Two weeks of two picks correct has left me feeling a little middling.
But with the conference championship games ahead, Im hoping the two-pick trend continues.
Two-for-two, here I come.
Last weekend, Joe Flacco made a fool out of me, again. Sure, prior to the game nobody thought Joe Flacco vs. Peyton Manning would earn a place among quarterback duals for the ages. After, though? Behind the Flacco Fling, that one will find a place in the books. And with three Manning turnovers, Flaccos 331 yards and 116.2 passer rating against the Broncos proved that his quick draw is fast, accurate and deadly.
Forget what I said, Flaccos shaping up to be one of the elite.
Then in Atlanta, Matty Ice made like an ice sculpture and mostly kept his shape. When Russell Wilson hit a fourth quarter thermal, I thought I could hear the ice a-drippin, but Matt Ryan and Matt Bryant clipped those Seahawk wings and finally got Tony Gonzalez a playoff win.
The playoff monkeys off that birds back.
Sunday, Jan. 20
San Francisco at Atlanta, 1 p.m. (KASA) I dont trust the Falcons. You dont trust the Falcons. Nobody trusts the Falcons, except the Falcons monkey free or not. For Atlanta nobody believes in us isnt just a slogan, its a way of life. And thats worked out pretty well for Atlanta, so far.
The Falcons do have some talons. Even Seattles stingy corners couldnt completely shut down the Julio Jones-Roddy White tandem. Throw in Gonzalez, and youve got a receiving trio that might be unmatched.
But thats not all: Last weekend the Falcons proved their defense has a wingspan, too, holding the usually prolific Marshawn Lynch to just 46 yards on 16 carries. Frank Gore shouldnt expect much better.
So lets talk about Atlantas pass rush. What pass rush, you ask? Oh, right. Its a good thing, then, that San Franciscos got a not-so-nimble game manager behind center.
Wait, that guys riding the pine for the other guy, who ran for more yards than any quarterback ever (181) while also throwing for 263 and two touchdowns last weekend, you say? Rut roh. Against that saggy Atlanta pass rush, the 49ers Colin Kaepernick will have plenty more opportunity to show off his legs, when hes not finding Michael Crabtree through the air.
Nobody believes in Atlanta; everyone believes in San Francisco. Theres a reason. Pick: 49ers, 38-27. Line: 49ers by 4.
Baltimore at New England, 4:30 p.m. (KCNC, KREZ) fool me once: Shame on you. Fool me twice: Shame on me. Fool me three times? Cmon, Joe, help me out here. Only a fool would pick against Tom Brady and the Patriots in Foxborough with a record fourth Super Bowl win in sight. Well, color me a fool.
I cant shake the feeling that New England is going to slice and dice the Ravens defense. Especially with this spread. But I couldnt shake a similar feeling last week, and look where that got me.
The Patriots statistically are better than Baltimore everywhere except passing defense, and with Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith peaking ahead of an and I cant believe Im saying this almost scary-good Flacco, thats one big Achilles heel. Heck, they made Champ Bailey finally look old.
Plus, Ray Retirement Lewis is sure to be screaming stuff somewhere on the field, and thats an intangible Im no longer willing to mock. Im ignoring my gut: The Ravens only could look better if Joe brings back the handlebar mustache. Pick: Ravens, 30-28. Line: Patriots by 9.