NFL Conference Championship Games

NFC Championship: The dynamic duo of Reid and McNabb are playing in their fifth conference championship game in ten years. Not good news for a lot of Philadelphians who were hoping to see one if not both of them gone after this season. Of course we weren’t too thrilled with Mike Schmidt either.

Offensively, the key to the game for the Eagles is gonna be Donovan. The Cards’ gameplan on defense will be to neutralize Westbrook and force McNabb to win the game. He is more than capable of doing that, but he is going to have to spread the ball around and be very accurate (No balls at his receivers’ feet, there’s no time for that in this one). On defense the Eagles are going to have to get to Warner early. Their secondary is one of the best in the league, but if the Cardinals three receivers have enough time to get open, they will. The defense also has to force a lot of 3rd and longs, but they can’t be satisfied with that because the Cardinals are as apt to convert them as the Eagles are to let them.

The key for the Cards on offense is simple as well. Protect Kurt Warner! They’re gonna have to try to establish the run (look for them to rush the ball on obvious passing situations in the first quarter) to take some of the heat off the QB. If they are able to pick up the blitzing corners of the Eagles, look for their receivers to have some pretty big receptions. The Cards’ defense reminds me of the Colts from two years ago. All the talk was about their prolific offense, then once the playoffs started, the “D” showed up and basically carried them through the Superbowl. This is a very opportunistic defense who are capable of turning a McNabb mistake into 6 points.

With all that had to happen for the Eagles to even make the playoffs, they looked to be a team of destiny. Couple that with the Phillies winning the World Series against Tampa (the Superbowl is where this year? That’s right Tampa), and it’s tough to go against them. The one prediction I am fairly confident in is if the Eagles win, my cousin-in-law who’s out there for the game will not be arrested. But if they lose, call the airlines and reschedule your flight home, ’cause it’s “Tent City” for you (Stay away from Japanese Steakhouses, Ed). I gotta go with the Eagles, who cares if I’m wrong.

Eagles 37 Cardinals 31
Either way I’ll be rambunctiously supporting the NFC team in two weeks.

AFC Championship: Can the Steelers really beat the Ravens three times this year? I keep hearing how hard it is to do that, but since the NFL/AFL merger, the team who has won two regular season meetings is 11-7 in the third matchup. So I guess it does happen, and more often than it doesn’t. That said, there is a lot of bad blood between these two teams, and the controversial touchdown call that gave the Steelers the win in their last meeting doesn’t help matters.

I really don’t see either team doing anything different than they’ve done all year. They’re both going to try to run the ball and play tough defense. Pittsburgh’s offense finally seemed to come to life in the second half of last week’s game. But it seems like it’s been feast or famine with Roethlisberger all year. It’s like he’s going Favre or something. Ben if you want to go to the Superbowl this year, don’t try to do it all by yourself. Use your weapons, and stick to the gameplan, and keep it simple, stupid.

This defensive struggle will come down to which quarterback makes the fewest mistakes against the toughest defenses they face all year. Flacco’s done a great job at that all year, but this is the AFC Championship game so I gotta give the nod to boys from the banks of the Ohio, the Allegheny, and the Monongahela.

Steelers 3 Ravens 2

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One Response to “NFL Conference Championship Games”

  1. You had a good opportunity to drop a Greg Luzinski reference and you use Mike Schmidt?

    Bringing up Tampa Super Bowls is taboo around these parts (see wide right).

    Like the score prediction in the AFC Game..LOL over/under is probably 14.

    Go Eagles.