Sunday, January 22, 2012

NFL picks for Conference Championships

We haven't exactly been "on the ball" with posts lately. The holidays and then a brief sabbatical to Arkansas to disrupt some migratory bird patterns kept us from really posting any picks until now. Of course, given our results for Week 17, maybe we needed to take a couple of plays off. We did give some Divisional Round picks via Twitter, so those are reflected below.

But we're rested, rejuvenated and ready to go.

On to the picks:

PATS (-7) v. Ravens
A week after vanquishing Our QB & Savior Tim Tebow, Tom "Goldilocks" Brady and the Pats have just one thing between them and a potential grudge re-match versus Eli Manning and the New York Football Giants...the team that ended the Pats dream run towards a perfect season almost 3 years ago.

So with that kind of destiny staring them in the face, the Pats will host a Baltimore team led by Ray Lewis, who has to know he is enjoying his last walk in the playoff sun. Lewis, who has watched his speed be ravaged by father time, and Ed Reed, who has watched has been sped into that same Lewis-ville thanks to injury, have to know this is probably it for them. This Ravens team isn't getting any younger. They are not the defense they were just 3 years ago. And Ozzie Newsome is close to having to having to start rebuilding the one thing that has been a constant for this team over the past 15 years: the defense. The Ravens have their own date with destiny though. Their coach could possibly face off against his own brother in a game which will played in...wait for it...Indianapolis. Yes...the "old Colts" could return to the city the "new Colts" fled to and exact a measure of revenge for old school Baltimore over the Irsays.

What's gonna happen? This game is going to come down to how well Reed and Lewis can defend NE's Tight Ends: Hernandez and Gronkowski. Belichek has used these two versatile guys to transform the Patriots offense and quite frankly, as the Pats offense has rolled the past two months, no one has held an answer for these two guys. Just 3 years ago, we would have at least bet on Ray-Ray and Ed to be able to shut down these guys. Not now.

BTPC pick = Pats giving the 7.

Giants (+2.5) v. NINERS
The Niners continue their "Nobody believes in Us" run by hosting the Giants, who has a coach who would love to be able to use the same motivation, but whose players have simply been brimming (and, apparently, justifiably so) with confidence every round they've played. Talk about story lines for this game...we're gonna know by kickoff if one Harbaugh Brother is in the big game. Think that storyline will get driven into the ground in the pregame comments? Maybe? Then you've got the "reclamation of Alex Smith" storyline. And the "Can Eli actually go to his brother's house and become the best Manning QB of all-time" storyline.

This is one of those game where you look for the hot team with the hot QB and you take them. But in this case, both teams are hot and have hot QBs. Well...when that happens, you take the one getting the points.

BTPC pick = Giants getting 2.5

Week 17: 4-10=2 Upset Specials: 0-0
2011 Regular Season Record: 116-114-11 Upset Special: 9-7-1
2011 Playoff record 2-2 (didn't pick until Divisional Round)
Career to date: 384-360-29

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