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NFC & AFC Championship Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

Posted by in NFL Picks on January 22nd, 2010 | Comment »

The NFC and AFC Championships are finally here.  Thanks to those who signed up for our Facebook page.  If you sign up for the page, you’ll be notified on your Facebook news feed when new articles are updated on THE PASS RUSH, which is simply amazing!

It’s a good way to keep in touch with us during the offseason since you’ll likely not hear from me again after the Super Bowl until August.  Actually, I may stop in in late February, early March to get the fantasy baseball talk heated up, which I play pretty competitively.  Those articles will, of course, be posted on our sister site, THE HIGH HEAT.

I hope you remember to come back next season and sign up for the Pick ‘Em league, which I’ll be doing again next season and will also be delivering an NFL custom shop t-shirt to the winner.  Deez Nuts just got his, which I’m sure he’ll be rocking for his Vikings.

The season, like any, has had its fair share of ups and downs.  For me there were slightly more ups than downs.  We had some hot streaks and there have been some cold ones, but for me, the hot have outnumbered the cold and that’s what we try to strive for each season.

We had a fantastic week this past week.  Our picks were 3-1 in the divisional round.  Although I played the games lightly since it’s playoff football, it still moved me up a few units, which is what we want going into the NFC and AFC Championship games.  You may also want to check out Vernon Croy’s Super Bowl Picks.  Let’s get to the my NFC and AFC Championship picks.


I can’t help but not like the Colts here, but the Jets are a very, very dangerous team.  I learned my lesson when I thought the Bengals would beat them on their home turf.  No sir.  This team plays defense and knows how to run the football thanks to their all-star offensive line.  You say Mark Sanchez sucks balls?  Rex Ryan says we will play hard-nosed football and run the football down your throat.  The Jets would look good even if JaMarcus Russell was their QB.  This is one particular reason that I can’t pick the Jets. I simply don’t want to see them in the Super Bowl.  If they make it to the Super Bowl, I wouldn’t even be interested in watching it.

In any event, this game could be tight due to the Jets D, but like last week’s game against the Ravens, Peyton Manning will eventually blow it open. Are you are worried about Darrelle Revis shutting down Reggie Wayne? Well, Peyton has two formidable receivers in Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie, and the crafty Dallas Clark to boot.  Collie had 4 receptions for 52 yards and 1 TD last game.  Garcon had 5 receptions for 34 yards.  Dallas Clark had 7 receptions for 59 yards.  In other words, I don’t care if Revis is stuck to Wayne like glue the entire game, Manning will locate his receivers and will move the football against the Jets.

The Colts defense played extremely well last week.  They had a tough task of containing Ray Rice and they completely shut him down.  The Ravens are very similar to the Jets. If you can stop their running game, they’re not going to beat you. I think that Indianapolis D really shuts down the Jets.

Mark Sanchez isn’t ready for Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis playing at their AFC Championship level.  Obviously the Jets are going to hand the ball of time and time again, but I think you see Sanchez get pressured when he has to drop back.

I think it’s safe to say that the Colts easily win by 10.  I’m not expecting much scoring from the Jets. Maybe 10-13 points max.  You have to be concerned about the Jets tough defense. They shut down the high-powered Chargers offense on their turf, but I think you see Manning play just fine. Peyton Manning is a champion. This guy wasn’t born to win just 1 Super Bowl. I, of course, will be on his side when he’s playing at home coming off a convincing win against the Ravens even when plenty of opportunities were left on the field.

I also wanted to note that the over/under is 39.  If you think this is going to be a tight game, you can take the Colts -1 and tease it to over 32 or under 46 depending on how much offense you anticipate in this matchup.

Prediction: Colts 24 – Jets 10

Free Pick: Colts -8


Thank you Vikings for crushing the Cowboys last week and tossing Tony Romo around like a rag doll.  That made my week. Congratulations again to winner of our pick ’em league, Deez Nutz, as he bleeds purple.

I cannot help but think of the game where the Vikings faced the Saints on Monday Night football last season on October 6, 2008.  If you need your memory refreshed, take a hard look at this box score.  The Vikings won 30-27.  Keep in mind that Adrian Peterson rushed for a mere 32 yards that game and a guy named Gus Frerotte was playing QB for the Vikings. Gus Frerotte beat the Saints at home you say? Yes, he did.  This was also the game where 14 of the Saints 27 points game via Reggie Bush punt returns, and despite taking a 27-20 lead, the Saints hopes were crushed at home.

The Vikings defense was nasty last week.  That is a championship defense.  Sure, the Saints D is pretty good too.  At least they are better than they were last season.

Another point I want to make. Remember when the Saints lost their first game? Who was it against? The Cowboys. I’m not trying to point out that if the Cowboys beat the Saints and the Vikings beat the Cowboys, then the Vikings must beat the Cowboys.  What is the common denominator here? Ask yourself what was the sole reason the Cowboys beat the Saints this season? It was the Cowboys pass rush. DeMarcus Ware essentially won that game himself. Well, the Vikings have a player named Jared Allen who happens to be a pretty good football player. If the Vikings can generate the type of pass rush that they did last week, they’re going to have a lot of success against the Saints.

I find it extremely hard to bet against the Saints when the Super Dome is going to be rocking. Is this the first ever NFC Championship to be played in New Orleans? I think so. That place is going to be off the hook and is just a huge home field advantage. I’m just putting my thought process out on paper. My gut is telling me the Saints will win, but my head is telling me the Vikings will pull this one out. I am also thinking that the Cardinals made me look stupid since I was trying to be creative and thought the Cardinals could hang in there with the Saints when the Cardinals were getting 14 points. I figured the Saints would win by 7-10, but I did not see that disaster coming. But hey, the Saints were looking soft in the final quarter of the season and the Cardinals just score 50+ points.  Sometimes you are short-sighted, but the Saint turned up the heat in the playoffs as they should have been expected to.

Sometimes you have to make bold calls. I’m calling a Saints victory by a field goal with those holding Vikings +3.5 cashing in the winning ticket.  This may make me look completely stupid in the end, but I say the proof is in the pudding. Because you want to know who is a champion like Peyton Manning? Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson. And Jared Allen too. But maybe you should stick with the team with the home-field advantage and go with the Saints. I don’t know, this is a tough one to call. I just want to watch a great game.

Prediction: Saints 27 – Vikings 24

Free Pick: Vikings +3.5

Disclaimer: Your chances of winning either of these games is as good as a coin toss.

Good luck!

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