ROUND 3 Picks: Almost There

Posted: January 22, 2012 by Keith Stone in NFL
Tags: , , ,


There’s no time to fool around anymore. The stakes are too high. A trip to Super Bowl XLVI is on the line now. One bounce, one slip, one drop, one fumble, and your entire season is done. All four teams left have something to prove. The Patriots and Giants are out to show that the glory days of the past aren’t done, while the Ravens and Niners want the entire world to know that they’re for real. All four teams are truly great. Some have been more consistent than others. Some have had harder schedules. Some have battled injuries. None of that matters now. It’s 60 minutes for the right to play for the World Title. It’s all will and determination. Whoever wants it more is going to get it. Pick time.

RAVENS AT PATRIOTS (-6.5)
Stone’s Take:
Despite their utter domination of the Broncos last week, I still can’t put my finger on the Pats. While all signs would point to a blowout, I can’t shake the fact that they played so poorly at the beginning of games towards the end of the season. The Broncos were happy to make it to the second round, but the Ravens have been here before and aren’t satisfied. Sure, they looked awful against Houston but they grinded out the win and that does count for something. However, I just can’t see the Ravens’ defense shutting down the Patriots or Joe Flacco putting up a ton of points. If Ray Rice can get a long touchdown run, they might have a chance, but New England just looks really focused right now. Prediction: Patriots 28, Ravens 24

Rory’s Take: It’s happening people.  It’s happening!  Giants-Pats.  Eli-Brady.  Yankees-Red Sox.  Clam Chowder-Clam Chowda.  I’m not sure I can handle this.  Oh yeah, there’s games to play this weekend.  Whatever.  Prediction: Patriots 38, Ravens 20

GIANTS AT 49ERS (-2.5)
Stone’s Take: Under perfect conditions, you’d have to take the Giants in this game. The 49ers may have beaten them in the regular season, but that was a depleted Giants team that was a Mario Manningham drop away from forcing overtime. There’s only one problem. There’s a 95% chance of rain. If the Giants can’t get their passing game going, it could be trouble because the Niners’ rush defense is so tough. Unlike other playoff newbies that might be happy with a big win like their game against the Saints last week, I think San Fran has their eyes on the big prize. Harbaugh isn’t going to let them forget about it. With that said, the Giants are finally healthy and confident and are as explosive as anyone out there. If Alex Smith can pass on the Hydra, then he deserves to be in the Super Bowl. But if Aaron Rodgers couldn’t, why should Alex Smith? Prediction: Giants 28, 49ers 10

Rory’s Take:

Prediction: Giants 27, 49ers 21

PLAYOFF RECORDS
Stone: 5-3 (Last week: 2-2)
Rory: 5-3 (2-2)

Last week’s picks

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