That’s something you do not see often in the NFL, especially with playoff teams. After seeing Andrew Luck bring back the Colts from a 2,134,679,234 (accurate number) point deficit against the Chiefs, they couldn’t get past 22 points against the Patriots after the Colts’ defense got slaughtered, giving up a whopping six rushing touchdowns, four of them coming from a player that didn’t start one game in 2012. Cam Newton scored ten points against the 49ers’ incredibly consistent defense in the first half. By the end of the day, they were in the red zone twice, only achieving a measly three points, and the 49ers’ defense didn’t allow a single point during the second half. Philip Rivers was primed to bring the Chargers back to at least tie the game, but his team’s defense just couldn’t stop Peyton Manning. Drew Brees took it one step further. After completing an onside kick, the Saints had a little under thirty seconds to go over fifty yards. They got about fifteen, until Marques Colston tried to be a hero and “lateraled” it to Khiry Robinson after making a sideline catch. Only problem though; it was a forward pass, which effectively ran out the clock. This game was probably the most agonizing to watch, especially seeing as though the Saints could have very well tied the game. The catch made to seal the 2012 Seahawks-Packers game is enough evidence to support that Drew Brees could’ve put it in the endzone with his arm, and the Saints had already converted a two-point conversion earlier in the game. I sincerely believed that would be the case, but all for naught.
And so, the AFC-NFC Championship games come down to four teams with 12+ regular season win records, this being the first time since I became a fan of the NFL that this has ever happened. It gives a refreshing twist on the playoffs, as there is no really “hot” team going into these two games, except perhaps the 49ers, who won two road games just to get to Seattle to face their rival Seahawks. It truly is an AFC-NFC Championship to remember, as both games will play host to two ongoing rivalries, with the NFC being between division rivals and the AFC game being between a media proclaimed “rivalry” between two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Despite the fact that Tom Brady has been playing less like a hall of fame quarterback and more like a game manager this season, his dynamic running game should prove a challenge for Denver’s defense, regardless of their success against the combination of Woodhead, Brown, and Mathews. From what the past few games have shown me, I expect the 49ers-Seahwaks game to be low scoring, but so does everybody else. However, what I have noticed is that the 49ers offense has flourished against stiff competition from both the Packers and the Panthers of all teams. The Seahawks had trouble the whole game passing the ball against the Saints, except when it mattered most. The 49ers won’t let that happen. We could blame the wind, we could blame the bye week. Whatever the case, I genuinely don’t think the Seahawks offense will get a lot out of the 49ers defense.
My prediction for the Super Bowl: Patriots vs. 49ers