First off, a review of divisional round predictions:
AFC was great… I nailed both games. (In fact, I predicted exactly the score of the Texans-Ravens game.) But the AFC picks were easy, to be honest.
NFC was horrible… I bombed both games. I knew the Giants had a good chance of beating the Packers, but I picked the Pack out of my loyalty for them. Bad decision. Moreover, I was expecting at least a close game. But in fact, the Pack were never really in the game. The Giants dominated on both sides of the ball. Packers defense folded, and turning the ball over 4 times is a no-no.
Didn’t really expect the 49ers beating the Saints. Clearly, defense wins championships still.
So, title game predictions:
The Ravens’ defense doesn’t do well on the road. They will need every bit of defense to stop the Patriots’ offense. Granted, given the lack of success of high-powered offensive teams in the NFC playoffs, I would not be surprised if the Ravens end up winning this one (I’d say about 35%)… but only if Flacco and the defense step up.
The Giants are as good as anyone in football right now, with a balanced offense and defense. I’m still skeptical of the 49ers’ offensive unit and their offensive line, which might struggle against the Giants’ front four. The one caveat is that the Giants have a weak running game, and the 49ers have a smashmouth run defense. Though Eli can pass as good as anyone right now, if the 49ers can control the clock and execute in the red zone (like last week), they might win.
I am still calling the NFC winner to win the Super Bowl, but I’ll wait for the results of the championship games to make more specific predictions, for now.