After going 2-6 so far in the NFL playoffs, my hopes of being even .500 at the end of it all are now gone. With that in mind, here are my almost-certain-to-be-wrong picks for the NFC & AFC Championship games....
Sunday, Jan. 23
Atlanta at Philadelphia, 3:00 p.m. on FOX
Atlanta was very impressive against the Rams last week. Their defense played well, and their offense was even better. The Eagles, on the other hand, gave the Vikings every opportunity to win, but Minnesota kept blowing those opportunities.
Philly will be at home for this game, but TO is still out at least until the Super Bowl. If they even make it that far. And they won't. FALCONS BY 9
New England at Pittsburgh, 6:30 p.m. on CBS
The Pats utterly stifled Manning and the Colts last week. Yes, the miserable weather was a factor, but the New England defense was a bigger factor. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, is very lucky to still be playing right now. The Jets should have won last week, but they managed to collapse, as I have been predicting for weeks now.
The Steelers are at home this week, so this should be a close game. (If it was to be played in New England, I would expect an easy win for the Patriots.) But "Big Ben" will choke under the pressure, and New England will be able to largely contain Pittsburgh's running game. NEW ENGLAND BY 6 (and no more than 34 total points scored)