Random Thoughts on…The Conference Championships
It's NFL Conference Championship Week coming up. And for once, I believe, the four best teams in the NFL have made it to the penultimate stage of the season. First up at 3:00 on Sunday, the AFC Championship at Sports Authority Field in Denver. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning do battle once again with a berth in the Super Bowl on the line. The New England Patriots visit the Denver Broncos.
I think this game is more important to Denver, and especially Peyton Manning's legacy. For all of his greatness, he is only 10-11 in the playoffs. And has only one Super Bowl ring in two appearances compared to Tom Brady's three rings in five appearances. I think this is one of the five most important games of his career. He's had a tendency in the past to throw bad interceptions in key situations in the playoffs, see last year against Baltimore.
On the other hand, Tom Brady has come through in the clutch many times more that Manning has. And what he's doing with backup skill players on offense, and injuries on defense, is truly amazing this year. This also may be head coach Bill Belichick's best coaching job of his Hall of Fame career.
As for a pick, I know Denver is at home and their crowd will be wired, but I don't pick against Tom Brady in this situation despite the injuries and the fact they're on the road. I'll take New England to win the AFC Championship again, 27-21.
As for the NFC Championship, this will be the third time that arch-rivals San Francisco and Seattle will face each other. These are bitter rivals who genuinely hate other (you don't see real hate that much anymore). The two teams split their regular season meetings in the NFC West.
The San Francisco 49ers have won two straight on the road to get to the title game. QB Colin Kaepernick has been excellent, and their defense has been fierce as usual. Head Coach Jim Harbaugh will have his guys ready to play as they enter the cauldron that is CenturyLink Field.
The Seattle Seahawks on the other hand, have an even better defense than the Niners, IMO. And running back MarShawn Lynch was outstanding in last week's win over New Orleans. They also have a huge advantage playing at home in front of the loudest fans in the NFL. The 12th Man, as they're called, will be in full throat.
As for the pick, I'll take Seattle at home. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was below average against the Saints last week. He'll have to be better on Sunday, and I think he will. I just think the home field is too much for Frisco to overcome, I like Seattle 24-10.
It should be some great action on Sunday, and don't forget you can hear the Conference Championship games right here on The Game 730 AM WVFN beginning at 2:00 with the AFC title game, and then after that at 6:00 or so, the NFC Championship.
That's all for now, this is Brock Palmbos...signing off.