NFL: Third Round Playoff Predictions

So a marked improvement for playoffs Week 2! I got two of four games right…that’s a whole additional game from last week! And, you have to give me the Packers/Giants prediction; c’mon, who really saw that one coming? Denver…that one was my bad. After home field won out in Week One, I couldn’t see it happening again so I forced an upset pick. Oh well; life continues to tell me to trust my instincts and stop overthinking things.

Only three NFL games left this season (we don’t count the Pro Bowl). Two big-time conference championships coming up. Despite my terrible game-by-game record, both of my Super Bowl picks remain alive, so I don’t think you’ll see any surprises below.

New York Giants (11-7) at San Francisco (14-3)
Giants QB Eli Manning is playing his best football since…well, the last time he won a Super Bowl. He’s raising the level of play from those around him, and the Giants are playing well over their heads right now. That’s going to end this week in the City by the Bay. The 49ers, who are a smart, disciplined team with a suspect offense, were able to hang in with the high-powered New Orleans Saints despite overall lack of firepower. Their defense will stifle the Giants’ average rushing attack; the key to the game will be if they can force Eli into key mistakes and turnovers. I’m betting they will.
Jack’s Worthless Week Three Prediction: San Francisco 27, New York Giants 17

Baltimore (13-4) at New England (14-3)
CBS’ Dan Marino put it bluntly after Baltimore’s win against Houston: Ravens QB Joe Flacco is going to have to play much better against New England to make the Super Bowl. What he neglected to mention was that Houston has the No. 3 overall pass defense, while New England is bringing up the rear at No. 31. Flacco is a gamer who gets better the more pressure that’s on, and Baltimore as a team plays up (or down) to their level of competition. The key battle here is Tom Brady vs. the Ravens tough and experienced defense. Brady is Mr. Clutch, but has his 3-4 INT games. If the Ravens defense can force a turnover early and Flacco can settle into a nice rhythm, Baltimore wins a trip to Indianapolis (anyone outside of the NFL ever want THAT as a first prize)?
Jack’s Worthless Week Three Prediction: Baltimore 34, New England 31

San Francisco vs. Baltimore
Unchanged throughout the playoffs.
Baltimore 27, San Francisco 10