Good day Razzballers! Only three games left until the long cold off season. Don’t cry Doc. Don’t you do it! Ok, let’s do this thing. I like both these matchups quite a bit and even though I’ve been wrong on my predictions this postseason each game has gone about as I expected. The only one that really was just a huge surprise was the Denver/Pittsburgh game. Even though I picked against the 49ers and Giants I wasn’t surprised that they won. And now they face each other in what looks to be the closest matchup of the day. The weather at Candlestick looks like it will be rainy and windy which at first I thought would benefit the 49ers hard hitting style but I’ve really liked what I’ve seen out of the Giants defense and they don’t have to rely on the pass so if the wind is a huge factor they aren’t dead in the water.
Both teams defensive lines can put pressure on the quarterback so that is somewhat of a wash. The Giants passing game is the big advantage here and that’s where I do think the rain and wind could hurt them a little. They should still be able to throw the ball but it will make each passing play just a little more risky and when you couple that with the way the Niners attack the ball, turnovers are bound to happen.
To me the two running games are a bit of a wash as well. Frank Gore can’t seem to run two consecutive plays so even though he is the best back on the field he is somewhat limited. The biggest factor will be how well the Niners can stop Nicks and Cruz and with the rain and wind giving them an extra hand I think they’ll be able to stop them enough while getting a few turnovers to come out on top in this one.
The early game pits the Ravens versus the Patriots. The weather in Foxboro looks to be clear and calm, perfect for the passing game. We just saw the Pats dismantle the Broncos in what could barely be called a tune up while the Ravens struggled against the Yates led Texans. The Patriots pass defense is still craptastic and weren’t tested by Tim Tebow at all. I can say one thing for Joe Flacco, he isn’t as bad as Tebow. Flacco has a cannon for an arm but has trouble consistently making the right decisions and against the Patriots he will need to get his team into the end zone more often than not.
The Ravens defense is still elite and will give Brady fits but trying to stop him completely is futile. Flacco will have to elevate his game which I have trouble believing will happen enough to win. But I also didn’t think Alex Smith could do what he did.
New England 34 – Baltimore 20