Tim’s NFL Picks – Conference Championship Weekend

Home Editorial & Opinion Tim’s NFL Picks – Conference Championship Weekend

Tim Ajmani

The Corsair

And then there were four… The NFL Divisional Playoffs completed last weekend, leaving four teams left. I was terrible on my picks. I underestimated the 49ers, Patriots, and Giants. The 49ers game against the Saints will probably go down as the best game of the season, unless this upcoming weekend or the Super Bowl top it. Alex Smith silenced many of his critics last weekend, leading two touchdown drives in the final three minutes to “upset” Drew Brees and the high-flying Saints.

Last week also saw the end of Tim Tebow’s miraculous 2011-2012 NFL season. Despite losing 45-10 to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, Tebow surpassed everyone’s expectations of him coming into the season. Tebow started the season as low as the fourth string quarterback on the Denver Broncos depth chart, but finished it as the unquestioned starter and leader of the team. His season will go down as one of the most unlikely in NFL history; Personally, I can’t wait to see what he does with a full NFL offseason going into next year.

The Patriots, meanwhile, will face the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship with the right to go to the Super Bowl. The Patriots have that look of the same lethal team that went undefeated in the 2007 regular season and playoffs and reached the Super Bowl. Which brings me to the… New York Giants: the team that ended the Patriots run in that Super Bowl. The Giants are red-hot. A week after smothering the Falcons offense, the Giants defense made Aaron Rodgers look rather ordinary, in a seventeen point beatdown of the defending Super Bowl champions.

Could the Giants and Patriots meet again in February’s Super Bowl? They will have to get past the 49ers and Ravens first. So far in the playoffs, I’ve been extremely bad at picking games. However, I intend on stopping my skid, which goes back to Week 16 of the NFL season. My picks for Championship Weekend…

Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots – Sunday 2:00 CT

The last time the Ravens and Patriots met in a playoff game was a first round matchup in Foxboro two seasons ago. The Ravens smacked the Patriots in that game, winning 33-14. However, the Patriots were without receiver Wes Welker in that game. They also didn’t have Aaron Hernandez or Rob Gronkowski on their roster at the time. This Patriots offense looks simply unstoppable right now. They will get tested against one of the best defenses in the NFL. The key to the game lies with the Ravens offense. They will need to score early and often. If the Ravens offense can’t do that, the Patriots will blow them off the field. I think the Patriots get back to their first Super Bowl since their defeat at the hands of the Giants…

The pick: Patriots 31, Ravens 17

New York Giants @ San Francisco 49ers – Sunday 5:30 CT

I don’t know if anyone had these two teams meeting in the NFC Championship game at the start of the playoffs. The 49ers were a surprise to begin with, going 13-3 with first year head coach Jim Harbaugh. The Giants, on the other hand, had to win their final two games to get in, but were a popular dark-horse pick to go deep into the playoffs. Each team has a stellar defense; The Giants slowed down Aaron Rodgers last week and the 49ers kept Drew Brees at bay. But this game will come down to the quarterbacks. Eli Manning has a Super Bowl ring and a lot of playoff experience. Alex Smith played well last week, but he hasn’t been in the situation of being in a game with a Super Bowl appearance on the line. I think that the Giants win and set up a highly anticipated Super Bowl matchup with the Patriots…

The pick: Giants 24, 49ers 19

On the season:

Regular season picks: 63-33

Upset picks: 3-3

Playoffs: 3-5