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I went 2-2 last weekend. Playoffs I'm 6 -2. Seattle had a comeback for the ages and I will give Atlanta credit for holding on and winning in the end, but the Seahawks are going to be tough next season. Denver...Peyton doesn't like the cold and his postseason record is now 9-11. He's great in the regular season and mediocre in the post.

The Packers apparently have all kinds of locker room issues. They have an all-world QB, but unless the Defense shows up...not much is going to happen. And then there are the Texans. They have an all-world defensive end and until they get a QB who can make plays...not going to happen. (Though getting Cushing back solves all kinds of linebacker issues.)

In other news...all coaching positions are filled. I think the Bears pick can be good, not sold on the Eagles at all. I feel for Bruce Arians going to Arizona already. He can be a wizard on offense, but no O-line means bad QB play.

On to the picks...

San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons

This could be a great game. The game is not an early start so the west coast to east coast thing should not be a factor. Colin Kaepernick has shown he can be dynamic. Matt Ryan has lived dangerously all year, but they Falcons have the best record for a reason.

The Niners have used their D all season to keep games close, but now they have an O that can explode at times. I've never been a solid Falcon guy and I'm not sure what getting over the hump last week - in a thrilling game - will do to them this week. What I do know is that I will jump for joy if the Niners advance to a 6th Super Bowl game.

Pick: 49ers

Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

Oh the rematch from last season and these teams don't like each other. The Ravens pulled off the miracle last week by beating Denver in double overtime. On a team that is as old as the Ravens, that was not good. But they have the emotion of Ray Lewis leaving and that can be very powerful. Flacco had a mediocre regular season, but has turned it on of late. We will see how many points the Ravens can put on the board.

Meanwhile the Sith continue to plot dominion over all the NFL. One of the Mandalorians went down - again - last week. The offense under Lord Brady has been something to behold recently. As much as I would love to call the upset - and I would love to call it - the Empire will advance to another Super Bowl appearance under Brady giving him a record six.

Pick: Patriots

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Comment Preferences

  •  I agree with your picks. (7+ / 0-)

    While I would love to see the Ravens take down the Patriots, and given the Denver game I don't put anything past them anymore, the Patriots just look way too strong to bet against.

    I think the Niners are going to beat the Falcons too as Kaepernick gets more comfortable playing playoff football.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:05:18 PM PST

    •  The games could be very good (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      volleyboy1, Kevskos

      but a few years ago, the Ravens went to Foxborough and kicked the crap out of the Pats. I don't see that happening again.

      The Spice must Flow!

      by Texdude50 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:03:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good grief. The Ravens kicked the crap out (5+ / 0-)

        of the Patriots earlier this season, and they outplayed them and should have won last year's championship game.

        You're right, those teams don't like each other, and Brady always has a hard time with the Baltimore D.

        Pick the Ravens.

        •  That D will be tired (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          volleyboy1, Odysseus, frankzappatista

          by the second half. They are already old, banged up, and played a TON of minutes against Manning last week. The 3rd Quarter could be a disaster for them.

          The Spice must Flow!

          by Texdude50 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:20:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Pats are robots, Borgs, cheaters. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The Ravens are Ray Lewis and Ray Rice and Ed Reed.

            This time, the good guys win.

          •  Ravens' D old? Bullshit. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It's a myth perpetuated by sportswriters too lazy to look beyond the two consensus-HOFers on the roster. Ray Lewis is old (37). Ed Reed is old (34). Otherwise the starters/main alternates on D are:

            Chykie Brown (CB) - 26
            Terrence Cody (NT) - 24
            Dannell Ellerbe (ILB) - 27
            Corey Graham (CB) - 27
            Arthur Jones (DE) - 26
            Ma'ake Kemoeatu (NT) - 34
            Paul Kruger (OLB) - 26
            Albert McClellan (ILB) - 26
            Pernell McPhee (DE) - 24
            Haloti Ngata (DT) - 28
            Bernard Pollard (SS) - 28
            Jimmy Smith (CB) - 24
            Terrell Suggs (OLB) - 30
            Courtney Upshaw (OLB) - 23
            Cary Williams (CB) - 28

            Also note that Lewis & Suggs have sat out multiple games during the regular season--due to injuries (now healed)-- which reduces the wear & tear on their bodies.

