It’s Sunday morning and I finally have to give my pic for today’s match ups. I’ve waited long enough, it’s put up or shut up time.
Patriots vs Broncos
I picked the Broncos to lose last week because I didn’t think Peyton Manning could handle the pressure of another big game. He showed me. Manning was dialed in like a surgeon taking only what the defense gave him. The “Ohama” cadence was a nice wrinkle that got the Chargers to jump off sides at least three times. The Chargers over aggressive defense combined with Peyton’s poise was the difference.
So why pick the Broncos now? Mainly because I want to see the number one ranked passing attack go against the number one pass defense and the Broncos are half of that equation.
The Patriots did everything they could to beat the Broncos earlier this year and if Peyton is going to continue to play conservative in his throws he will reduce the opportunities of the Patriots. I don’t think the crowd is a factor in this one just two good teams battling to the end.
The Broncos will get the early lead similar to last week, not too large where the Patriots rely on Brady’s arm and go freestyle. The lead will be a one score throughout the game with the Broncos pulling ahead late.
My pick: Broncos: 31 Patriots: 19
49ers vs Seahawks
The 49ers are feeling hot, hot, hot. The media is split with the ‘experts’ picking the Seahawks and the former players picking the 49ers. All week I’ve listened to San Francisco radio stations and they are a confident bunch. Why wouldn’t you be? The 49ers are hot right now and the better team.
The 49ers were also the better team against the Green Bay Packers which is why I picked them to win. Little did I know the Packers secondary would drop an interception in the late stages of the game giving Aaron Rodgers another crack at the win. Watching the 49ers last week I saw a confident Colin Kaepernick doing his thing after more DB’s were dropping his passes. Maybe he does throw the ball that hard. Either way those are flaws that a secondary like Seattle will reveal.
Everyone is ripping on the Seahawk receivers as being #2’s that are playing at a #3 caliber. The Seahawk receivers don’t like it well, now is the time to step up and prove the pundits wrong. I don’t envision a 100 yard game from Tate or Baldwin or a 300 yard passing game from Russell Wilson but they will need to make the critical catch to keep the sticks moving if they are to win today.
I’m mixed on my pick for this game. If any team jumps out to a two score lead early I don’t think they win. Sound crazy? Hear me out. Both teams are coming in with the mindset to manage and control the game. A big deficit takes you out of your game plan and puts you into freestyle mode. Both Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick thrive playing freestyle chuck and duck football. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if both coaches threw caution to the wind and played the whole game that way? Yeah, wishful thinking, probably not going to happen.
What’s going to happen is controlled ground and pound football that will have us on the edge of our seats the entire game. Back and forth with four lead changes in the game giving the victor a chance to play in the Super Bowl.
I think the 49ers limit their mistakes this time around and hang close the entire game. If the Seahawks don’t pull away the 49ers win a close one. If the Seahawks can get a punt return or pick six then they win by 10+. Below are my two scenarios and unfortunately I think the game will be close all the way to the end.
49ers 20 Seahawks 17 (Tied and 49ers go down the field to kick game winning field goal as time expires)
Seahawks 24 49ers 13 (Seahawks leading 17-13 and secure pick six in final minutes)