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Prediction Friday: AFC and NFC championships

We’ll make this one short and sweet.

No reason to belabor a Prediction Friday that doesn’t involve the Ravens.

At least you can pick Rex Ryan or Matt Stover to get to the Super Bowl. Or you can pick against the Colts because, hey, this is Baltimore and we don’t need a reason.

As for me, I have yet to pick the Jets in the postseason and I am sticking with that.

I say the Colts win 24-10 and head to the Super Bowl. Predictably, Peyton Manning is the hero with three TDs thrown.

As for the NFC Championship, I am going with a blowout. New Orleans 31-13 over the Minnesota Vikings. And I’ll stay with predictability: Drew Brees is the hero with three TDs and 400 yards passing.

Now I want your predictions for both the AFC and NFC championships. Include a hero for each game.

To get the free drink chips you need to pick both winners, unless you get one score completely right.

Daily Think Special: Prediction Friday – AFC and NFC championship games

Comments

Vikings 34-24 big game from Peterson, Colts 31-13 Manning of course.

Colts 28
Jets 13
Hero: Manning

Vikings 34
Saints 28
Hero: Favre

I agree with you Dan. Kolts and Saints by the scores you stated. I hope this is not a jinks for you. They should be good games, enjoy everybody. Also I would like to thank the Ravens for their "thanks to the fans" I just saw on this sports page. I am excited for the Ravens next year. Should be as good or better than this year. Goal is to really handle the Steelers and win our conference.

Dan, I agree with you as far as the home teams winning, but can't see how you think the Vikings won't be able to score more than 13 points with Favre vs a less than stellar Saints defense (people thought the Cowboys "D" was going to make life miserable for him and he went out and spanked them--New Orleans is no better).

As for scores, I'll need to think about that a bit and come back to you. Your prediction for the Indy-Jets game sounds about right, but I just don't see how such a wide margin can be justified in the other game.

Colts - 31
Jets - 6

Manning - 4td's

Nawlens - 41
Minnesota - 24

Brees - 5 td's

My Ravens fan colleague here at work said she is rooting for Rex and the Jets. I told her no way can I ever root for the Jets. They are probably the only AFC team I can't root for in the Super Bowl. She's so young that I had to explain about Super Bowl III. Peyton & Co. will exorcise the demons from 40 years ago and deny Rex his trip to Miami. I will acknowledge the Jets defense, but they are not good enough to win this one. Colts win 20-10, Manning is the man, of course.

I'll pick the Saints just because I had a good time in N'awlins last fall. (Can you NOT have a good time in the Big Easy?) Saints win a shootout, 35-31, with Brees having the big game, over 300 yards and 4 TD's to offset the big games by Favre and Peterson. Bush contributes a big runback on a punt and/or breaks a long gain on a play from scrimmage.

Colts win big over the Jets - 27 to 3. There's too much hype surrounding these Jets and the Colts are being overlooked by the media. The MVP of the game is Peyton - he'll have a big day with 3 TDs.

I'll take the Vikings in a close game - 27 to 24. Peterson is the difference, and Brees will not have enough time to complete his passes with Allen and Edwards on is back. MVP is Peterson with 120 yards and 2 TDs.

COLTS best team this season QB,AND AFANTASTIC defense just ask the ravens ,. that defense will help jets qb learn to run in between his turnovers ,. another ROMO , jake a little pressure they cant take it. RICK

Dan, After further deliberation, here are my picks:

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP
Vikings 31 Saints 24
Heroes: Brett Favre and Jared Allen

Here's where I questioned your eighteen point spread as excessive, which I still believe will be the case regardless of who comes out on top. Here, I'm maybe picking more with my heart over my head, but a Vikings' win certainly won't be an upset should it happen.

I think you're vastly underestimating Minnesota's defense and overestimating New Orleans' defense. While the Saints were able to torch Arizona's defense, the Vikings are head and shoulders above the Cardinals in that regard, and Jared Allen figures to give more grief to Drew Brees than Arizona was able to muster.

And while it's true N.O.'s "D" made life miserable for Kurt Warner, it's the Wild Card aspect of the Saints' team that can play at a high level one week and mediocre the next. If the Vikings can get Adrian Petersen untracked, than I think Brett Favre will do enough right to get back to the Super Bowl.

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP
Colts 24 Jets 10
Heroes: Peyton Manning and Austin Collie

Like I mentioned before, I think your pick is spot on for Colts-Jets. The only way I see the Jets pulling the upset is a big turnover somewhere, like a pick-six and against Peyton Manning, even that might not be enough. The problem for New York is pressuring him enough to get him to make poor decisions...easier said than done. Manning has seen Rex Ryan defenses enough that little is going to surprise him and if Peyton has the upper hand in that battle, he usually wins the war. True, Darrelle Revis can be a difference maker, but Reggie Wayne, if not the best, is arguably the most complete receiver he's gone up against. Even if Revis contains Wayne, Manning likely will find someone open.

On the other side of the ball, all the Colts need to do is get out to a two-score lead to where Mark Sanchez is forced to throw--the pressure that Pro Bowl defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis should put on him will likely result in at least a turnover or two, and the Jets simply cannot afford to lose the turnover battle.

Overall, I really like Indy's professionalism, how they keep their cool in the face of adversity (five straight fourth quarter comebacks, anyone?); that even keel attitude filters down from their rookie head coach, Jim Caldwell (aka Gandhi II). They never got too high when they were winning or too low when they basically rolled over for the last two games of the regular season, when the whole world was letting them know how "stupid" they were for not trying for the perfect record.

While everyone knows who the big star is, this is a very "together" team. There might be teams with more overall talent, but none with the Colt's kind of unity. Plus, they're healthy and the defense looks fresh and is playing better than at any time of the season (thanks to Caldwell's "stupid" move).

For these reasons, I'm not only picking Indy in this game but to go all the way.

Oh, and if it happens to be close at the end, I like the leg of Matt Stover, who's been an invaluable replacement for Adam Vinitieri (another great move by Bill Polian--Ravens, what) were you thinking?!).

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