Friday, January 20, 2012

Championship Sunday Predictions (Current Record 4-4)

Ravens vs Patriots winner: Baltimore Ravens

On Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens (12-4) travel to Foxboro to take on the number one seeded New England Patriots (13-3). They say offense sells tickets and defense wins championships. The Ravens bring their 4th ranked defense to face the Patriots 2nd ranked offense. The world awaits to see which team will prevail. Throughout the week, there has been a lot of pressure placed on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Last time the Ravens faced the Patriots in the playoffs, it was Ray Rice who carried the team to a 33-14 upset of Tom Brady and the Patriots. There is also pressure on Brady. Until, the divisional round blowout, his Patriots had not won a playoff game since 2007. A year later it was revealed they were spying on their opponents. Since then, they had not won a game in the post season. The victory over Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos was not convincing considering it was against a team who was 8-8. Now he must participate in a chess match with Super Bowl XXXV Most Valuable Player Ray Lewis. Lewis will be accompanied by his defense who includes two other defensive players of the year, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs. The Patriots defense on the other hand is among the worse in the league, being ranked at 31, while the Ravens bring a mediocre, yet exciting offense. Their total offense is ranked 15th, but their run offense is ranked 10th. This should be a dogfight, but in my opinion, the Ravens defense will keep Tom Brady under control, while their offense find many ways to pick apart the Patriots.

49ers vs Giants
When a team travels from coast to coast, there are always difficulties. In this case, the New York Giants (9-7) must travel to Candlestick Park to face the San Francisco 49ers (13-3). These two teams faced each other  on November 13th and it was the 49ers who were victorious at home 27-20. The Giants struggled in the second half of the season, after beginning the season 6-2. It came down to their final game when they defeated the Dallas Cowboys in order to get into the playoffs. But once they got there, they were able to convince the world that they belonged there. They defeated the Falcons without allowing them to score on offense, and went into Green Bay and pummeled the defending Super Bowl champs. This week they are faced with the league's 2nd ranked defense. But in the post season, the Giants have looked like a very dangerous team on both offense and defense. With 49ers quarterback Alex Smith playing better than ever before  with his favorite target, Vernon Davis, it will be a true test to the Giants defense. With the 49ers playing great against the run all year and it will be very difficult for Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw to get ahead on this defense. The same goes for the 49ers Frank Gore. In recent weeks, the Giants defense have become very stingy. This game will be a battle of the two defense. With the 49ers having the homefield advantage, their defense should be able to outscore the Giants defense because both offenses are going to have a lot of trouble. If Alex Smith can manage the game and limit the turnovers, the 49ers will win this game.

This story is dedicated to my uncle, Michael Carroll Sr (1961-2012)

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