Here are my NFL Championship Picks

(7-1 for the postseason, 163-93 for the regular season)

Bye teams: none


nepatriotsNE @ Den – The Patriots are healthy at exactly the right time.  During the first half of the season, they looked absolutely unstoppable.  After a rash of injuries, they dropped a few games, including one in Denver with Brock Osweiler as QB.  But now New England has all their pieces in place: Gronk, Edelman, Amendola, even Stephen Jackson.  And don’t forget Tom Brady, who always plays at the highest level.  This team seems like one that has found their second wind when it was needed the absolute most.  I wish I could say the same about Denver.  Peyton stepping in during Week 17 seemed to give the team a spark, the defense is the best in the league, and the Broncos are technically the best team in the AFC.  But even a home game doesn’t make me feel comfortable, not with the Pats coming to town.  The offense will have to score enough to keep up with Brady, even if the defense can hold him to a below average number of points.  I just don’t have the confidence in Manning’s abilities right now, even though I’ll be cheering my heart out for him to prove me wrong one last time.


carpanthersAri @ Car – The Cardinals are slumping at exactly the wrong time, unlike the Patriots, and are lucky that Aaron Rodgers & the Packers weren’t the team they usually are.  Allowing Green Bay to come back in that fashion was unacceptable, as was their poor offensive performance in general.  To beat the Panthers, the Cards will have to play lights out, Palmer will need to be perfect, and they’ll need their fair share of luck.  That’s too many necessities in my book, and the Panthers will definitely have something to say about it.  Carolina is unstoppable right now.  They could have scored 60 on the Seahawks had they left their foot on the gas, and that near blunder should give them a little slap of reality coming into this game.  No one can stop Cam right now, or Stewart for that matter, and their defense is just as good.  Playing at home, where they are undefeated on the season, should give them even more of an edge, even assuming that Arizona can return to midseason form.  And that’s not a foregone conclusion; if the Cardinals don’t fix their problems of the last few weeks, this game won’t even be close.