Green Bay gave up a 16-point lead, a Championship Round record. There's always next season. (http://hd4desktop.com/)

The Conference Championships are complete, and the Super Bowl is set. Seattle completed a record-setting comeback over Green Bay, and saving Russell Wilson from a quarterback rating of literally zero. The Patriots slaughtered the Colts with a completely demoralizing second half in a rainy New England night later on to advance to face Seattle in Arizona.

While the Pats game didn’t do too much in our standings, the Seahawks sure did; with the Packers not walking away with the win, those who picked Seattle saw their stock on the rise quite a bit, particularly those who correctly guessed a total of five touchdowns in the game (and those who saw a minor day overall for the passing game).

With the shakeups, be sure to check below for the updated results, and come back in two weeks for the Super Bowl selections. Continue reading 2014-2015 NFL Playoffs Expert Picks: Conference Championship Results »

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PATRIOTS OFF TO ARIZONA

MISC

* National Anthem – I don’t know who Pat Monohan is but great job by the crowd singing

* 51 degrees at kickoff in January – Al Gore was right! (not)

* Blue hoodie is daring  but is hot right now

* With Revis going out for a while that’s the third straight AFC championship game that the Patriots shut down corner has got hurt

OFFENSE

* Brady going to sixth Super Bowl

* Brady solid B+ game but that was another killer interception. They could have knocked them out in the first quarter. Continue reading CONNELLY’S TOP TEN: ARIZONA, HERE COME THE HOODIES »

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Seattle faces off against a weakened Aaron Rodgers, but their opponents still won't make it easy. (http://images.nationalgeographic.com/)

The Conference Championships are here. The Patriots face the young upstart Colts, while the Packers visit Seattle as they did for the season’s first game. The round has a great mix of great offenses and defenses, which will certainly make for two great games.

For our picks, one game was easier to pick than the other, which caused a split vote from our panel. Either way, the defenses in Seattle are thought to make that game less of a shootout than their New England counterparts.

As before:

  • Successfully picking the winner of each game is worth two points.
  • Picking the total number of touchdowns scored by both teams COMBINED in each game is worth one point if guessed to within one, or two points if guessed exactly right.
  • Picking the total number of yards thrown in each game by WHICHEVER quarterback throws the most is worth one point if guessed to within 50, or two points if guessed to within 10, or five points if guessed exactly right.

So with that, check out the picks below, and come back later in the day after the games are finished for the results. Continue reading 2014-2015 NFL Playoffs Expert Picks – Conference Championships »

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1. AFC CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW:

* Brady has played against 14 different teams in the playoffs and is 3-1 vs Colts

* Brady has 46 passing and 5 rushing TD’s in 27 playoff games

* Colts leading rusher dressing Sunday – Daniel Herron 351 yards (Luck was second 273)

* Colts defense – Freeman looks fast, they are hitting hard and Vontae Davis has turned into a star in the secondary

* Only thing I’m not looking forward to is fans who mis-remember and boo Adam Vinatieri

* I see a big punt return by Edelman

* When I think of Indianapolis I think of yahoo’s, piped in crowd noise, Chuck Person and people who have never seen the ocean

* Patriots points in the last five playoff losses: 14 / 21 / 17 / 13 / 16

* Brady is 5-6 last 11 playoff games – his, and Bill’s, legacy is desperate for this win Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Brady Closer to 4th Ring, But Don’t Sleep on Colts »

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Broncos-Peyton-Manning-Patriots-Akeem-Ayers-001

One area that the Patriots struggled with Saturday night against Baltimore that will need to be improved upon for Sunday’s AFC Championship game against the Colts is their pass rush. For most of the night against the Ravens, their pass rush was non-existent and Joe Flacco had plenty of time to find open receivers. In the Colts Divisional Playoff win against Denver, one of the key stories was the amount of time Andrew Luck had in the pocket to throw and that when the rush did get to him, he was able to escape for the most part.

In their previous win over the Colts this season, the Patriots dominated time of possession and their pass rush was not as a big a factor because they scored 43 points and held the ball the majority of the game. Although that result could happen again, it is not guaranteed and the Patriots could find themselves in a close game needing defensive stops. If that becomes the case, the Patriots pass rush could be the deciding factor. Continue reading Patriots Pass Rush Faces Tough Task with Luck »

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Jameer Nelson, Channing Frye

There was little doubt, after the Celtics sent Jeff Green to Memphis in a three-team trade on Monday, that Danny Ainge was far from done making deals. What we did not see coming was the trade he pulled off on Tuesday night, shipping little-used point guard Jameer Nelson to Denver in exchange for one-time Celtic fan favorite Nate Robinson.

The deal is also notable because it’s a straight PG-for-PG exchange, featuring no draft picks, which Ainge has been stockpiling at a record rate in recent times. Nelson arrived last month from Dallas in the Rajon Rondo trade, and it looked briefly like he may take over the starting spot, but he fell out of the rotation after just six games in which he averaged 4.8 points, 5.5 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals. Continue reading Welcome Back, Donkey: Nate Robinson Returns to Boston »

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Duron Harmon was as surprised as we were when his "game-ending" interception still left Joe Flacco and the Ravens with one last chance. (ESPN)

Duron Harmon closed the gap quickly, ranging in from center field to position himself perfectly to intercept Joe Flacco’s deep pass looking for Torrey Smith in the end zone and close out a nerve-wracking, come-from-behind win for the New England Patriots.

Or so it seemed.

Instead of running out the clock with the two minute warning passed and the Baltimore Ravens down to one timeout, Tom Brady kneeled three times and turned it over to the punting unit with 14 seconds left. That gave Flacco and company one last gasp and Patriots fans one final heart attack.

The question is, could the Patriots have handled that clock management better?

Continue reading Belichick Says Clock Management Goes Exactly to Plan to Beat Ravens; Wait, What? »

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