What To Expect From The 2013 NFL Conference Championship Games

The AFC and NFC championship games are set and the two conferences are one step away from determining who their representatives will be in the Super Bowl. In the AFC, the New England Patriots host the Baltimore Ravens in a rematch of last year’s AFC title game. In the NFC, the Atlanta Falcons host the San Francisco 49ers.

Baltimore At New England

Reason To Watch:

Most importantly, this game will determine who the AFC representative in the Super Bowl will be. However, the key player in this game is going to be Joe Flacco. In prior years, Flacco would have played second fiddle to players such as Ray Lewis. In other words, it was his job to not screw up what his teammates had set up for him.

This year, Flacco has done all he can to put the team on his shoulders and lead them to victory. His play on Sunday will be the reason why the Ravens are celebrating their first trip to the Super Bowl since after the 2000 season or bemoaning what could have been. Another important story worth keeping an eye on is the pending retirement of Ray Lewis. If Baltimore loses, his playing days are over.

What To Expect:

Expect the Patriots to score a lot of points and get a lot of favorable calls at home. Tom Brady is not going to let the Patriots lose this game under any circumstances. Although getting to the Super Bowl for the sixth time in his career is important, the fact that the Patriots lost to the Ravens in the regular season has to be gnawing at him as well. However, if the Baltimore defense steps up, they will give the Ravens a huge advantage.

Who Wins This Game?

If the Raven defense steps up, the Ravens should win this game because their offense is now built to keep up with any team in the league. Expect this game to be a shoot-out that Baltimore wins 35-31.

San Francisco At Atlanta

Reason To Watch:

The winner of this game will meet the winner of the Ravens-Patriots game in the Super Bowl. For the Niners, this will be their first appearance in the Super Bowl in nearly 20 years. Atlanta hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since 1998.

For viewers who are not fans of either team, Colin Kaepernick is the reason to watch. Since he took over as starting quarterback, he has added another dimension to the 49er offense. Last week against Green Bay, he rushed for a NFL record 181 yards. With the Falcon defense built more on stopping the pass as opposed to rushing the passer, he could have a lot of room to run.

What To Expect:

You can expect the Falcons to be fired up after their first playoff victory under coach Mike Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan. With the home fans behind them, look for Atlanta to get off to a quick start like they did against Seattle. San Francisco will be at a bit of a disadvantage as they will have to travel all the way across the country. Jet lag and the sheer number of miles traveled could make the Niners a little groggy at the beginning of the game.

Who Wins This Game?

This will be the better of the two games this weekend. If Atlanta can tighten up on the defensive side of the ball, look for the Falcons to pull out the victory and head to the Super Bowl.

Sports fans, you are going to be in for a treat this weekend. As four teams battle it out to move one step closer to a title, everyone will be leaving everything they have out on the field. If these predictions come true, a Super Bowl match-up between the Ravens and Falcons should be one of the best in recent memory.

3 thoughts on “What To Expect From The 2013 NFL Conference Championship Games

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