiver for the Pats to lock down on like previous opponents this year, but Talib will shut down whoever he is matched up on, whether its Decker, Demaryius, etc. This one will come down to the secondary being able to stay with the rest of the receivers and keeping Julius Thomas from beating them. Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia will have to dial up the blitzes and disguise coverages to beat Peyton in this one.
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks – 49ers win 24-17
Another close game throughout. Both teams have elite defenses that can be seen as pretty much equal. Both teams can get pressure on the quarterback, the 49ers have the best linebackers in the game, and the Seahawks have the best secondary in the league. The offense that makes more explosive plays and converts in the red zone will win this game. The Seahawks offense does not have enough dynamic playmakers to beat the San Francisco defense. The 49ers will pack in against Lynch and try to force Russell Wilson to beat them with his arm, which he will be unable to do. Although the Seahawks will likely stifle Frank Gore and the 49ers rushing attack, Kaepernick, Crabtree, Boldin, and Davis are the types of playmakers that can beat this Seattle defense. I do not see the 12th man having much impact in this one.
This will send the Patriots and the 49ers to New York for the Super Bowl…