Friday, January 16, 2009

NFL Conference Championship Games Preview

The Divisional Playoff Round was rough for Subway Sports. Our predictions fell flat on their face and we finished 1-3 against the spread. That brings us to a disappointing, but not horrible, 4-4 for the playoffs with three games to go.

Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) at Arizona Cardinals

This might easily be the least predictable NFC Championship match-up in the history of the NFL. So it's fitting the #6 seed in the conference is favored. The Eagles have been on a roll capped by their dismantling of the defending champs last week. Also, the Eagles beat the Cardinals 48-20 on Thanksgiving Evening. At the same time, the Cardinals have completely turned their season around and dominated the Panthers. I want to take the Cardinals because their running game has picked it up and their defense has played well. But remember, Jake Delhomme gift-wrapped that game for the Cardinals. The Cardinals' fans will be loud and the team will be ready to play but I don't see the Eagles getting phased. I'm confident that the Eagles won't give the game away and they won't let the Cardinals run the ball. So, can Warner, Fitzgerald, and Boldin make enough plays to steal this one? My view is that they can't.

Eagles 27 - Cardinals 20

Baltimore Ravens (-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers

This is going to be a brawl. Once again two physical teams are squaring off in a grudge match. Expect the Ravens to be up to their usual antics. They are going to fly to the ball and their defense will make plays. However, the Titans were able to move the ball against them last week and turnovers saved the Ravens from giving up points. If the Steelers take care of the ball, they will win this game. The Ravens need 10 points minimum to be set up by the defense to have a chance. I don't see it happening. With Willie Parker back in the fold and the momentum of a 35 point performance, I confident the Steelers will pull this one out.

Steelers 22 - Ravens 10

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