Philadelphia Eagles @ Arizona Cardinals
Few expected to see these two teams in the NFC Championship game, especially the Cardinals. Both are playing red hot and came off big upset wins this past weekend. This game is going to feature two greatquarterbacks testing defenses. NFC Championship vet Donovan McNabb, who has been playing with a chip on his shoulder since being benched, will test the Card’s average defense. Two time MVP Kurt Warner will test the 3rd best overall defense in the Eagles.
At first, I really liked the Eagles. If you have been keeping up with my blog, I have been hating on the Cardinals this postseason. But, now it has become apparent that Eagles RB Brian Westbrook has tweaked his knee and will be slowed during the game. In addition, that “average” Cardinal defense that I mentioned earlier is allowing 67.5 rushing yards a game in the playoffs (and that was against two of the best rushing teams in the league!) So, I am picking the Cardinals. Yes, the Cardinals are going to the Super Bowl. Kurt Warner and his star receivers are playing better than anyone in the league and the Cardinals defense is getting it done. The Eagles are banged up and have to play in Arizona in a hostile stadium that will be packed with very happy Cardinal fans. The Eagles chances rest on their secondary to stop the Cardinals passing attack and the health of Brian Westbrook. If both play well, the Eagles could be playing in the Super Bowl. If not, it’s the Cardinal’s turn.
Arizona: 35 Philadelphia: 17
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The NFL’s two best defenses are squaring off in the AFC title game. Ravens QB Joe Flacco became the first rookie quarterback to win two playoff games and looks to extend his streak against the experience of the Steelers. It is very hard to beat a team 3 times in the same season, which is what the Steelers are trying to do. The Last team to do that was the Steelers in 2002. However, as much as I would like to pick the underdog in this one, I’m going to pick the Steelers to win this defensive slugfest.
Steelers QB Ben Roethisbeger will be at the helm of that power run game of the Steelers and make the throws when needed. The Steelers defense will just overwhelm Joe Flacco. He hasn’t played a defense of this calibur in the playoffs yet. This game will be won by whichever offense makes the less mistakes. That offense will be the Steelers. The Ravens defense can only score so many points and their offense just can’t generate enough to win this game.
Pittsburgh: 20 Baltimore: 10