The NFL Playoffs are getting closer to determining who will be taking part in this year’s Super Bowl. The NFC and AFC Championship games are this Sunday and feature four 12-win teams and arguably the four-best teams in the NFL this season: the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, and the Seattle Seahawks.
Several writers and the site overall went 4-0 in last week’s games. Here’s how the writers of Sports Unbiased have done so far in the playoffs in regards to their picks.
|Place||Writer||Correct Picks||Wrong Picks||Ties||"Win" %|
|1st Place||Kimani Gregoire||6||2||0||0.75|
|1st Place||John Yeomans||6||2||0||0.75|
|2nd Place||Sports Unbiased Consensus||5||2||1||0.625|
|2nd Place||Mike Santangelo||5||3||0||0.625|
|2nd Place||Rich Stowe||5||3||0||0.625|
|3rd Place||JR Williams||4||4||0||0.5|
|3rd Place||Jamal Cadoura||2||2||0||0.5|
|4th Place||Zach Krpan||3||5||0||0.375|
|4th Place||Brian Podoll||3||5||0||0.375|
|5th Place||Alex Brooks||2||6||0||0.25|
Here are the writers’ picks for this week’s Championship Games. Followed by the picks you will find a breakdown of each game by each writer and a poll for each game so you can vote for who you think will win each game.
|Rich Stowe||Brian Podoll||Kimani Gregoire||John Yeomans||Alex Brooks|
|San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks||Seahawks||Seahawks||Seahawks||49ers||Seahawks|
|New England Patriots at Denver Broncos||Broncos||Broncos||Patriots||Broncos||Broncos|
|Last Week (Playoffs)||4-0||2-2||4-0||4-0||1-3|
|JR Williams||Mike Santangelo||Zach Krpan||Jamal Cadoura||Sports Unbiased Consensus|
|San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks||49ers||Seahawks||Seahawks||49ers||Seahawks|
|New England Patriots at Denver Broncos||Broncos||Broncos||Broncos||Patriots||Broncos|
|Last Week (Playoffs)||3-1||3-1||1-3||2-2||4-0|
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
Rich Stowe: Seahawks, 24-21. The NFC’s two best teams face off in Seattle and that’s why I picked them to win this week (if the game was in San Fran, I would have picked the 49ers). I just think Seattle’s D will keep the 49ers O in check and Seattle will win it on a field goal with under five minutes to go in the 4th quarter.
Mike Santangelo: Seahawks, 28-13. The last two times these two teams have played in Seattle, the Seahawks have won, and won big. A total of 55 points over those two games big. I don’t think anything changes here, the Seahawks may not have a great offense, but that defense, especially at home in Seattle is simply dominant. As good as the 49ers are, they can’t break the cycle.
Kimani Gregoire: Seahawks, 24-17. I picked the 49ers to make the Super Bowl when we did our predictions before the start of the season. However I cannot igore this: the 49ers have been outscored 71-17 the last two times they’ve visited Seattle! CenturyLink has been a “House of Horrors” for Colin Kaepernick. I don’t see much changing in this game, even though the 49ers are coming into this game winners of their last eight games.
Brian Podoll: Seahawks, 23-11. The two regular season matchups between these division rivals did not provide much insight, as the home team won in each. However, the Seahawks won the Week 2 contest at Seattle in more convincing fashion, despite throwing for only 118 yards. The key then was five Frisco turnovers that helped the Seahawks lead the NFL in that differential for the regular season. Look for Seattle’s 4-3 defense to be the difference in heading to the Super Bowl.
Alex Brooks: Seahawks, 24-10. Seattle at home is almost unbeatable, and what they have done to the 49ers recently is shocking. The 49ers are hot so they will jump out to a 10-3 lead before the Seahawks settle down and take this game over. Seattle has the best defense of any of the teams that the 49ers have played so far, so they wont know how to react. Lynch will go off for over 100 rushing yard and will make it easy for Wilson to sling the ball all over the 49ers defense. Kaepernick will struggle against the staggering D, and be contained running the ball as well. The 49ers three road game win streak is about to end thanks to the 12th man.
Zach Krpan: Seahawks, 31-19. If there is one thing I have learned it’s don’t bet against the Seahawks. Playing with home field advantage doesn’t do the 49ers any good either. Look for Seattle to come out swinging and get a big win to advance to the Super Bowl.
JR Williams: 49ers 31-29. I believe the 49ers are the better team, unfortunately this game will not be decided by the better team but by the most efficient quarterback. Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick will be tested in their ability to make big plays during crucial 3rd downs and also their ability to scramble to pick up the extra yardage. Kaepernick has the better arm in my opinion and I expect the 49ers to pull off the upset in Seattle.
