NFL conference championships Sunday open thread

posted at 12:31 pm on January 19, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Jazz: The last day of football before the Big Game is upon us. Last week I missed a perfect record once again, going three for four. But since Ed rang up the same record, I’ll take the week on a push. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) The conference championships will give us one last chance to shine, though the number of picks has dwindled. I have a feeling that I’ll be opening the door for Ed to overtake me today, but a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do.

 

Ed: Do I mind that you bogarted the thread even though we tied up last week? Er … I’m just surprised to be in position to complain about it.  My 3-1 last still leaves me at 3-5 for the postseason, and I’ve only got three more games to call. If I’m lucky, I’ll top .500 for the 2013 playoffs. So no, you go right ahead. Age before beauty, after all.

 

Jazz: The first game of the day is the AFC Championship, kicking off at 3:00 p.m. ET on CBS. It’s the Denver Broncos hosting the New England Patriots, and all the hot buzz I’m hearing seems to revolve around Peyton Manning “choking” in the big game and getting sent home in disgrace. But the Broncos have virtually all of their best weapons ready to start and the game last year where they lost to the Ravens was, in my opinion, a fluke. It’s no secret that I want anybody but New England to win, so take this pick for what it’s worth. It would be hilarious to see the Patriots make it all the way to the Big Game and lose again like they did against the Giants, but I have a hunch that this is Peyton’s year to go out on a high note and New England’s road to the Lombardi Trophy ends here. Denver over New England, 38-24 in a high scoring shootout.

 

Ed: So far we’re on the same page. Denver is tough to beat at home; only San Diego managed it, and they’re out of the playoffs now. (As I predicted.) However, New England only barely beat Denver in Foxboro in week 12, and it had to go to overtime. Denver’s gotten healthier and the Pats have gotten a little more beaten up. When Peyton has lost in the playoffs, it’s usually been in the first game, too. Now that he’s gotten warmed up, expect fireworks, but it’ll be Denver 45-34 over New England.

 

Jazz: The evening game is the NFC Championships at 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX. The 49ers are playing the Seahawks (again) in what is turning into a serious grudge match at this point. I’m guessing that a lot of the media prognosticators are going to claim that San Francisco simply can’t win in the thunderdome conditions at Seattle, but as with the last couple of weeks, I’m not buying the hype. Kaepernick is ready to go and he’ll shake off the distractions and the noise to take his team to the dance. San Fran over Seattle in a close one (maybe down to a final field goal) 27-24.

 

Ed: The Seahawks will be missing Percy Harvin, and the 49ers look red-hot. However, once again the home-field advantage may be the difference here. These two teams know each other very well, and both won their home games against each other — but the Seahawks blew the 49ers out in week 2, while San Francisco only barely edged Seattle at home, 19-17. Seattle won’t get the jitters we saw from Carolina last week. I’m going with the Seahawks, 27-23.

 


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Comment pages: 1 2

Ann Wilson still has pipes.

Until that last high note.

flataffect on January 19, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Bahahaha, Wilson fumbles on the first play. I blame the 12th man

Lawdawg86 on January 19, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Fumble!

rbj on January 19, 2014 at 6:43 PM

…we are all drunk!…OC is sitting in front of the TV…going “WHAT?…WHAT DO YOU WANT!

KOOLAID2 on January 19, 2014 at 6:03 PM

OmahaConservative on January 19, 2014 at 6:44 PM

OmahaConservative on January 19, 2014 at 6:44 PM

oooops, too much beer…

OmahaConservative on January 19, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Ann Wilson still has pipes.

Until that last high note.

flataffect on January 19, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Yeah, that one was a fumble, so to speak.

climbnjump on January 19, 2014 at 6:46 PM

NFL playoffs
3m
After a fumble by Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, the 49ers strike first. 3-0 – @seattletimes
see original on twitter.com
===========================

https://twitter.com/seattletimes/status/425051806591623168

canopfor on January 19, 2014 at 6:55 PM

39s
Photo: The Seattle Seahawks begin a drive against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game – @OneTakeJake2
see original on twitter.com
============================

https://twitter.com/OneTakeJake2/status/425056429968355328/photo/1/large

canopfor on January 19, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Nice pass!

rbj on January 19, 2014 at 7:40 PM

I am enjoying this game much more.

