Championship Game Preview
We've finally reached the end of the AFC and NFC portion of the playoffs with the title games. After tomorrow, the Super Bowl match up will be set. Now it's time for final picks.
AFC Title Game:
No. 1 Denver Broncos over No. 2 New England Patriots
About: The smart money might be on the Patriots and Tom Brady. The Patriots are the team of the last two decades, and Brady is quite possibly the greatest quarterback of all time. In fact, I 've seen just about every "expert" pick the Patriots. I can understand that. It makes some rational sense. But football isn't always rational. I am picking Denver because they're my team. But I'm also picking Denver because I think they've got a good shot. Tom Brady is 2-6 lifetime in Denver, including 0-2 in the playoffs. A lot is made about Peyton Manning's record against the Patriots and Tom Brady, which is 5-11. He's also thrown 22 interceptions in those 16 games. However, 19 of those interceptions came prior to 2010. And, in AFC Championship Games, Manning is 2-1 against Belichick and Brady, including 1-0 as a Bronco after beating them in 2013. Brady also lost to Brock Osweiler earlier this season. Numbers never lie. Manning can't beat the Patriots in New England and Brady can't seem to beat the Broncos in Denver. We have a great defense, CJ Anderson is running strong, and I think Manning is wily enough to win this game. So I'm picking the Broncos.
NFC Title Game:
No. 1 Carolina Panthers over No. 2 Arizona Cardinals.
About: Again, you could make a strong case for the Cardinals. And I've gone back-and-forth on this game over the last week. In fact, prior to typing it, I wasn't totally sold I was picking the Panthers. But it's been like that for Carolina all year. I picked them to be 6-10 and miss the playoffs. I picked them to lose many times during the regular season, too. But all they've done is win. They went 15-1 this season and have looked dominate at home. Can the Cardinals win? Sure, I think they've got a shot. But I just don't feel like picking against the Panthers is the smart play. Cam Newton is playing like a man possessed, and sometimes that's all it takes in the Post Season.
Last Week: 4-0