This is what every football fan waits for, Championship Sunday. This is when the AFC and the NFC battle to see who will represent their respective conference in the Super Bowl.
New England Patriots
Today at 3:00 PM the 14-3 New England Patriots take on the 13-4 Baltimore Ravens. This will be a pound and ground type of game as the Ravens who have the number two run defense and the Pats have the 31st worst pass defense.
In order for the Ravens to win they will need to get to Tom Brady and put him on his back early in the game. They need to stop his passing attack as he has weapons that can ground and pound with the best of teams. He has two book ends that can destroy you. You can double team one of them but the other will kill you. These book ends are Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
In the run game the Pats have Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis (the law firm) He has never fumbled the ball in his career, I just hope I didn’t jinx him. Ben Jarvus will need to put his head down and move quickly through that tough Ravens front defensive line in order to open up the secondary. I hope Stevan Ridley gets to play as he has some decent speed and can run to the outside. He had 4 rushes for 21 yards against Denver so lets hope he can have a break out game. Look for Danny Woodhead to weave and bob in and around the defensive line. Wes Welker and Deion Branch are two other scrappy wide receivers who have proven they are winners.
On the linebackers the Pats will need a big game from Jerod Mayo, Dane Fletcher and Brandon Spikes to stop the run. The secondary is the teams weakest link. Patrick Chung and Devon McCourty will need to play the game of their lives to stop Smith and Bouldin. The Pats pass rush will need to be effective as it was last week against the Broncos.
The Baltimore Ravens will need to give Ray Rice some nice blocks along the Pats defensive front line to open big holes for Rice like they did in 2009. The Pats will need to get to Flacco like the Steelers did in this photo taken by my good online friend Bob Carney, Bob is an avid Steeler fan like I am a Pats fan. Too bad the Steelers got Tebowed.
Ray Lewis and Ed Reed lead the defense this week in Ed Reed’s biggest game as a pro. Reed was not a member of the Ravens Championship team in 2000-2001 season. Pats head coach Bill Belichick LOVES Ed Reed. I think he will be hampered today with his sprained ankle. As great as Ray Lewis is he has slowed up a bit and the Pats will take advantage of that as they work the middle of the field with Wes Welker and their book end tight ends.
I look for rookie Torrey Smith to have a good day as the Pats almost drafted him this year. Anquan Boldin has lost a step or two and he could factor in this game as well. Watch the Ravens front line defense especially Haloti Ngata as he tries to stuff the run. Terrell Suggs is another big play player as he has no respect at all for Tom Brady .
My Bold Prediction is that the New England Patriots will defeat the Baltimore Ravens 31-20.
Tonight at 8:00 PM the 13-3 New England Patriots will kick off against the 9-8 Denver Broncos in the AFC Divisional round of the NFL Playoffs. Denver’s shocking victory last week over the injured and battered Pittsburgh Steelers earned them the right to come to Foxboro to take on the Patriots.
Denver will need to get off to a quick start like they did in Week 15 by running the ball down the Pats throat. Tebow will need to play better than he did against the Steelers if he hopes to have a chance to beat the high powered Pats. The Broncos also must not turn the ball over like they did at home. The Broncos Linebacker Von Miller and Defensive End Elvis Dumerville will need to pressure Tom Brady and force him out of the protective pocket that he loves to hang out in. If the Broncos can rattle Brady early and put points on the board at the same time then the Broncos may make it a close game.
The Pats will need to get off to a very fast start as opposed to the last few weeks of the regular season when they found themselves having to come from behind in order to win. In the playoffs you are one and done if you lose. I see the Pats winning the coin toss once again and deferring to the second half. This gives them the ball to start the second half. This also allows them to try and control the clock at the end of the first half to try and score going into halftime.
The Pats need to come out and start strong at defense and stop Tebow on their first possession. If the Pats can do that look for the Pats to go to an upbeat fast pace offensive march down the field. If the Pats can jump out to an early lead I think Tebow’s inexperience will force him to pass a lot and that is not his strong point.
The Pats have a losing record against the Broncos and I think the Pats will win big tonight, 38-17 and then the Pats will be at home against the winner of Sunday’s game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Houston Texans. I would love to see the Texans win that game. The Ravens are undefeated at home this year and are amongst the elite defenses in NFL history.
Patriots win 45-10
They lost the coin toss. They started off very fast and kept Dumerville and Miller off of Brady.
Brady breaks the record for most TD’s in a half in the Playoffs.