CoffeeLover on January 19, 2014 at 7:47 PM

I didn’t have any particular fav going into this game. However, the announcers seem pretty pro-Seattle and the refs the same. At least that’s what I see.

bluefox on January 19, 2014 at 7:53 PM

B.S. on this latest call. Man, what a bunch of nonsense!

bluefox on January 19, 2014 at 8:05 PM

I’ve got a fav now after all of this B.S., Go 49ers & Kaep!!

bluefox on January 19, 2014 at 8:07 PM

…I have to go with the 49′ers and Harbaugh….despite Nancy Pelosi!…don’t like Petey!

KOOLAID2 on January 19, 2014 at 8:33 PM

SFO to go!

profitsbeard on January 19, 2014 at 8:34 PM

…I have to go with the 49′ers and Harbaugh….despite Nancy Pelosi!…don’t like Petey!

KOOLAID2 on January 19, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Really! Good thing Seattle have the noisy crowd, nitpickin Refs & the pro-Seattle announcers.

I used to be a fan of the Indians and would always turn the TV announcers off and listen to Tom Hamilton on the radio, LOL

bluefox on January 19, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Kaep is so cool!! Hope he survives this game and wins the S.B.!!

bluefox on January 19, 2014 at 8:39 PM

Awesome!!! T.D. S.F.!!! What a pass & catch!!

bluefox on January 19, 2014 at 8:40 PM

That was quick.

rbj on January 19, 2014 at 8:46 PM

Can we agree that the NFL officiating is atrocious ? They don’t know what a catch is. If you catch a ball and take 2-3 steps it is a catch if you then drop it. If you hit someone with your shoulder into their shoulder it is not a shot to the head. I could go on and on. The NFL should be embarrassed.

CWchangedhisNicagain on January 19, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Touchdown! And on a free play

rbj on January 19, 2014 at 9:07 PM

Nice catch.

CWchangedhisNicagain on January 19, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Called it last week:

It’s gonna be a Seahawks/Broncos Superbowl. Etch it in stone.

JetBoy on January 12, 2014 at 1:13 PM

I know there’s plenty of time left tho :P

JetBoy on January 19, 2014 at 9:12 PM

WOW

idesign on January 19, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Fumbleski!

rbj on January 19, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Not reviewable? NFL rules are stupid. What a joke.

CWchangedhisNicagain on January 19, 2014 at 9:22 PM

Ouch. Reminds me on Theisman. Saw it live on tv.

rbj on January 19, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Officiating is terrible in this game. Several awful calls have gone against San Francisco.

TarheelBen on January 19, 2014 at 9:24 PM

Joke.

CWchangedhisNicagain on January 19, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Seattle hahahahahahaha

CWchangedhisNicagain on January 19, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Ouch. Reminds me on Theisman. Saw it live on tv.

rbj on January 19, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Like this one: Over and over and over.

CWchangedhisNicagain on January 19, 2014 at 9:26 PM

@CW (on my touchpad, can’t quote) Joe’s was a career ender, hope this isn’t.

Interception! Lots of mistakes lately.

rbj on January 19, 2014 at 9:30 PM

If Kaep is going to throw picks like that…they are done!…7 minutes to go!

KOOLAID2 on January 19, 2014 at 9:31 PM

How does Seattle keep that fumble? This is supposed to be an all-star team of officials!

