San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons: This is a very intriguing matchup because we don’t really know what to expect. Will we see a guy in Colin Kapernick that can hurt you running, passing, and being the difference maker or a guy who has not played in a game of this magnitude and show his inexperience? Will we see the Atlanta Falcons team that was beating the Seattle Seahawks by 20 points or the team that gave up a 20 point lead? For the Falcons to win this game, it is important for them to get an early lead and to contain what Kapernick can do with his legs. The 49ers will need to eliminate the big plays from the Falcons. Those plays can come from Julio Jones, Roddy White, or Jaquizz Rodgers. Don’t forget the impact Tony Gonzalez and Michael Turner can have. Getting pressure with Aldon Smith and company will be important but making sure the Falcons are settling for three instead of six is what counts. The Falcons will need to make the 49ers an one dimensional team. In other words, stop the run. Make Kapernick, a second year player beat you by throwing. Harder said than done. Prediction: 49ers 34 – Falcons 21.
Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots: The rematch of last year’s classic Conference Championship Game, this one should be another great game. It could be the last game ever for all-time great Ray Lewis or it could be another year of disappointment for Tom Brady and the Patriots who is searching for his fourth ring. It is almost certain that this game will be close. Many people pick New England as a huge favorite in this game. Let’s all remember that this same Ravens team was a Lee Evans catch and missed field goal away from beating New England last year and actually beat the Patriots this season. This one will come down to key plays in the last few minutes of the game. There is something going on in Baltimore that is hard to go against. This team is truly playing their hearts out for Ray Lewis and it has brought them together like nothing we have ever seen. Tom Brady will be in the way of a chance to go to the Super Bowl but it just might be the Ravens time. Prediction: Ravens 27 – Patriots 23.