The NFL Championship games feature two awesome matchups as the Baltimore Ravens travel to New England while the San Francisco 49ers host the New York Giants. I think the Giants will clean up and the Ravens/Pats will be the better game to watch.
The AFC title game is a showdown between two teams that are polar opposites. The Ravens pride themselves on hard-nosed defense and a ball control, ground attack on offense. Meanwhile, the Patriots possess the 2nd-ranked passing attack in the NFL, averaging 32.1 points per game. Star quarterback Tom Brady, a 3-time Super Bowl champion, threw for over 5,200 yards with 39 TD passes. His counterpart, Ravens QB Joe Flacco, had 3,600 yards passing with 20 touchdowns in 80 fewer attempts than Brady.
However, the Ravens defense could be the turning factor in this game. Baltimore ranked third in total defense and second in the NFL against the pass. The Ravens have kept it going in the postseason, forcing four turnovers in a win against Houston. The Patriots are at the other end of the spectrum on defense, ranking second-to-last in the NFL in pass defense during the regular season. However, the Pats have improved in the playoffs, limiting the Broncos to just 10 points during a laugher of a win in the divisional round.
AFC Game Pick: Ravens
The NFC title game is a battle of two teams that lean on defenses and efficient offenses. The Giants are the hottest team in the league right now and are led by a defensive line that sacked Aaron Rodgers four times in a stunning victory against the defending champion Green Bay Packers last weekend. Giants QB Eli Manning is at the top of his game right now, slicing apart the Packers for 330 yards and 3 TDs. He will have his hands full against the Niners talented linebacking core. San Francisco was fourth in total defense during the regular season and were tied for the second most interceptions with 23.
Last week, the Niners proved they can win with offense also. Emerging quarterback Alex Smith led the team on a pair of late comeback drives against the Saints in a 36-32 thriller. Tight end Vernon Davis caught Smith’s final pass with under a minute remaining and took it in for six, sending San Fran to the title game while the Saints marched home. Davis had 180 yards receiving and 2 TDs in the game.
NFC Game Pick: Giants
There are plenty of NFL betting sites offering good odds on both games Both games should be exciting as the Ravens will be looking to get to their second Super Bowl, while the Pats will be seeking an opportunity to play in their fifth Super Bowl this decade. The NFC game features two of the game’s storied franchises with the Niners looking for their first title since the Steve Young era and the Giants looking to get back to the game for the third time since 2000.