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AFC & NFC Conference Championship Weekend

As most of you know I've been VERY fortunate throughout the 2013 NFL Playoffs going 8-0 with my game picks and hitting every single player I've highlighted for Fantasy Football purposes. However, all of that is in the past and means nothing for this week's games. So, here's my take this week:

San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons: (3:00 pm ET Sunday, January 20, 2013)

After an emotional first playoff win for Matt Ryan and Tony Gonzalez, it's back to business as usual for the Atlanta Falcons and these two stars. I expect the Falcons to have a tough day on offense, Matt Ryan with 1+ turnover(s), Michael Turner less than 50 yards rushing, and for them to lose the time of possession battle. The Falcons Defense has not been good against TE's, the running game or rushing QB's. However, some "experts" on TV do not believe the Falcons are susceptible to rushing QB's, but they certainly were when they played Cam Newton twice, Michael Vick, and Russell Wilson giving up an average of 76.0 rushing yards on 9.5 yards per carry and 1 rushing TD in 3 out of the 4 games. So, I'd say those "experts" seriously need to be re-evaluated regardless of how great they may have been on the field or how long they've been "NFL Analysts." That being said, I expect Colin Kaepernick to rush for 40+ yards, 1+ TD's, he could easily rush for close to 100 yards. But, I like for people playing Fantasy Football to be pleasantly surprised with my projections instead of being let down. I also expect the 49ers TE's (Davis & Walker) to combine for 60+ yards, 1+ TD's, and the rushing attack of the 49ers to be successful in this game. With the 49ers converting on 3rd down more often than not, Matt Ryan, Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White, Julio Jones & company will be on the bench for most of the game. As I said last week, the best defense is a good offense which should hold true once again this week. I expect the 49ers to win this game and probably do so with a score in the neighborhood of 34-20.


Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots: (6:30 pm ET Sunday, January 20, 2013)

On paper this should be a very close game, note my 9:28 am Tweet from January 14, 2013 stating the last three games between these two teams has been decided by 7 total points. The stats don't quite tell the story in this match-up with key players like Lardarius Webb (has been significant in past games) and Rob Gronkowski out. But, the Patriots addition of Shane Vereen and new players on defense look to play significant roles in this game for the Patriots. I know Joe Flacco has been spectacular in the last 3 games vs the Patriots, see 9:47 am Tweet from January 14, 2013, but I do not expect quite that much success this time around. Joe Flacco has not thrown an Int in any of the past 4 games, something he's only done 3 other times in his career. I expect Joe Flacco to throw at least 1 Int, I think he gives the ball away at least twice in this game whether it's two Int's or an Int and Fumble. Ray Rice is coming off a decently big game and the Patriots are tough against the run so Rice should not have a big game, at least a big game for him. The Patriots running game & short passing game should do very well in this game, Aaron Hernandez 50+ receiving yards, and some of the biggest keys to the Patriots winning time of possession. I do not expect this game to be nearly as close as the past three. I expect the Patriots to win by at least 7 points, the total amount of points the last 3 in this series has been decided by. I could easily see the Patriots winning this game 38-17.

So, I see a New England Patriots at San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl just as speculated with my December 16, 2012 tweet and I picked in my "Playoff Picks" for the Super Bowl Week 3, Week 9, and Week 10. Conversely, I picked a Baltimore Ravens at San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl Week 4, Week 5, Week 6 but unfortunately picked the Packers Week 1, Week 2, Week 7, Week 8.

Austin D. Jordan
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