            Fiscal Bluff successfully called--now let's see 'em bet the limit on the Debt Limit so we can clean 'em out!

            by Uncle Cosmo on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 10:06:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I agee Niners and Pats (5+ / 0-)

    But I also admit to bias, I am a big 49ers fan and Brady grew up about four blocks from my house and is a home town hero.

    I think the 49ers need to get some touches to Vernon Davis and LaMichael James, two game breakers who haven't seen the ball very much.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:07:45 PM PST

  •  All that matters at this point (4+ / 0-)

    Is Patriots, Patriots, Patriots!

    by DAISHI on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:08:18 PM PST

    •  Bah. They're cheaters. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos, sandav
      •  enough of that BS (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        let's see evidence that you have that the Pats cheated to get where they are today. otherwise spare us the really stale insults.

        you don't like a team? fine. don't pretend it has to do with morality.

        •  What? You don't remember the cheating (0+ / 0-)

          episode? Or you just deny it?  Pick one.

          Just as Ed Reed is going to do at least one pick six on evil Brady.

          •  BTW did you read about the "in-game experience" (0+ / 0-)

            the Pats have installed as a pilot program for the rest of the league? Sent straight to your smartphone but only inside the stadium. Next year it's spozeta include "the actual audio communication between the benches & their QBs (with a 15 second delay)."

            How much you wanna bet Belicheat is already beta-testing that feature--& having it sent straight to his DC's headphones without the delay?

            Fiscal Bluff successfully called--now let's see 'em bet the limit on the Debt Limit so we can clean 'em out!

            by Uncle Cosmo on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 10:11:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  My pool picks are SF and NE (4+ / 0-)

    I (barely) prefer the Ravens to the Patriots, so I will be rooting for them and much happier if they actually win.  Head and heart in different places.

    I'm 5-3 for the playoffs and 3-1 last week.  I picked all byes to win last week.

    -7.75 -4.67

    "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

    There are no Christians in foxholes.

    by Odysseus on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:12:42 PM PST

  •  It's going to be a "Brother's Bowl" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texdude50, Timaeus, volleyboy1, Roger Fox

    Ravens v Niners and it's going to be awesome all the way there.

    collards, meat, butter, sourdough, eggs, cheese, raw milk

    by Tirge Caps on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:23:58 PM PST

  •  Chicago blew it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frosti, Odysseus, Texdude50

    All that team needs is horses on the offensive line, something the GM should be held accountable for, not Lovie Smith. I don't see how you can dump a guy like Lovie, whose defense is consistently among the most fearsome in the league, without giving him the tools to develop the offense. And Trestman...yeesh. He was kind of a boy wonder with the niners about a million years ago. I see a lot of Jason Garrett in him, which isn't meant to be a compliment. My poor Bears, I guess this makes my transition to the Seattle bandwagon complete...

    I agree with you on the Texans. The funny thing is that Schaub is a lot like Romo. A very good quarterback, just not the transcendant kind of guy that can get you over the hump. His backup might even be better, but there's no telling whether Yates is the guy either. A very difficult situation.

    Atlanta and Niners is too close to call with any authority. We've seen the good and bad of both teams in the last month, it just depends on which team shows up. I'm tempted to go with the Falcons if only because Seattle might be better than the Niners -- what the heck, Seattle was 32 points better the last time they played the Niners. Yeah, I'm thinking Atlanta takes this one.

    Pats over the Falcons in the SB.

    There are two types of republicans, the rich and the stupid. The rich ones strive to keep the stupid ones stupid and the stupid ones strive to keep the rich ones rich.

    by frankzappatista on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:34:48 PM PST

    •  An interesting comment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Texdude50, frankzappatista

      on the John Feinstein Show this morning (loving much of the CBS Radio lineup -- of course, a lot of them jumped ship from The World Wide Leader); 8 coaching vacancies, all filled by white men. In fact, the NFL took a step backwards in diversity, with two of the firings being African-Americans (Lovie Smith and Romeo Crennel), replaced by white guys. Is the "Rooney Rule" now just window dressing and CYA for owners who'll continue to hire who they feel comfortable with?

      "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

      by Cali Scribe on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:03:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Trestman's OC is a Line guy though. A GOOD one. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Texdude50, frankzappatista

      He'll fix the line while Trestman will call the plays.  That's how I see things happening.  Remember when Lovie was first hired?  He was essentially calling the Defense for a year or so until Marinelli was hired.