Poetic justice! Lynch fumbles the hand off. Wilson is not looking too good. This is a lot closer than I expected. Now there’s an int by Seattle.

flataffect on January 19, 2014 at 9:33 PM

Day-um, Lynch.

rbj on January 19, 2014 at 9:33 PM

On the Bowman injury, why was Lynch fighting for yards 2 minutes after the whistle, and over an injured player? Simply disgusting. Doubt that the NFL cares about player safety.

dcman98 on January 19, 2014 at 9:35 PM

San Fran can’t tackle…

JetBoy on January 19, 2014 at 9:38 PM

CWchangedhisNicagain on January 19, 2014 at 9:02 PM

TarheelBen on January 19, 2014 at 9:24 PM

I agree. How can you lose when you have the crowd, the officials and the announcers in your corner? Reminds me of the W.H./Dems/MSM/RINOS.

If the Seahawks win I hope the Broncos beat their a**!!

bluefox on January 19, 2014 at 9:41 PM

Hail Mary, Kaep!! Where’s Aiken when you need him? LOL

bluefox on January 19, 2014 at 9:42 PM

Neither SF or Seattle will beat the Manning Broncos.

diogenes on January 19, 2014 at 9:44 PM

Flags came in at the end of the play. Duh, that’s been their MO all night.

bluefox on January 19, 2014 at 9:51 PM

Interception!

rbj on January 19, 2014 at 9:51 PM

Classy Seahawks.
///////

CWchangedhisNicagain on January 19, 2014 at 9:51 PM

It’ll take a lot more than grossly incompetent officiating and a poorly designed stadium for the Seahawks to beat Manning and the Broncos.

talkingpoints on January 19, 2014 at 9:52 PM

…they did it to themselves!

KOOLAID2 on January 19, 2014 at 9:52 PM

That’s ok S.F./Kaep & Team. It’s hard to win when you have to play against the crowds/Officials/Announcers AND the Seahawks!.

Great effort on S.F.’s part!

bluefox on January 19, 2014 at 9:53 PM

Going to be fun watching these two play next year. NFL & ESPN penning these games for prime time.

rbj on January 19, 2014 at 9:53 PM

Im a lifelong Niner hater but Richard Sherman is the biggest no-class asshole in the entire NFL.

If that dickweed blew his knee out jumping into his pool tomorrow and his career was over, the league would be better off because of it.

Absolutely no class, no sportsmanship. what a f***ing tool.

and of course the TV people have to glorify him.

Sacramento on January 19, 2014 at 9:54 PM

Well, it ended how I predicted, but a lot closer. Great game by S.F., but that’s cold comfort.

Boy, Richard Sherman is a class act, ain’t he? What a fool.

flataffect on January 19, 2014 at 9:55 PM

If there was ever a team that deserved to be totally shut out in the Superbowl, these Seahawks are it.

talkingpoints on January 19, 2014 at 9:55 PM

Think about the punk for Seattle at the end who was flagged…and add to that …they pulled the ball out of Bowman’s hands after he had his leg destroyed. Class./

CWchangedhisNicagain on January 19, 2014 at 9:55 PM

Boy, Richard Sherman is a class act, ain’t he? What a fool.

flataffect on January 19, 2014 at 9:55 PM

That little episode will be going viral shortly…

JetBoy on January 19, 2014 at 10:02 PM

YEAHHHHHHHHHHH! THEY DID IT!

Mallard T. Drake on January 19, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Boy, Richard Sherman is a class act, ain’t he? What a fool.

flataffect on January 19, 2014 at 9:55 PM

I’m assuming that was the mouth that was “interviewed” at the end.
A thug imo. See if he runs his mouth after the Broncos get done with him.

bluefox on January 19, 2014 at 10:04 PM

That Kaepernick is big time overrated. Big arms and all.

tommyboy on January 19, 2014 at 10:05 PM

YEAHHHHHHHHHHH! THEY DID IT!

Mallard T. Drake on January 19, 2014 at 10:03 PM

If you are talking about the Seahawks, without the Officals, they wouldn’t have “won.”

bluefox on January 19, 2014 at 10:06 PM

GO HAWKS!!!!

dont taze me bro on January 19, 2014 at 10:07 PM

Neither SF or Seattle will beat the Manning Broncos.

diogenes on January 19, 2014 at 9:44 PM

It’ll take a lot more than grossly incompetent officiating and a poorly designed stadium for the Seahawks to beat Manning and the Broncos.

talkingpoints on January 19, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Keep foolin’ yourselves… Tonight was Seattle’s toughest game remaining. Denver can’t hold a candle to SF, and you know it.

