Conference Championship Previews and Predictions

Green Bay Packers (+7.5) over Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks over Packers straight up.

I don’t think that anyone outside of Wisconsin is picking the Packers in this game, and I can’t say that I belong to that select group, either.  The Seahawks are just a better team, and they’re a way better team playing in CenturyLink field.

That being said, I’m not just willing to write this game off like so many are.  The Seahawks have an underrated offense, which is 3rd overall by Football Outsiders’ metrics, but the Packers are in 1st by a reasonable margin over the Steelers, and then there’s a big dropoff to the Hawks.  And yes, Aaron Rodgers has a calf problem.  But he’s Aaron Rodgers, and as much of a cliche as it sounds like, I’m not gonna bet heavily against a QB like that in a game like this.  The calf won’t slow him down as much as so many think.

If you removed Marshawn Lynch from this game, I’d probably pick the Packers, actually.  The Pack has the offensive weapons, especially in terms of depth, to go after the awesome Seattle defense.  But, the Pack won’t be able to stop Lynch without leaving tons and tons of passing lanes open for Russell Wilson.  The Pack just do not have the run defense to contain Lynch, and that’s gonna be the difference maker.

So don’t bet too heavily on the Seahawks, if only because Aaron Rodgers is on the Packers.  But while Seattle has the defense to contain Rodgers and his receivers, Green Bay doesn’t have the defense to contain Marshawn Lynch.

Seattle 31, Green Bay 24.

New England Patriots (-7) over Indianapolis Colts
over Colts straight up.

Maybe this is something to be concerned about, but I have a ton of confidence about this game.  It’s a good thing that I don’t believe in jinxes at all, because this pick would definitely qualify.

The Patriots are just better than the Colts, and they match up perfectly.  The Patriots don’t have a great run defense, but the Colts have no rushing game.  The Colts have 1 legitimate receiving threat, but those are the kinds of teams Belichick thrives against defensively.  The Colts may have a good secondary, but I wouldn’t go to war with their front 7 against either the pass or rush, and if there’s one thing we know about the Patriots vs. the Colts, it’s that the Pats can run the ball.  I don’t expect anything near what Blount did last year or Gray did earlier this year, but the running game will find just enough holes to open up Gronk for another huge day.  Please, Jesus, don’t let him get injured.

Patriots are a better team, and it’s ridiculous that their line is closer to even than the GB-SEA line.  The Pats are a lot “more” better than the Colts than the Seahawks are than the Packers.

Patriots 34, Colts 17

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