Wednesday, January 18, 2012

NFL Conference Championship Picks

Ravens @
Giants @


  • The latest reports are the Ravens should have Ed Reed for their game against the Patriots. They're probably going to need their defense at full strength to come away with a win, especially the way the Ravens' offense played against the Texans.

  • The Patriots are coming off their first playoff win in four years, and if their defense can play as well against the Ravens as they did against the Broncos, they should have a relatively easy time advancing to the Super Bowl.

  • Last Sunday, the Giants seemed to have the upper hand over the Packers for virtually the whole game. In spite of that, they were only leading by 7 points at the start of the 4th quarter (and that margin provided by what was basically a fluke touchdown).

    The Giants will likely need a lot better production from their offense to have a chance to beat the 49ers.

  • For the first 56 minutes, the 49ers offense had a very unimpressive performance against the Saints. Just two drives longer than 32 yards, and only 10 points off all those turnovers.

    But in the final 4 minutes of the game, Alex Smith managed to produce, by a good margin, the 49ers two best drives of the game. Both 80+ yards in length, and both ending in touchdowns. It will make it a lot easier for he 49ers to come away with a win if their offense can play more like those last 4 minutes, and less like the first 56.

  • Given the way the Giants and 49ers offenses both played last Sunday, it seems very likely that the winner of their matchup will be determined by which defense can win the turnover battle.