Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Sheepdog's picks for the NFC and AFC Championships

Late Sunday evening we will know which two teams will square off in Dallas in Super Bowl XLV. The NFL Playoffs started with twelve and now we're down to four battling for a shot at the Lombardi Trophy. Each of the teams remaining have won at least one Super Bowl. The question is who's gonna win another one.

There's been eight playoff games played so far. I've picked five correctly and three wrong. Upsets account for the three I missed with the Packers being responsible for two of them. Last week, I picked 3 out of 4 games correctly, including the Jets huge upset of the Patriots in Foxboro. I am very proud of that pick as several people thought I was nuts. Remember, defense wins championships and that was the key in the Jets win.

Sunday's AFC and NFC Championship games will feature both of the number two seeds hosting both of the number six seeds. I believe we will see another upset in those two games. My picks are :

  • NFC Championship : Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears - Sunday, January 23rd, 3 PM EST on FOX -  Green Bay and Chicago played twice during the regular season with each team winning at home. Chicago came into the playoffs as the number two seed in the NFC. Last week, they jumped out to a 28-0 lead on Seattle in the snow. However, Seattle got back in the game in the 4th quarter and only lost to the Bears 35-24. I'm not sure if the Bears let up on them or if the Seahawks just picked it up when the weather improved later in the game. Green Bay squeaked into the playoffs as the number six seed in the NFC. They have been on fire since the playoffs started shocking a lot of people, including me. In back to back weeks, they traveled to third-seeded Philadelphia and won, and then backed that up by beating the top-seeded Falcons in Atlanta. They're on a bit of a roll. Sheepdog's pick - I think Chicago quit last week and Green Bay is red-hot right now. The Packers are accustomed to bad weather, so weather will not be a concern this week. I've picked against the Packers two weeks in a roll and got burned. I'm not making that mistake again. I'll take Green Bay in their third straight upset.
  • AFC Championship : N.Y. Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers - 6:30 PM EST Sunday, January 23rd on CBS - The Jets pulled off the biggest upset of the playoffs last week. They were motivated by revenge in beating the Patriots. After entering the playoffs as the 6th seed in the AFC, they've had a great playoff run beating 3rd seeded Indianapolis and top seeded New England. Both wins were on the road, too. The Steelers, on the other hand, entered the playoffs as the number two seed and finished the regular season 2nd in total defense. They made a huge comeback against the Ravens last Sunday going on a 24-3 run in the second half to win 31-24. Sheepdog's pick - "Defense wins Championships" and the Steelers defense is playing better than anybody right now. Plus, at this stage of the season, a quarterback with experience is very important. With Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers have the edge there, too. The Jets were motivated by revenge when winning last week. This week, the Steelers are. They remember the Jets coming into Pittsburgh and winning 22-17 a few weeks ago. The loss eliminated any hope the Steelers had of earning the #1 seed. The Jets will get a dose of their own medicine this week. I'm taking the Steelers.
So, there you have it. Super Bowl XLV will be the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers on February 6th. Will the Steelers win a record 7th Super Bowl title or will the Packers win their 4th ? We'll know in a couple of weeks. Enjoy the games this weekend.
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1 comment:

The Second Chance Sheepdog said...

I nailed it this weekend - went 2 for 2. Super Bowl XLV is set. I've now picked 7 out 10 playoff games correctly. Not bad for a novice.