The new nat’l champs are wearing BLUE and GREEN. You heard it here, first!!

Shepherd Lover on January 19, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Dream on. I bet the opening line will be the Broncos by 7. At least.

tommyboy on January 19, 2014 at 10:11 PM

Boy, Richard Sherman is a class act, ain’t he? What a fool.

flataffect on January 19, 2014 at 9:55 PM

I’m assuming that was the mouth that was “interviewed” at the end.
A thug imo. See if he runs his mouth after the Broncos get done with him.

bluefox on January 19, 2014 at 10:04 PM

Context. Sherman is always engaged in trash talk on social media, and when it’s game day, he backs it up (like tonight!). He’s earned it, for all the smack talk that comes back at him.

Shepherd Lover on January 19, 2014 at 10:11 PM

Gore: nothing. Kapernick: almost nothing. Seahawks defense had them on lock down.

Mallard T. Drake on January 19, 2014 at 10:14 PM

That Kaepernick is big time overrated. Big arms and all.

tommyboy on January 19, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Really? Here are the stats and Kaep’s aren’t too shabby:-)

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/gametracker/live/NFL_20140119_SF@SEA

bluefox on January 19, 2014 at 10:14 PM

I’m not picking a winner in the SB. I’d like to see Manning get another one before he turns 40, though. The Denver Defense was impressive today, but so is Seattle’s.

flataffect on January 19, 2014 at 10:15 PM

Yeah, the Hawks benefited from a couple of bad calls. Makes up for Superbowl XL.

JamesB on January 19, 2014 at 10:16 PM

153 yards in the air and two picks in the crucial point of the game. Wow, put him in Canton. The guy he replaced had much better stats in the playoff game he lost.

tommyboy on January 19, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Although Sherman will probably get a fine for that little episode.

JamesB on January 19, 2014 at 10:18 PM

My Facebook is going to explode.

I’m from Seattle. Haven’t lived there in a while.

Jeff Weimer on January 19, 2014 at 10:22 PM

Since Seahawks fans won’t say it, I will. Good game, Niners!

I hope the Broncos win on a last-second Fail Mary pass by Manning.

Christien on January 19, 2014 at 10:40 PM

What did Straight Outta Compton ghetto trash Sherman do? I turned off game off right after the interception.

Christien on January 19, 2014 at 10:42 PM

U mad bro?

Christien on January 19, 2014 at 10:43 PM

LOL…nevermind. More “I’m better at life than you” emotional retardation from Li’l Ricky.

Christien on January 19, 2014 at 10:47 PM

What did Straight Outta Compton ghetto trash Sherman do? I turned off game off right after the interception.

Christien on January 19, 2014 at 10:42 PM

LOL…nevermind. More “I’m better at life than you” emotional retardation from Li’l Ricky.

Christien on January 19, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Yeah… Sure… Then why are they asking the guy in the post-game interview about some “emotional retardation” from a “non-uniformed SF player who slammed into a suited Seattle player” after the game?

I think we know where the “retardation” is at…

Shepherd Lover on January 19, 2014 at 11:06 PM

Richard Sherman is imo straight-up hands-down the biggest no-class jerk in the entire league. I tried to make this point earlier but may have used a bit too much vinegar for the moderators, so…

Sacramento on January 19, 2014 at 11:06 PM

Oh, and….

WAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Shepherd Lover on January 19, 2014 at 11:07 PM

153 yards in the air and two picks in the crucial point of the game. Wow, put him in Canton. The guy he replaced had much better stats in the playoff game he lost.

tommyboy on January 19, 2014 at 10:17 PM

You conveniently omitted his 130 yards on the ground. Gore/Hunter/Dixon combined? 31 yards. Kaepernick obviously isn’t the starting QB because he’s a great pocket passer. Wilson isn’t one either. After all, he only threw for 215 yards, which was actually more than double his yardage last week against New Orleans (103 yards). They’re both starters because they’re dual threats.

