Pink's NFL Picks 1-17-08


Last week's record, 3-1; playoff record, 6-2

Pick of the Week, 1-0; playoff record, 1-1

 

I'll take a 3-1 mark for the second straight week of the playoffs.

Unfortunately, I misfired on my Pick of the Week when the Chargers upset the Colts. I offer no excuses in that one and I'm still not sure how the Colts lost.

Enough said about last week. It's time for the conference championship games and the AFC game should be a no-brainer. As for the NFC, that just may be a different story.

Sunday, Jan. 20

AFC Championship


San Diego at New England


- Realistically, I think the only real question to be answered in this game is how big a margin the Patriots will win by - this game qualifies as a no-brainer if I ever saw one.

 

We're all being fed tons of hype with regard to how few points the Chargers give up (under 11 a game) and how they score an average of 30-plus points a game, but I'm not buying it. Consider the fact that the three most important offensive players on the Chargers - running back LaDanian Tomlinson, tight end Antonio Gates and quarterback Philip Rivers - are all banged up and I just can't see how anyone can give them a legitimate chance of winning the game.

Well, there's no need for the Patriots to be reckless, so that may keep the score down a bit, but in the end the New England Patriots will be returning to the Super Bowl following a 34-20 victory over the Chargers.


NFC Championship

New York Giants at Green Bay


- Nobody, and I mean nobody, ever thought the Giants would be in this position a month ago. Now they actually have a chance of winning and advancing to the Super Bowl.

 

The way I see this game, the outcome will depend on which quarterback plays better. Does the future Hall of Famer Brett Favre lead the Packers to the Super Bowl or does the much-maligned Giants quarterback Eli Manning quiet his critics once again?

The Packers' Favre still carries with him the gunslinger tag regardless of the fact that at times this season he has shown a more conservative approach in key situations. Either way, throughout his career he has made his fair share and then some, of mistakes that have cost the Packers dearly and I think he's due to make some come Sunday.

As for Manning, he remains somewhat of a mystery, or should I say a work in progress? At times he appears lost and indecisive, while other times his play can be compared to that of his older brother, Peyton Manning of the Colts. Recently, we have been watching the better side of him and if the Giants are to have any chance of advancing, that trend has to continue.

Am I a Giants fan? To some degree, yes. However, the main reason I like the G-Men in this game is the versatility of their offense. The tandem of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw has emerged to lead what can be a very effective running attack.

At the same time, tight end Kevin Boss has performed admirably in the absence of Jeremy Shockey, while the play of wide receiver Amani Toomer play has been outstanding.

Yes, I think the Giants are going to the Super Bowl following a thrilling 20-17 victory over the Packers.

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