NFL predictions for conference championship games

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New district assignments for prep football have been released.

I should have known better. I do know better.

Andy “small game” Reid proved once again incapable of winning a game of import, thus spoiling my perfect run through the playoffs. If given the chance I knew the most overrated coach this side of Mike Shanahan would manage to drop the baby, and he did.

That left your lone local publicly posted picker 3-1 last week and 7-1 in the postseason, numbers which increased the season tally to 156-108 (.591) with three games remaining.

The AFC/NFC conference games are usually the most entertaining battles of the post season and I hope such is again the case come Sunday.

Here we go …

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP
at Denver, 2:05 p.m. CBS
NEW ENGLAND vs. DENVER
Brady vs. Manning. Yawn. I have never been intrigued by any of their earlier meetings and am only mildly interested in this one. It might be a fair bet to guess that 90 percent of the public living west of the Hudson river hope head coach Bill “Personality Plus” Belichick, Brady and the Patriots lose. Of that 90 percent, a solid minority might confess to hoping Brady is pounded into oblivion. (Count me in that group.) Alas, the Pretty Boy has many of his weapons back, and if what is still a makeshift offensive line can keep Tommy on his feet (and there is no guarantee they can) New England will be tough to beat, as Mr. Commercial has led the Broncos to just one touchdown in their last 28 drives. Sigh … PATRIOTS 27-16.

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP
at Charlotte, 5:40 p.m. FOX
ARIZONA vs. CAROLINA
There is no point in discussing at any length my opinion on Scam Newton, as I have not been shy in declaring him my most despised player in the league. Arizona would dearly love to avenge an embarrassing loss to Carolina in the playoffs last season, and at least this year they have Carson Palmer under center. Palmer is hardly known for being a big-game quarterback, but neither has Scam, and the Panther defense has shown a tendency to wobble when pressured. I can foresee two probable outcomes — either Carolina wins by two touchdowns or more, or Arizona pulls out a squeaker. A Scam/Pretty Boy Super Bowl would create my worst possible title match up since Dallas/Pittsburgh. Please, please, please … CARDINALS 30-27.

Last week: 3-1. Season: 156-108 (.591).

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