NFL fans: Pink predicts a Giants-Ravens Super Bowl
Last week’s record, 3-1; for the postseason, 5-3.
My apologies for missing last week’s deadline, but hey, nobody’s perfect. For the record, the only game I missed was the 49ers over the Saints. As for the rest of the games, I was pretty much spot-on. I did, however, think the Broncos and Tim Tebow would put up a better fight against the Patriots but with all due respect, it’s almost impossible to beat New England when Tom Brady is as hot as he was on Saturday.
The Giants played exactly how I thought they would while the Packers seemed flat. In the end, you must admit the Giants basically dominated. As for the Ravens, again I thought I was spot-on. If the Texans had a healthy Matt Schaub the outcome of that game might well have been different but the Ravens managed to slip by and move on to the AFC Championship game against the Patriots.
It’s always been my opinion that the semifinals of any tournament or playoff are the most important game of the year. If you don’t win, you don’t go to the big dance. With that said here’s how I see this week’s games playing out. Good luck with your picks.
Sunday, Jan. 22, 3 p.m.
Baltimore at New England — Brains vs. brawn, bad vs. good but more likely, great defense vs. great offense best describes this matchup. One of the main reasons I give the Ravens a chance in this game and that is the fact that the Patriots have not beaten a team with a winning record all year. When you consider that the Ravens have beaten the Steelers and Texans twice this season, like them or not, you must respect the fact that they are very capable of beating anyone at this stage of the season.
When discussing the Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and how he is currently playing you can use any number of superlatives but I’ll stick with super. With targets such as Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Deion Branch, Brady and the Patriots’ passing game are nearly impossible to stop.
Unfortunately, they don’t run the ball very well and that puts more pressure on the passing game — and that’s another reason that the Ravens can win the game. Defensively, the Patriots give up tons of yardage in the middle of the field but the Red Zone defense can get stingy.
As for the Ravens, quarterback Joe Flacco leads the offense. At times, Flacco can be inconsistent but he is very capable of coming up with a big game. What the Ravens do have is a great running game led by Ray Rice and his backup, the very capable Ricky Williams.
If the Ravens have success running the ball and I think they will that’s another reason I think they can win the game. And finally, their defense — led by Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata — is capable of stopping most anyone. The Ravens can win the game and I think they will, 23-20.
Sunday, Jan. 22, 6:30 p.m.
New York Giants at San Francisco — This game could easily be the better of the two games to watch. Both teams are coming off great wins and are full of confidence heading into this matchup. The Niners pulled off a great win against the Saints while the Giants dismantled Super Bowl favorite Green Bay. Now they get a chance to get to the big dance and it should be exciting.
If you’re a Giants fan, you have endured a tumultuous season. Ups and downs, good games and awful games — you never really knew what kind of performance you were going to get from them week in and week out. All of a sudden, however, starting with the game versus the Jets, the Giants have come alive on both sides of the ball and are playing the way most people thought they would all year long. Quarterback Eli Manning just might be among the elite quarterbacks in the league, and if not, he is certainly playing like one. With a receiving corps led by Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham and Jake Ballard, combined with the rejuvenated running game, Manning and friends can beat you in any number of ways.
On the defensive side the Giants are also clicking. The defensive line, led by rookie Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenjioura, along with lienbacker Michael Boley and the improved play of the secondary, have combined to make the Giant defense formidable.
The Niners, on the other hand, have remained consistent throughout the year. Yes, there has been a couple of lapses but under the guidance of head coach Jim Harbaugh the 49ers have remained focused and continued to play solid football all year long. The improved play of the much-maligned quarterback Alexi Smith is a big reason for the Niners success. Smith has three very capable receivers to throw to in Michael Crabtree, Ted Ginn and Vernon Davis and has the luxury of handing the ball off to Frank Gore 20-25 times a game. It might not be the most exciting unit but they are effective.
The real strength of this team, however, is the outstanding defensive unit. A lot of the players are not as well known as some but as a unit they are outstanding.
The Niners have what it takes to win, a solid defense and a outstanding running game but for some reason I really think the Giants and their collective experience will prevail in this game by a score of 27-19 and move on to play the Ravens in the Super Bowl.