NFL Conference Championship Games

Wow...all the emotion and fire is gone after the Chargers loss on Sunday.  I mean, I knew that was going to happen, but I didn't realize how much it would hit me.  I wasn't expecting them to beat the Broncos...but I REALLY wanted them to.  And if the Chargers hadn't just lost, this pair of games would have been amazing.  Well, I guess it still is, but I'm not feeling the amazingness.  On the to ho-hum, exactly what every neutral party wanted, conference championship games.

New England @ Denver (-5.5)
Both teams are just as likely to throw an interception, so we don't learn anything there.  By Pythagorean winning percentage, the Broncos would win 55% of the time on a neutral field and 64% of the time in Denver.  This means the Broncos should be favored by 3.5.  The line is too high.  Bu enough of that analytical talk.  Lets get some narrative going.  I believe Peyton Manning is the greatest quarterback of all time (except for possibly Johnny Unitas, but I don't really have a way to compare them directly).  Tom Brady is an amazing, Hall of Fame quarterback who has been the second best of his generation and at least one of the top ten QBs ever, if not top five...but Peyton is better.  I think he has gone farther with weaker support from his teams.  Tom Brady has had Bill Belicheck and much better defenses throughout his career.  But you will hear too often how Brady has 3 Super Bowl wins (and a 3-2 record) and Manning only has one Super Bowl victory, so obviously he is the inferior quarterback to Eli Man- I mean, Tom Brady.  From here on out, I will be emotionally cheering for Peyton Manning, not because of an AFC West thing, but because I really am tired of the narrative that Tom Brady is the better QB only because he has more rings.  I will acknowledge arguments that Brady is superior if they look at the entire body of work and can convince me that his individual performance, independent of their coaches and the rest of the team, has been better than Manning's.
New England +5.5

San Francisco @ Seattle (-3.5)
Seattle's pass defense is so good and Kaepernick is only average (among playoff QBs) at avoiding interceptions, so the 49ers are much more likely to throw an interception.  Other than that, the teams are actually pretty close with Seattle winning 55% of the time on a neutral field and 63% of the time in Seattle (rounding is the difference from above).  This is the same 3.5 point spread as the other game, but this time it is right on.  I guess I'll take the 3.5 points because the most likely case is one team wins by 3.  As far as narrative, I kind of like that one game is two HOF pocket QBs with questionable defenses and this game is two young, running QBs against great defenses.  Love that the Super Bowl will match up HOF QB vs great defense and young running QB no matter who wins tomorrow.  I wonder if I can tolerate going to a Super Bowl Party surrounded by SF fans with the 49ers playing two years in a row.  I probably can.
San Francisco +3.5

Both games I'm picking the favorite SU and the underdog ATS.  I also chose that picture partly to remind people that there are four complete games playing on Sunday, not just four QBs.


  1. I'm picking both favorites SU and both underdogs ATS. Not exactly screaming confidence.

    $33 on NE +5.5, SF +3.5

  2. I wanted to bet O/U on the games, but was late to the AFC game. I'd bet the over on the NFC game. I can't choose either game from an ATS standpoint.