We're about 24 hours away from the kickoff of the AFC Championship Game in Foxboro. That means that there are only three meaningful games left in the 2011 NFL season, and the eyes of football fans everywhere will be focused on both coasts come tomorrow afternoon. So, for the next 24 hours, this thread will give you a chance to talk with your fellow Vikings' fans about who you think will be playing in Indianapolis in two weeks in Super Bowl XLVI.
Eric made his predictions yesterday, and I've got to say. . .I'm 100% in agreement with him. (Yeah, Eric, you're hosed. Sorry.) In the AFC game. . .man, did the Patriots look amazing on Saturday when they demolished the Denver Broncos. Yes, I realize that the Ravens' defense is a step up from Denver's. . .along those same lines, Tom Brady is just slightly better than T.J. Yates. In a big game situation, I'm going with Brady and Bill Belichick over Joe Flacco and John Harbaugh.
Patriots 31, Ravens 21
In the NFC game, the weather is going to be a factor. The rain started yesterday in northern California, and is going to continue all day today and all day on Sunday. So, by the time 5:30 PM Central on Sunday comes around, things could be pretty ugly in the Bay Area. (Yes, I realize that the tarp is on the field at Candlestick. . .it won't take long for that to not make any difference.) The Giants have rediscovered their running game, are playing great defense right now, and Eli Manning is playing outstanding football. The Niners, on the other hand, have had their running game all year, have played great defense all year (they didn't allow a rushing touchdown until Week 16, for crying out loud). . .and say what you will about Alex Smith, but he's becoming one of the great reclamation projects in recent NFL history. (If you don't believe me, check out Jim Trotter's story on SI.com about just how close Smith was to leaving San Francisco.) The pass to Vernon Davis to win that game last week was an amazing throw. I think that momentum carries the Niners forward and puts them into the Super Bowl for the first time since Steve Young was starting at quarterback.
49ers 23, Giants 20
Those are my takes. . .who do you have this weekend?