Tag Archives: championship sunday

2017 Season: Championship Sunday Preview

We have reached the penultimate week of the NFL season (unless you are counting the Pro Bowl, of course).  This means the end of the road for two Super Bowl hopefuls and also a dream come true for two winners.  The major story-line is, of course, that three of the four remaining teams have never won a Super Bowl and then we have the Patriots who are gunning for their sixth.  Who will win this weekend?  Here are my picks.

Sunday, January 21st, 3:05 e.t.

#3 Jacksonville Jaguars (12-6) @ #1 New England Patriots (14-3)

Everybody thought this was going to be the Steelers/Patriots rematch but the Jags went and threw a wrench in that plan by defeating Pittsburgh on the road for the second time this year.  They did it with some timely play from their defense and a good offense shouldered, primarily, by Leonard Fournette.  They are going to need a whole lot more of that if they hope to take the Patriots down this Sunday.  The Pats’ offense was on the field for far too long against the Titans and were really able to do what they wanted by tiring Tennessee out.  Jacksonville will need to generate pressure in order to have a chance.  If New England can protect Tom Brady then I have confidence that he can move the ball even against this Jaguars’ defense.  I think that the Jags will give the Patriots a game but in the end Tom Brady will be too much for their “D” to slow down.

New England 27, Jacksonville 20

Sunday, January 21st, 6:40 e.t.

#2 Minnesota Vikings (14-3) @ #1 Philadelphia Eagles (14-3)

This is the championship game that nobody thought they’d see, but let’s be honest, it does pit the two best teams in the conference by record.  The Vikings pulled off a miracle win with a 61 yard touchdown as time expired to defeat the Saints.  That is probably good news for the Eagles because I would not have liked their chances going against New Orleans with another veteran quarterback.  As crazy and heart-pounding as the Vikings’ finish was, Philly had one of their own stopping the Falcons four times with about a minute left in the game inside of the 10 yard line.  Philadelphia has a great defense at home and that is going to be what brings this team to the Super Bowl.  Nick Foles was able to convert some third and longs last week and that was encouraging after he couldn’t do that at all in his three previous games.  This is going to be a close defensive battle and I think that the Eagles will be able to generate enough pass rush on Case Keenum to make a difference in this contest.

Philadelphia 16, Minnesota 13

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2016 Season: Championship Round Preview

Championship Sunday, or the Final Four if you will.  The Packers and Falcons will do battle for their claim to the top spot in the NFC while the Steelers and Patriots square off in Foxboro for that same right in the AFC.  These are four very capable offenses so points could fly this weekend.  Here are my predictions.

Championship Sunday

Last Week: 3-1

Playoffs: 7-1

Sunday, January 22nd, 3:05 e.t.

#4 Green Bay Packers (12-6) @ #2 Atlanta Falcons (12-5)

The Packers and Falcons are two of the hottest offenses in the league right now and neither defense is all that great against the passing game.  Atlanta has had some good fortune lately against bad offenses making it seem like they’ve righted the ship but I don’t see them getting enough pressure on Aaron Rodgers to effect his game.  Despite injuries I see Green Bay going on to the Super Bowl continuing their hot streak.

Green Bay 33, Atlanta 30

Sunday, January 22nd, 6:40 e.t.

#4 Pittsburgh Steelers (13-5) @ New England Patriots (15-2)

The Steelers, much like Green Bay, have been on quite a roll lately but so have the Patriots.  New England is simply doing what it always does and that is taking care of business against weaker teams.  Pittsburgh is finding itself on offense and they have been strong running with LeVeon Bell lately.  Also, the Steelers have enough weapons on offense to expose the New England defense, something that some of the inferior teams with lesser quarterbacks may not have been able to do.  I see the Steelers taking the win and meeting Green Bay in the Super Bowl.

Pittsburgh 29, New England 25

Enjoy the two fantastic matchups this weekend.  I will be back on soon with my Super Bowl prediction!

Championship Sunday Diagnosis: Predictions for both games on Sunday (with final score predictions)

San Francisco 49ers @ Atlanta Falcons

As strange as this may sound, the Falcons have a lot to be confident about going into this game.  They ran the ball well against a team that had a good defense and Matt Ryan finally notched his first postseason victory.  Now it is time for him to go out and try for two in a row against the suddenly red-hot San Francisco 49ers.  Was what Colin Kaepernick did last Saturday merely lightning in a bottle, or is it the start of something special?  Sunday shall hold the answer to this query.  But before the Sunday extravaganza can go down, here is a prediction hot off the presses: Atlanta will not be able to run the ball as well against this stout 49ers front seven and the game will come down to Matt Ryan’s ability to throw the ball and the Falcon defense.  The bigger question mark has to lie with Mike Nolan’s unit who squandered a 20 point lead in the fourth quarter to a rookie QB.  Russell Wilson was able to make a lot happen with his legs and his arm.  Flip the page to one week later and the dirty birds find themselves faced with another youngster who can do the same thing.  Expect the Atlanta defensive coordinator to set up spies and QB contains to cut down on the amount of running from the legs of Kaepernick.  If the middle of the field is left open, it will most certainly be a mishap.  Luckily the Falcons have had the week to study what Colin did to Green Bay; maybe they will devise some kind of an answer to the mobility that could come out of the backfield.  After chaining up Marshawn Lynch last week, look for the NFC South Champs to try and do the same to Gore, who is a similar type of runner.  By the end of the game, the San Fran pass rush pressures Matt Ryan into a couple of bad decisions.  The 49ers should win this game with their defense as opposed to the route they took against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers the first time around.  San Fran should make its sixth appearance in the Super Bowl after a win down in Hot-lanta.

San Francisco 34, Atlanta 18

Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots

For the purposes of this prediction, last year’s Championship Game outcome will be discounted.  Anyways, the NFL was shocked to see the Ravens put Peyton Manning down up in the frigid air of Denver last Saturday in a double overtime thriller.  Perhaps a majority of people underestimated these guys who are playing their best football of the season when it counts the most.  The most encouraging thing to see is that the Baltimore defense has elevated its game after playing uncharacteristically poorly during the regular season.  That said, is it too much to ask for them to mess with Tom Brady’s game out in New England?  Well, they did it to Manning, so there is no reason that they cannot attempt to duplicate that performance and use it to send their team to the Super Bowl this week.  Obviously the Patriots present an entirely new hurdle for the Ravens to jump.  However, if there was any team that would have help them prepare for New England, it would be the Broncos.  Because of their exposure to the no-huddle offense in thin air, this team should be more ready to face the Pats in Foxboro.  The real key to this game will lie with the Baltimore defensive line.  Will the Ravens be able to put some pressure on Brady like they did to Manning in Denver?  It will be up to the likes of Terrell Suggs, Paul Kruger, Pernell McPhee, and Haloti Ngata to get in #12’s face and force him into some bad throws.  Getting pressure with a four-man rush is paramount because Tom will carve a defense up if they are blitzing (check Week 14 vs. Houston).  In the past, the teams that have always given the Patriots trouble were those who could create pressure with a four-man rush (i.e. the New York Giants, San Francisco, and Seattle).  If there is one team in the AFC that matches up well with New England, it is these Ravens.  Heck, the only loss the Pats took to an AFC opponent was against Baltimore in Week 3.  Look for John Harbaugh’s team to do enough in this game to send him to the Super Bowl where he will take on his little brother.  That’s right, the Har-Bowl is upon us!

Baltimore 24, New England 17