POORE'S PICKS: Championship Round

Jim Poore is back with his Championship Playoff picks against the spread. Take a look at Jim's picks and let him know what you think.

Here it is the NFL's version of the Final Four. I think many people, including myself, are very surprised at the NFC's entrants into the Championship game.

Some thought that the NFL was now becoming an offensive league, considering the unbelievable stats many of the quarterbacks put up this year. Old school fans ( and some newer ones too I guess ) always felt that defense won in the NFL. So, the question is; which one is more correct?

On one hand, we have the New England Patriots, who have a very strong offense, but a poor defense. On the other hand the three other teams left are much stronger defensively.

The New York Giants look to be strong on both sides of the ball, but defense could be their forte. Because of that defense they knocked the Green Bay Packers, a very powerful offense, out of the playoffs.

San Francisco could be an even better example. Though they did score a bunch of points against the New Orleans Saints, ultimately it was their causing of turnovers that ended up being the difference in the game. And the Saints defense is lousy, which proves that some defense is in fact needed.

   The Baltimore Ravens in the AFC are also a defensive oriented team. Their matchup with New England will certainly help answer the question of which is better, a great defense or a great offense.

Considering the results of last week's game, I am still in the old school thinking. A defense will almost always win, I think, except in rare cases. Last week's results prove it. Of course, great on both sides of the ball is ideal, but that is also not common. This is why the New York Giants, in my opinion, are the Super Bowl favorites right now.
 
As always, home team in CAPS.
 
NEW ENGLAND  6 1/2   Baltimore
I have heard many thinking that the Patriots are going to blow the doors off of the Ravens. I just don't see it. I think many are using the Broncos game from last week as an example as to what the Patriots can do. The Broncos are not the Ravens, not even close. I think Baltimore has a very real shot at winning this game, even in Foxboro. Yes, Baltimore has lost to some lousy teams this year, but they have also beaten teams that were strong at the time. This is absolutely offense versus defense, and I think a big key will be if the Ravens can get to Tom Brady early. If they can, I think they win. If they don't, then Brady will pick them apart. I think it will be somewhere in the middle. I originally thought that the Patriots would not beat a good defense. However, I think their offense is special. I think the Patriots will win a close game, but I would not be at all stunned if the Ravens pull it out. This could be the last shot for Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. They will play like it.

Patriots 27-23

 
SAN FRANCISCO  2 1/2  New York Giants
It is good to see the 49ers in the Championship game again. Unfortunately for them I think the ride ends here. But they aren't going away. Neither are the Giants, who are playing spectacular on both sides of the ball right now. They are healthy, and their defensive line is causing havoc to opponents' offense. Eli Manning opened his mouth earlier in the year saying he was a top five quarterback, and to his credit he is backing up his big words. Alex Smith has grown up too, but he has never seen anything that the Giants defense is likely to throw at him. Right now, the Giants are simply playing better than anyone else. They are clicking in all phases of the game, and I don't see the 49ers stopping them. It looks like a rematch of the 2007 Super Bowl.
 
Giants  23-20
 
 
Record for Divisional Round: 1-3
Record for Post Season: 3-5

Jim Poore has been a long time contributor to Patriots Insider with his weekly picks column. Let him know what you think. Email him here:


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\r\n\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"Here it is the NFL's version of the Final Four. I think many people, including myself, are very surprised at the NFC's entrants into the Championship game. Some thought that the NFL was now becoming an offensive league, considering the unbelievable stats many of the quarterbacks put up this year. Old school fans ( and some newer ones too I guess ) always felt that defense won in the NFL. So, the question is; which one is more correct? On one hand, we have the New England Patriots, who have a very strong offense, but a poor defense. On the other hand the three other teams left are much stronger defensively. The New York Giants look to be strong on both sides of the ball, but defense could be their forte. Because of that defense they knocked the Green Bay Packers, a very powerful offense, out of the playoffs. San Francisco could be an even better example. Though they did score a bunch of points against the New Orleans Saints, ultimately it was their causing of turnovers that ended up being the difference in the game. And the Saints defense is lousy, which proves that some defense is in fact needed.    The Baltimore Ravens in the AFC are also a defensive oriented team. Their matchup with New England will certainly help answer the question of which is better, a great defense or a great offense. Considering the results of last week's game, I am still in the old school thinking. A defense will almost always win, I think, except in rare cases. Last week's results prove it. Of course, great on both sides of the ball is ideal, but that is also not common. This is why the New York Giants, in my opinion, are the Super Bowl favorites right now.   As always, home team in CAPS.   I have heard many thinking that the Patriots are going to blow the doors off of the Ravens. I just don't see it. I think many are using the Broncos game from last week as an example as to what the Patriots can do. The Broncos are not the Ravens, not even close. I think Baltimore has a very real shot at winning this game, even in Foxboro. Yes, Baltimore has lost to some lousy teams this year, but they have also beaten teams that were strong at the time. This is absolutely offense versus defense, and I think a big key will be if the Ravens can get to Tom Brady early. If they can, I think they win. If they don't, then Brady will pick them apart. I think it will be somewhere in the middle. I originally thought that the Patriots would not beat a good defense. However, I think their offense is special. I think the Patriots will win a close game, but I would not be at all stunned if the Ravens pull it out. This could be the last shot for Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. They will play like it. Patriots 27-23   It is good to see the 49ers in the Championship game again. Unfortunately for them I think the ride ends here. But they aren't going away. Neither are the Giants, who are playing spectacular on both sides of the ball right now. They are healthy, and their defensive line is causing havoc to opponents' offense. Eli Manning opened his mouth earlier in the year saying he was a top five quarterback, and to his credit he is backing up his big words. Alex Smith has grown up too, but he has never seen anything that the Giants defense is likely to throw at him. Right now, the Giants are simply playing better than anyone else. They are clicking in all phases of the game, and I don't see the 49ers stopping them. It looks like a rematch of the 2007 Super Bowl.   Giants  23-20     1-3 3-5

Get Patriots Insider updates on Twitter Follow @PatriotsInsiderWant to find out what other Patriots fans think? 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