Did he have a great day passing? No, but he was their only offense.

GOPRanknFile on January 19, 2014 at 11:43 PM

The guy he replaced had much better stats in the playoff game he lost.

tommyboy on January 19, 2014 at 10:17 PM

You mean the guy who was watching this game from home after he couldn’t hold a 28-point lead in the 3rd quarter against the Colts?

GOPRanknFile on January 19, 2014 at 11:47 PM

Kaepernitats said he didn’t play well enough to win and I agree with him.

Running quarterbacks in the NFL either stop running fairly quickly or lose their starting positions.

Meremortal on January 20, 2014 at 12:07 AM

Didn’t see Kapernicus kissing his arms much tonight, did we?

Back to San Fran with you Colin. Start bending the bill of your 49′s hat, chump.

portlandon on January 20, 2014 at 12:14 AM

Yes, “we” do, Shep, judging by the reaction to him. As the saying goes, the only thing worse than a sore loser is a poor winner.

We are hearing reports that Bowman was pelted with food by Seahawks fan as he was being carted off the field. If true, WOW!

Christien on January 20, 2014 at 12:18 AM

Uh oh. Someone put a $1 bounty on Sherman’s career. Definitely a Saints fan.

Christien on January 20, 2014 at 12:22 AM

What does the Hawk say?

dont taze me bro on January 20, 2014 at 1:04 AM

All week long the sports talk was about how Manning needed to beat Brady to secure his legacy. Well, he composed a masterpiece today. Brady didn’t have a terrible game, but it wasn’t in the same league at all. But the story will remain the same starting tomorrow; Manning will have to win the Super Bowl to secure his legacy.

Dude is the smartest QB to ever play the game, and any weaknesses in his physical play are nullified by his mental game. He was two steps ahead of the Pats’ defense the entire game, and his O-line kept his uniform pristine.

The game in Seattle was atrocious all the way around, starting with the officiating, followed by fumbles, dropped passes, bad officiating, offensive miscommunications, badly thrown passes, and poor officiating. If either of those teams had played this way last week they would have been crushed.

I’ve been a Bronco hater as long as I can remember, and never could stand John Elway, back to his Granada Hills High School days. I was actually glad Denver drafted him, so I didn’t have to deal with him being on a team I liked. But Peyton Manning changes everything. I have to want the Broncos to win for his sake. What he’s been through the previous three years, then to have the all-time greatest quarterback season, he deserves it.

Tom Brady will be joining Phillip Rivers for a vacation to Nebraska, and neither will be able to explain exactly why…

Freelancer on January 20, 2014 at 1:38 AM

Freelancer,

I had to turn off the game after that bobbled snap early on. It was incredible…bobbled a few times, bounced off Manning’s face ask, bobbled some more, control regained, then a nice spiral right to his receiver. Magic moment on a stunningly beautiful Colorado day.

Christien on January 20, 2014 at 1:51 AM

Second year in a row, Greg Roman calls for these passes to Crabs, (making the same mistake and expecting a different result), and Kap makes a poor decision by throwing into double coverage. There was a wide open field to the left—an OPEN receiver, and plenty of time, (and surprisingly time outs), left to run “better plays” in the final moments of this game. Why Roman can’t trust the legs of a running back or a QB that’s already rushed for over 120 yards to get the ball into the end zone is beyond my armchair comprehension. I honestly don’t know if Roman knows how to call a mis-direction play, or a QB roll-out to the left when the game’s on the line. Again, there was plenty of time left on the clock to advance the ball. The Niners could have had at least three more plays with more open receivers, instead of throwing this ill-fated pass.

