Are Bill Belichick and the Patriots headed to another Super Bowl? - Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Picking the winners in this weekend's AFC and NFC title games.
The NFL season, which the 2012 Super Bowl champion New York Giants exited long ago, has reached Championship Weekend. Which of the four teams remaining -- the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons in the NFC and Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots in the AFC -- will reach Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on Feb. 3?
Here are my predictions for Championship Weekend. Remember, I am picking winners only and not picking against the spread.
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49ers at Falcons
Game Time: Sunday, 3 p.m. ET
Line: San Francisco -5
Super Bowl Odds: 49ers 9-5, Falcons 6-1
I believe the 49ers are headed where the Giants prevented them from going a year ago -- to the Super Bowl. Head coach Ji Harbaugh made the risky decision to replace quarterback Alex Smith with Colin Kaepernick mid-season and he has been proven right. With Kaepernick the 49ers' offense has gone from pedestrian to explosive. Combined with their spectacular defense, I think the 49ers will be too much for the Falcons to handle.
Pick: San Francisco
Ravens at Patriots
Game Time: Sunday, 6:30 p.m.
Line -- New England -10
Super Bowl Odds: Patriots 11-10, Ravens 15-2
The Ravens' season -- and Ray Lewis's career -- should have ended last week at the hands of the Denver Broncos. Both will come to an end this weekend. This is a rematch of last season's AFC Championship Game, won 23-20 by New England. I don't know if I would take the Patriots and the 10-point spread, but I undoubtedly expect them to win here. Maybe Tom Brady will have better luck in the Super Bowl without the Giants there to knock him around.
Pick: New England
Last week: 2-2