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Quick Preview of Conference Championship Games

January 20, 2013

@nick_speed

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Falcons 30 49ers 20: I feel like this game is the perfect setup for Atlanta. After the 49ers’ dominance against the Packers, it seems like everyone is looking over the Falcons. Though I am a little hesitant picking Atlanta, I like this team in this game for a few reasons. One, they’re at home, the Georgia Dome will be electric, much like the Mike Vick days of several years ago. Two, I like Atlanta’s secondary. Dunta Robinson, Asante Samuel, and William Moore are some wily veterans that will play a few mind games with young Kaepernick and cause some turnovers. Three, it just seems like this Falcons team has finally gotten it. For the past 3 years, Atlanta has cruised through the regular season, only to get bounced in the 1st round of the playoffs. This time I think this team has matured and learned their lessons. They are 1 of the most disciplined teams in the NFL (lead the league with the fewest penalties) and it will show in this NFC Championship battle.

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Ravens 28 Patriots 24: In what will be his final season, Ray Lewis leads the Ravens to Foxboro once again looking to advance to the Super Bowl. The Ravens have enough motivation for this game to fill up Gillette Stadium. Last year’s AFC Championship game was filled with coulda, woulda, shoulda’s for Baltimore. Lee Evan’s coulda caught that touchdown pass. The Ravens shoulda gave Ray Rice the ball on the goal line. They woulda went to overtime if Cundiff hadn’t missed that field goal.  This year seems different though, this team feels they are better than the Patriots and have proven they can beat them this year in a Week 3 31-30 victory. I love the Ravens offense under Jim Caldwell, they are paying more attention to the run and have been more productive on the ground. They are  averaging over 60 more yards rushing per game since Cam Cameron was fired. Controlling the clock will be essential for the Ravens. Baltimore’s defense has had  success against Tom Brady, but he’s still Tom Brady so they still will need to limit his opportunities as mush as possible. This game will surely be must see TV, but I think the road team will come out on top this time. They will rally around their general Ray Lewis, sending him to his 2nd Super Bowl appearance.

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