Bottom line, Kaepernick still does not see the whole field the way Montana and Young could. He’s still telegraphing and zeroing in on only one receiver. Perhaps he will learn. Yes, there were a few questionable calls by the officials in this game that did not favor the Niners, but on the whole, they were not the reason for the loss. As a life long Niner fan, this was painful, but life goes on. And the Niners will be back. Congrats to the Seahawks and good luck in the SB. And, it pains me to say this, but the better team won last night.

Rovin on January 20, 2014 at 9:10 AM

Welcome to the first Choom Bowl.

Speechlesstx on January 20, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Second year in a row, Greg Roman calls for these passes to Crabs, (making the same mistake and expecting a different result), and Kap makes a poor decision by throwing into double coverage. There was a wide open field to the left—an OPEN receiver, and plenty of time, (and surprisingly time outs), left to run “better plays” in the final moments of this game. Why Roman can’t trust the legs of a running back or a QB that’s already rushed for over 120 yards to get the ball into the end zone is beyond my armchair comprehension. I honestly don’t know if Roman knows how to call a mis-direction play, or a QB roll-out to the left when the game’s on the line. Again, there was plenty of time left on the clock to advance the ball. The Niners could have had at least three more plays with more open receivers, instead of throwing this ill-fated pass.

Yeah, I didn’t understand the play call for several reasons. One, that’s a risky pass to throw against the best corner in football in that particular situation. Two, their short passing game and running game had been working pretty darn well all game…why not just stick with it? Thirdly, they still had two timeouts left with plenty of time, so there was no need to get it all right there. Lastly, even if they had gotten the TD there, there still would have been 30+ secs left on the clock, and all Seattle needed was a FG to win the game. They also had a timeout remaining. Like you, I didn’t understand the call at all.

GOPRanknFile on January 20, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Rovin,

Tough loss, but the better team lost by beating itself. Congratulations to the Niners and their fans on a great season.

Christien on January 20, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Well, I wrote a long “perspective” post from a Seattle fan but then hit the back button by accident and lost it. Crap. I’ll try again:

When you are Seattle, you get really tired of everyone ignoring or dissing your team. For months we have been hearing “They have the easiest game schedule” or “they do play well at home.” And that’s all. Then we lose ONE GAME and wow it’s over for us, right? So, we get a chip on our shoulder – players and fans.

I’ll tell you that locally we saw all the players interviewed last night and most were incredibly humble and humbled, and Richard Sherman acknowledged his jackassery. The boy has ego, that’s for sure, but he’s not normally like he presented himself, but again, beating the Niners after everyone was bowing down to them, well, it’s sort of understandable. Not desirable, understandable.

Here’s one Hawks fan who’ll say that the Niners played a great, disciplined game and it could have gone either way. It all came down to some mistakes on their part – the delay of game and the big interceptions. We just played through our own mistakes and kept going. As for the refs, whatever, it happens all the time. It sucks when it’s your team that gets the crummy calls, and we’ve been there too. MANY times.

And yes the Broncos scare me but never count the Seahawks out until it’s over. Maybe, finally, everyone will see it. May be not acknowledge it, but see it.

Go Hawks! On to the show!

exliberal on January 20, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Besides the weather here sucks so we need an excuse to drink. More.

exliberal on January 20, 2014 at 11:38 AM

A great defensive secondary will overcome many weaknesses in other parts of a team’s performance, in the most dramatic fashion possible.

I don’t have a problem with Sherman crowing after a game-winning play. I do have a problem with him screaming it in the face of a woman in a post-game standup. No class. That said, I’ve heard him talk before, and he isn’t the “thug” many have called him, he’s just a hothead who also happens to back up his smack. As for Crabtree, it seems to be a personal thing between them. Sherman has openly acknowledged the Broncos’ main receivers as tough to beat, and Manning surely won’t try to force a ball in against good coverage when he knows how to find the next guy.

Kaepernick is greatly talented, but he doesn’t have the mental game needed to push through to the show. Not yet.

Freelancer on January 21, 2014 at 2:53 AM

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