Bob Haynie: Championship Game Picks
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This Sunday, four teams will battle for a berth in Super Bowl 47 which will be played in New Orleans.
For the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots, it is a rematch of last season’s dramatic AFC Title Game.
In the NFC, the San Francisco 49’ers make their second-straight championship game appearance as they face the top-seeded Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome.
Led by QB Colin Kaepernick, the Niners rolled over the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs and head into Sunday game as road favorites.
Falcons QB Matt Ryan, the top quarterback picked in the 2008 NFL draft, finally won his first postseason game, in his fourth try, by leading Atlanta to a last-second victory over the upstart Seattle Seahawks.
The Falcons have been the number one seed in the NFC in two of the last seasons. The oddmakers, however, are not impressed as they have installed San Francisco as the team to beat in the game.
Both clubs are capable of big offensive games. The 49’ers do seem to have the edge on defense.
In a close game, that could be decided by the kickers, I’ll take Matt Bryant the Falcons to defend their home turf.
BOB HAYNIE SOUNDS OFF:
Of course, the Ravens and Patriots will get reacquainted in the AFC Championship Game.
The two teams met in September, in Baltimore, with the Ravens winning 31-30 on a Justin Tucker FG. Last weekend in Denver, Tucker rose to the occasion again by booting a 47-yard FG in the second OT as the Ravens bounced the Broncos.
QB Joe Flacco was outstanding against Denver and will have to be the same against NE if the Ravens want to avenge last year’s loss to the Pats.
Tom Brady’s playoff record speaks for itself. He wins. A lot.
But Baltimore tends to make things uncomfortable for him.
I see a high-scoring affair. And I see Ray Rice being a huge factor.
In a game that goes down to the final minutes, the Ravens win 30-27.
The Ray Lewis retirement tour continues for one more game.