John Yeomans: 49ers,16-13. It is only fitting that these two rivals face off for a third time this season to decide on who goes to the Meadowlands from the NFC to play in the Super Bowl. San Francisco has struggled in the last a couple games they have played in Seattle, however, they have never been more battle tested on the road, as they now have three straight road wins against Arizona, Green Bay, and Carolina. There are also concerns with Seattle’s offense as the passing game has been off as of late, still, Marshawn Lynch more than carried the load last week. In a defensive game that should be neck in neck until the end, I’m going to ride with my Super Bowl pick from the beginning of the season, as the 49ers advance to their second straight Super Bowl.
Jamal Cadoura: 49ers 24-17. The 49ers are hot, having won two-straight playoff games on the road. Seattle’s offense is dull; they will not pose a legitimate threat to the 49ers’ defense. San Francisco’s offense has enough playmakers to surpass Seattle’s defense.
NFC Championship - Who will win: 49ers or Seahawks?
- Seahawks (62%, 13 Votes)
- 49ers (38%, 8 Votes)
Total Voters: 21
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos
Rich Stowe: Broncos, 27-21. As with my NFC pick, where this game is being played is the biggest factor. Peyton never seems to have luck against Belichick in the playoffs, however, I do believe this time it will be different. While the final score may be close, I think the Broncos jump out to a fast lead and the Patriots do their best to make it interesting but fall just short.
Mike Santangelo: Broncos, 33-30. Manning/Brady, what is it, four times now in the playoffs? Neither team has a defense to speak of (though the Patriots did look good against the Colts), and both are offensive powerhouses. As I’ve said a number of times this year, I’ll take Manning in a shootout every time.
Brian Podoll: Broncos, 35-31. New England inflicted the Broncos’ second loss of the season at Foxboro on November 24, but required overtime to do it. At Denver, it may be a similarly close shootout, only with some role reversal. Peyton Manning had his lowest throwing yardage output of the year at Foxboro, but the Broncos rolled on the ground. The Pats have churned their way to this game by amping up their running attack. If the difference becomes the quarterbacks, then Tom Brady is facing a healthy Champ Bailey in the Denver secondary and Manning gets to another Super Bowl via his outdoor home field for a change.
JR Williams: Broncos 28-21. Peyton Manning will prove why he is the better QB in this matchup while the Patriots will finally be exposed as a team with a lackluster supporting cast. The Patriots defeated the Colts with an effective running game, that same strategy will fail against the Brocos. Tom Brady and company are headed home.
John Yeomans: Broncos, 28-27. Brady vs. Manning with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, what more can you ask for. Back in November, Brady got the best of Manning as he led the Patriots to an overtime win after being down big early in the game. Coming into this game, the Patriots really have the running game going with LeGarrette Blount and despite the defense having more holes than Swiss cheese, with all the injuries ,they picked apart Andrew Luck last week. On the other hand, the Broncos defense looked good to last week, against the high-powered offense of the Chargers, even with Von Miller gone. This game is a toss-up as anything can happen when Manning and Brady go up against each other; still my gut tells me that Manning will punch in his third ticket to the Super Bowl.
Alex Brooks: Broncos, 34-27. The Broncos gave up a lead to the Patriots earlier this year, and John Fox has been reminding them all week about it. The one difference about this game is that the Broncos have home field advantage, plus the way Manning has played this year is like no other. It just feels like it’s his year, so the average defense of the Pats will struggle against their former teammate Wes Welker. Tom Brady will have a Tom Brady game throwing for around 200 to 300 yards, but this game lies on the shoulders of the Patriots running backs. I think that if the Patriots can rush for over 100 yards they will win the game, but the defense has been game planning for the run, so this won’t happen.
Zach Krpan: Broncos, 42-31. Its almost as if the league knew this would happen. The two best quarterbacks in the league come together for a shoot out. I think Manning is to determined and too good this year to lose. Broncos take the game and advance to the Super Bowl.
Kimani Gregoire: Patriots, 38-30. I picked the Patriots to make the Super Bowl when we did our predictions before the start of the season and I’m not changing now. All the pressure is on Peyton Manning to win this game – both for his legacy and to validate the greatest regular season by a quarterback in NFL history. I think Peyton will play well in this game; it’s just that I trust Bill Belichick to slow him down more often than I trust the Broncos’ D to slow down Tom Brady. The Patriots will be able to run, throw and score points and they’ll dominate possession and win in a high-scoring affair.
Jamal Cadoura: Patriots, 34-30. Peyton Manning and Denver’s offense has been brought back to earth lately. The Patriots have always been able to fluster Manning. Brady’s clutch and will emerge with a victory.
AFC Championship - Who Will Win: Patriots or Broncos?
- Patriots (55%, 11 Votes)
- Broncos (45%, 9 Votes)
Total Voters: 20
So how did we do? Do you agree or disagree? Remember to vote in each poll and leave any comments below.