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:18:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So Tice is out? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I reckon he must be. Poor guy, trying to make lemonade out of that ground meat must have given him nightmares. I suppose there are some line coaches who can "coach up" a really inferior bunch, but Tice had pretty much nothing to work with.

        There are two types of republicans, the rich and the stupid. The rich ones strive to keep the stupid ones stupid and the stupid ones strive to keep the rich ones rich.

        by frankzappatista on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 04:28:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tresman's OC was the line coach for the Saints. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          On the minus side, he was the interim while Peyton was out.

          "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

          by zenbassoon on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 04:56:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a Packers fan, and I agree about Lovie (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Texdude50, frankzappatista, Odysseus

      I thought he was a great coach.  The Bears had a lot of success under his leadership, and their failing aren't really a result of his coaching, imho.

  •  Not kidding, I'm 8-0 (5+ / 0-)

    this post-season.

    This week, I'll take the Patriots and...the Falcons. I admit, this is the toughest week to pick 'em, and NE giving Baltimore 9 seems absurd.

    I find myself enjoying the Falcons because the loudmouth sports announcers don't even know they exist. San Francisco is probably the best team in the NFL right now, but if they go in there looking past Atlanta, even a little bit, they're going to get beat.

    As for Baltimore...they don't play football games, they go to war...but New England is very good. Much better than the team that had the Ravens beat in Week 3 in Baltimore (thank you replacement refs - I almost swore off football that week).

    Baltimore has tons of heart, though, so if they come into the Razor and win, I won't be surprised...and I'll cheer for them in the SB.

    One thing that's making me nuts is when these dopey pundits start comparing Flacco against Brady and Manning...don't get me wrong, Flacco is a decent quarterback and all that, but does it occur to the numbskulls that last year, Flacco was throwing against a New England secondary that included Julian Edelman (a wide receiver), Sterling Moore and James Ihedigbo as STARTERS? Meanwhile, Brady - and Manning - had to go against Ledarious Webb and Ed Reed and with one of the most fearsome defensive lines in football coming at them full bore! I would hope Flacco had better numbers than most quarterbacks playing against the Ravens of yesteryear!

    But that was yesteryear and they aren't the same defense.

    •  The announcers are worse than the (6+ / 0-)

      replacement refs. They seem to get worse every year, blathering about meaningless statistics like "Sixth best in the league on third-and-less-than-five" and have utterly lost the feel for the game. And their focus on meaningless one-on-one matchups like Flacco versus Brady, like you say, is absurd. What I'd give to have Curt Gowdy back in the booth.

      There are two types of republicans, the rich and the stupid. The rich ones strive to keep the stupid ones stupid and the stupid ones strive to keep the rich ones rich.

      by frankzappatista on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:52:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Harbaugh will make sure (4+ / 0-)

      they don't look past Atlanta -- because if they don't make it to the Super Bowl all the questions about "should Smith have lost his job" will surface all over again. (If they lose in the Super Bowl to Brady and the Patriots, there's no shame in that for what's essentially a rookie quarterback -- The Hoodie's team has beaten QBs way better than Kaep.)

      "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

      by Cali Scribe on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:06:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  OY, Flacco (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timaeus, volleyboy1

      is going to break hearts. He will give you life and give you an INT at the wrong time.

      And it will be a battle, the Ravens and Pats. In fact, winner may be too banged up to win the SB in 2 weeks.

      The Spice must Flow!

      by Texdude50 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:10:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He's like a super version of the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, frankzappatista, volleyboy1

        Redskins's former Good Rex (Grossman) vs. Bad Rex.

        But Flacco does well in big games, better than Peyton Manning.  He had a super game last week against Manning and the Broncos, indeed, an almost miraculous game.

        I think the Patriots are scared of the Ravens more than the other way around.

        •  Was never impressed with Flacco (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Movement in the pocket sucked, he often got jostled or disrupted by defensive contact, peripheral vision sucked, lacked accuracy/timing on deep routes.

          But I have to say Flacco is having his best season, he sees the field much better and is throwing strikes to back shoulders, and in stride across the middle. And when his man beats a CB one on one on a go type route, Flacco gets him the ball.

          Knowing the Ravens Dee is not what it was, but still a defensive force &  seeing Flacco at the top of his game, makes me pick the Ravens and the 49ers.

          FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 07:38:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks to a safety (0+ / 0-)

          who had an easy pick or knockdown on the game-tying miracle play. Moore BLEW IT, big time. Easy play.

          The Patriots aren't scared of anybody or anything. That's just not how they play the game. Baltimore is the same way, of course, which is why they're in it every year.

          The Patriots KNOW they had Baltimore beat in Baltimore, and they were a much weaker team at that time on both sides of the ball (particularly defense).

  •  ABP---Anybody But the Patriots. Please Ravens- (5+ / 0-)

    a miracle!

    SF rolls.

  •  I hope Jacquizz Rodgers has a great (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texdude50, HeyMikey

    game, and that the Falcons beat the 49ers.

  •  Nah, Ravens by 10. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texdude50, volleyboy1, Roger Fox

    And 49ers crush the Falcons.

    So I'm now calling a Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh Super Bowl.

    I'll tell you one thing, my wife and I typically go to church on Sunday evening, but I'm going to have to skip it for the Charm City vs. Evil Empire game.

  •  Report from the Atlanta suburbs... (3+ / 0-)

    1. Kaepernick is having a great run (built on some great runs), but this is effectively his rookie season. And Ryan isn't called Matty Ice for nothing. Anybody could win. (There's insight for ya.)

    2. The Atlanta media is SATURATED with mindless blather about the 49ers game. No analysis, no insight, no facts, just blah blah blah. It's enough to make me want to borrow a gun from one of the many local gun nuts and go all Elvis on my TV.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:28:01 PM PST

  •  H A R B O W L ! ! ! I'm rooting for the Niners (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texdude50, volleyboy1

    and Ravens to make the Super Bowl the "brawl of brothers" or whatever stupid name the media will come up with for it.

    I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

    by 1BQ on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:31:31 PM PST

  •  49ers and Pariots (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'd love to see the Falcons and Ravens win, I just don't see it happening.

    I wouldn't mind seeing the Patriots win another Super Bowl.    Beating the 49ers would be sweet.  The Ravens beating the 49er would be even sweeter.

  •  The Ravens' win over Denver was no fluke (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Despite coming in on a short week against a rested team at altitude, and despite being put in a 7-0 hole in the first couple minutes of the game, and despite being put back in a hole to start the second half on the Broncos' second kick return TD, the Ravens never gave up, and outplayed Denver on both offense and defense. They ran fewer plays but gained more yards. They led in rushing average 4.0 yards per play to 3.0, and in passing average, 9.3 yards per attempt to 5.9. Manning threw as many interceptions to Corey Graham on Saturday as Flacco has thrown in his past 6 playoff games - 2. In that same time Flacco has 12 TDs and thrown for an overall passer rating of 101.4. In this year's playoffs he has a 120.0 PR. I doubt that the Pats #29 passing defense is going to fare as well against him as the Broncos' #3 PD.

    Meanwhile, the Ravens have pretty much owned Tom Brady in recent years. True, their defensive numbers have not been as good this year, but in the final 6 games of the season they were the #4 defense in the league, surrendering less than 300 yards per game. This included their infamous 3 game losing streak.

    With the defense healthier than any time this season, and with Jim Caldwell calling plays instead of Cam Cameron, I see the Ravens as likely upset winners Sunday. I certainly see the 9.5 point spread as a joke. Flacco has outplayed Brady the past three times they've met. I see this trend as continuing.

    Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

    by kbman on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:37:19 PM PST

  •  Been waiting for this diary all week (3+ / 0-)

    Ok.... First there is this. I went 2-2 last week as well, taking the NINERS (WHO'S GOT IT BETTER THAN US).... and the Pats. I took the 'Hawks in the upset and the Broncos.

    SO this week, I think it's the NINERS again (gotta love my Niners) and the Sith...err Patriots.

    I would love to see a Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh matchup in the Superbowl. That really is my pick but, I don't see Baltimore going up to New England and beating them. There would be no mistakes like the ones the Broncos made last week in a game they should have won.

    Alright, and with that let the fun begin:

    "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

    by volleyboy1 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 04:03:24 PM PST

  •  Niners, Pats in the big one. /nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, Texdude50
  •  I'm going with (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texdude50, volleyboy1

    Niners and Pats for the SB. Niner win.

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