Scott Garceau: Hunt & Halas Trophy Weekend
The trophies of Mr. Hunt and Halas will be hoisted Sunday as the final 4 gets reduced to the Super 2. There are no Cinderella’s at the ball this season, what we have here are 4 quality teams and 2 quality games.
NEW ENGLAND (13-4) at DENVER (14-3) (SUNDAY, CBS, 3:00)
The 2 most decorated quarterbacks of this era meet in Denver. Love ‘um or hate ‘um it’s hard to take your eyes off Tom Brady and Peyton “Omaha” Manning. This will be the 15th time the two have faced each other and Brady has won 10 of the 15. Nobody has started or won more playoff games than Brady, 25 starts with 18 wins.
Nobody has ever had a better regular season than the one Manning put together this year. Brady is trying to get to his 6th Super Bowl and win his 4th ring. Manning is trying to add an exclamation mark to his brilliant career by winning his 2nd ring. We joke about Peyton being the best “REGULAR” season QB in NFL history but it’s true that his playoff play hasn’t matched that of the regular season and he’s driven to add that second SB ring.
Everybody is aware of the Seattle home field edge but the Bronco’s are 8-1 at home this season just like the Seahawks. The Bronco’s have more play-makers on offense than the Patriots and earn a slight edge. Lets call it…
New England 24
SAN FRANCISCO (14-4) at SEATTLE (14-3) (SUNDAY, FOX, 6:30)
These 2 split in the regular season with the home team winning both times. Like the Ravens-Steelers, Packers-Bears, and Hatfields-McCoys these teams don’t like each other. It was 2010 when Seattle won the NFC West with a 7-9 record, this division is no longer a joke the 9ers and Seahawks might be the 2 best teams in the NFL. Jim “Whiny” Harbaugh has done a terrific job and is the first coach since the merger in 1970 to take his team to the NFC Championship game in each of his first three seasons. Colin Kaepernick is 4-1 in the postseason and has plenty of weapons with Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin, Vernon Davis and Frank Gore.
Russell Wilson doesn’t have to be great but can’t afford to be bad. Pete Carroll will lean on Marshawn Lynch and a rock-solid defense. The defense lead the NFL in points allowed, total defense and pass defense.
I feel the 49ers get an edge at quarterback and maybe a slight edge overall, but there’s something about the Seahawks in Seattle. They’ve won 6 straight post season games and are 16-1 at home during the past 2 two seasons.The 12th man does make a difference and with that a shaky pick for what should be an old-school battle with new-age quarterbacks.
San Francisco 20