Monday, January 14, 2008

Conference Championships: Week 2 - Take 2

The conference championship games are set, and coincidentally both matchups occurred in week 2 of the season. Although the teams and the locations are the same, there is reason to believe things may not go as smoothly for these teams as they did in week 2.

Both of the underdogs have grown up alot since week 2. The Giants pulled off the big upset against the Cowboys in Dallas and Eli has come a long way. The Giants also gave the Patriots all they could handle in a meaningless game in week 17.

That said, this could be Brett Farve's last chance to grab a Super Bowl ring for the road and betting against a motivated Brett Farve playing at Lambeau field is not something I'd like to do, and I won't, I expect the Packers to go to the Super Bowl.

The Chargers were thrown into a tail spin when they came to Gillette earlier this season. They would lose games to the Packers and the lowly chiefs in the following two weeks. Eventually the Chargers found their groove and are currently on an 8 game winning streak.

In week 2, the Patriots were just coming off of the spygate scandal and were hungry to prove that some taped defensive signals don't account for. Some of that fervor has worn off and there's certainly the possibility that the Patriots are losing a step with the victories being less convincing as the season progressed.

But again, the favorites are the favorites for a reason. Tom Brady can go into the AFC championship game with no fear of seeing the Reche Caldwell face.

Tom Brady's game against Jacksonville was a great performance that stands out in a season full of great performances. His completion percentage was record worthy and devastating. Jacksonville's gameplan was to grind out long scoring drives and control the clock, which they succeeded at, but the Patriots scored on nearly every offensive drive to bury the Jaguars. The Patriots defense showed some weakness against the Jaguars, but managed to contain their running game with some success and forced David Gerrard to pass for big yards. Eventually Gerrard slipped up throwing a rare interception to end the game.

Part of me is sad that the Colts lost. They are a better team than the Chargers, but the Chargers match up well against the Colts for whatever reason and the Colts seemed to have a sub par day, which just doesn't cut it in the playoffs. Bill Simmons is always talking about how the Lakers dodged a bullet in the rivalry with the Celtics in the 1985-1986 season by not making it to the finals for the rematch that year, instead losing in the Western Conference championship. I feel like I've been robbed of the opportunity for true revenge with the Colts avoiding playing the new and improved Patriots in their house in a huge playoff game. Welcome back to being painted a choke artist Peyton.

My picks?
28-21 Packers

35-21 Patriots

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