NFL Conference Championship Preview

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Eagles @ Cardinals
Evan: What’s the deal with Westbrook? For the first time in awhile, the Eagles are coming in with everyone expecting them to win (as opposed to hoping they don’t blow it). I feel like this is usually a problem for the Eagles, but I hope the motivation of playing the super bowl supersedes their insecurities. Pick: Philly
Mike: As soon as the Eagles game ended I was immediately concerned about the Cardinals. It just seems too easy. Team we killed just a few weeks ago (and despite what everyone is saying, they had not yet clinched the division, but it was pretty much a sure thing). Everyone is counting them out like they don’t belong here. I would have been concerned anyway. I’ve seen enough Eagles games in the NFC Championship. I see why Evan is concerned about Westbrook. My feeling is that you need to look at the teams we’ve played the past 2 weeks. I don’t know who is running wild against the Vikings or Giants. Buckhalter has looked just as good, better at times, than Westbrook running the ball. I look at that more of a positive for Buckhalter this week than a negative against Westbrook. For the Eagles offense, I think it’s good to get indoors with some warm weather. The defense will show up no matter what the conditions. The key will be getting to Warner, which I think the D can do. It obviously won’t be a repeat of the Thanksgiving blowout but I think a decent win is possible. Pick: Eagles
Ahad: I don’t agree with all this talk about how I hear the Eagles are a slam dunk in this game. The Cardinals are a threat. They are a completely different team from the one that they played on Thanksgiving. The addition of a running game has eased the burden on Warner. The way the Eagles defense is playing right, it will be very difficult to beat them. The Eagles have a history of losing Championship games they are supposed to win. The big difference for me is that the Eagles weren’t supposed to get this far and they are basically playing on borrowed time. Sports Guy picked the Cardinals in this one, so the Eagles have that one in that favor. Pick: Eagles
Matt: Well, who would have thought this would be the NFC Championship Game just a few weeks ago? As I mentioned before, the Eagles are a team of destiny, so I don’t see them letting this opportunity slip away. However, they don’t have the greatest track record in this game. The key to this game is whether or not the Cardinals can keep Warner clean in the pocket. If they do, the Cardinals probably end up winning. I will be rooting for the Cards, but I think the Eagles will win it. Pick: Eagles

Ravens @ Steelers
Evan: I feel like the defenses will play equally well, especially since its in Pittsburgh. Then I have to go to the offenses, of which you have to give the edge to the Steelers. Pick: Pittsburgh
Mike: You could probably go on and on about these two teams but in the end, you will wind up saying exactly what Evan just said. I think the two teams are very evenly matched. Add the fact that they are division rivals makes it even closer than close. You can’t take last week’s games as any indication because the Chargers aren’t all that special. I think in the end one team will win by 10, but it will be much closer. Something like a last minute drive attempting to get into position for a game tying field goal. An interception for a TD will push the lead to 10. Pick: Steelers
Ahad: I agree with everything that has been said so far. This will be a nasty defensive struggle. Both teams have some injury concerns on defense, with Suggs and Rolle hurt for Baltimore and Polumalu hurt for the Steelers. This game could come down to field goals and no one is better at Heinz field than Jeff Reed. Pick: Steelers
Matt: Can the Steelers beat the Ravens for the 3rd time this season? We all know the Cowboys couldn’t pull that feat off last year against the Giants. But the Steelers are a different team. The Ravens had both of these games under wraps until late in the 4th quarter in each of their earlier matchups, so they can definitely beat the Steelers. Most people will be rooting for the Keystone State Super Bowl, but I am gonna go out on a limb and pick the Ravens here. Beating a team 3 times in a season is just hard to do. Pick: Ravens

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