Super Bowl Picks

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Patriots vs. Ravens

Well, there goes my Super Bowl pick; the Broncos were just one properly executed stop coverage shy from advancing, but so it goes.

Peyton Manning went on and solidified his case as the best regular season QB in NFL history and so the Ray Lewis fairytale continues. New England dominated over the Texans as expected, outplaying a quality but overmatched team.

Earlier this season Baltimore saw great success throwing the ball against the pre-Talib Patriots secondary. Joe Flacco aired 39 times to 20 Ray Rice carries and frankly this is exactly how Bill Belichick should hope the ratio plays out in round two. Following a hot start to the season Joe Flacco reverted to the pretty good quarterback we all know – capable of making any throw but lacking in areas that make a quarterback elite.

On the other hand, a dynamite rushing attack compliments Tom Brady’s greatness. An emotional Ray Lewis and company can’t be discounted but, as is the case with any defense, they’ll always be a step behind their offensive counterparts. When the Patriots’ offense is on the field, it will be about which side makes the most plays. Conversely, when the Ravens tote the rock, it comes down to who makes the fewest mistakes.

The x-factor in this game, aside from perhaps the kicker – looking at you Billy Cundiff – could be Torrey Smith. Earlier this season he reeled in over 100 yards and two touchdowns against the Pats and did the same against Champ Bailey last week. It will be interesting to see how the Patriots divvy their assets between stopping Ray Rice and keeping Torrey in check with a safety over the top. I predict the Patriots in this matchup. In short, it would take a clearly superior supporting cast for me to pick Joe Flacco over Tom Brady, which is not the case here.

 

The Picks:

New England: Jeremy, Colin, Will and Jake

Baltimore: Josh

 

Falcons vs. San Francisco

Well, there goes my Super Bowl runner-up. Despite butchering the Falcons in the second half, Seattle couldn’t make up for a slow start. In typical Falcons’ postseason fashion, they did everything they could to lose the game.

Surrendering a sizable lead and attempting an onside kick in the final seconds while only up by two. In the other NFC matchup Green Bay, made it interesting but the 49ers offense and Colin Kaepernick were too much for a battered Packers defense.

For the Falcons offense, it comes down to the success of their passing attack. They can pick up the tough yardage with Michael Turner, but for them to surpass 20 points Matt Ryan must be crisp. We know the 49ers defense will lay the lumber, time to put up or shut up Matty Ice.

Edge to the San Fran offense over the Falcons defense. While the Falcons D is certainly better than a banged up Packers squad, the 49ers’ offense looked every bit as good as their defense last week.

As has been the case since Kaepernick took over, pounding the ball with an array of backs paves the way for big play opportunities in the passing game. It’s unfair that a team can line up in a tight, heavy package and run vertical routes with Delanie Walker, Vernon Davis and a receiver of their choice. Kaepernick and Michael Crabtree have already built a great rapport.

I see two ways this game can turn out: The 49ers make the plays to win the game or they don’t and it costs them the game. The number of turnovers is the stat to watch here, if the 49ers win that battle they will win. John Harbaugh is the superior coach and has the luxury of studying how the Falcons approached a similar Seattle option attack

My Super Bowl pick has the Patriots edging the 49ers in a rematch of the best regular season game. The 49ers held a 31-3 lead in the middle of the third quarter; the Patriots scored an unanswered 28 before San Fran finally put them away. With that said, prepare for a Ravens vs. Falcons Super Bowl. 12