NFL conference championships open thread

posted at 2:01 pm on January 24, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

Jazz: I’m still stuck in the .500 rut. My post season went to 4-4 last week when the game I wanted to be right about (the Seahawks match) went south, and the game I wanted to be wrong about (the Steelers) went the way I predicted. At this point, with both the Jets and the Steelers gone I have nothing left to live for in the NFL but my bitter, undying hatred of the Patriots. In any event, let’s see how things go on these last, staggering steps toward the Superbowl.

Ed: I too went .500 last week, so I have landed in the championship round at 5-3 and a decent chance of a winning percentage in the playoffs. I have to say goodbye to the Steelers, though, who played a far better game against Denver than they did against Cincinnati (and classier, too), but came up short when Peyton Manning finally got hot late in the game. The Seahawks put on a great second half, reminiscent of the Panthers’ near fade against the Giants earlier in the season, but just ran out of time.  Fortunately, we’re not out of time on this great season, and today we will get the answers to who gets to play in the 50th Super Bowl, and who gets to watch it from home.

Jazz: The aforementioned, gods forsaken Patriots travel to Denver to play the Broncos. (3:05 pm CBS) New England is a three point favorite and they’ve clearly earned their shot at the big game, as much as it pains me to say it. But the Broncos looked very good last week and writing off that team at home is a mistake. I may be perpetuating the Jazz Curse here, but I’m going to put my chips on Denver’s side and take the home field advantage, sending Tom Brady and company home for the season, 34-21 in a stunning knockout.

Ed: I can’t deny that I’ll be rooting for Denver in this game. I’d love to see Peyton Manning make it back for one more Super Bowl before he retires, because that is almost certainly coming up soon. Denver has the better defense, and showed it last week, but the Patriots gave up only 1.2 more points per game than Denver did in the regular season. New England’s offense scored seven more points a game than did Denver’s in the regular season. With all of their offense getting back to the field (or enough of it to matter), the Patriots should be able to send the Broncos to the couch with a 24-17 nailbiter. I hope I’m wrong, but … it’s tough to pick against the Pats now, even on the road.

Jazz: The Arizona Cardinals travel to face off with the almost undefeated Panthers in Carolina. (6:40 pm, FOX) Carson Palmer vs. Cam Newton is almost a Clash of the Titans at this point and the weaknesses of both teams are too minor to mention. But the Panthers have come through the post season with a few more injuries in key positions than their opponents. They have pickup free agent Cortland Finnegan on the corner and some iffy safety coverage. It will probably all come down to the pass defense for this matchup and Carson Palmer can take advantage of that. I’m going to go against the grain here take the minor upset with Arizona ending the Panthers’ dream run in an air war shootout, 37-28.

Ed: This game pits the top two scoring offenses in the league, in a game buried in Winter Storm Jonas. In points allowed, Carolina and Arizona are just as closely matched, with the Panthers getting a 0.3-point edge in points per game allowed. The key for Arizona will be to hold the Panthers’ offense down in the first half and to keep the game close at the half. Carolina is not a good second-half team, and an explosive offense can wear down their defense quickly. The ground in Carolina plays into that strategy, too — neither team is a cold-weather team, but the soggy surface will slow down Cam Newton more than the Cardinals. I’m also going to pick Arizona on the road for a win, but with a lower score — 28-24.

 

 

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Comment pages: 1 2

Not the point – Broncos players in the last week have talked about how the only way to stop Gronk is to take him out (for the rest of game) by taking out his knees.
I have a problem with that.
If you want to BE the best, you have to BEAT the best – by beating them fair and square, not taking them out with cheap shots.
(conspiracy theories aside)

dentarthurdent on January 24, 2016 at 8:36 PM

Then I stand corrected, DAD, as that is completely NOT COOL and definitely not sportsmanlike.

smokeyblonde on January 24, 2016 at 8:45 PM

Yup, Cards are stinking it up.

Panthers offense vs. Broncos defense. Unstoppable force vs. immovable object.

rbj on January 24, 2016 at 8:55 PM

Yep, it’s over.

22044 on January 24, 2016 at 9:02 PM

Not the point – Broncos players in the last week have talked about how the only way to stop Gronk is to take him out (for the rest of game) by taking out his knees.
I have a problem with that.
If you want to BE the best, you have to BEAT the best – by beating them fair and square, not taking them out with cheap shots.
(conspiracy theories aside)

dentarthurdent on January 24, 2016 at 8:36 PM

That is just not cool. Very unsportsmanlike and very unmanly.

Bunch of 12 year old girls who think this is a winning strategy.

smokeyblonde on January 24, 2016 at 9:12 PM

Yep, it’s over.

22044 on January 24, 2016 at 9:02 PM

Pretty much.

Broncos – Panthers Super Bowl XL.

smokeyblonde on January 24, 2016 at 9:13 PM

XL is not fiddy, smokey.

Christien on January 24, 2016 at 9:21 PM

Immovable object vs. unstoppable force. West vs. East

But Peyton’s farewell if he wins. And Ryan Leaf was picked right after him.

rbj on January 24, 2016 at 9:22 PM

Belicheck is an NPD a’hole who thinks the DESERVES to win at any and all cost costs just because he and Brady are who they are (see Patriots + cheating on Google).

smokeyblonde on January 24, 2016 at 7:04 PM

LOL!

Let me guess-you’re either a Steelers fan or a Jets fan.

As for telling us to use those “Google” keywords, please don’t insult our intelligence. The very second result I got using your keywords claimed that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell covered up for the Patriots cheating in Spygate!

F-#1.

But another one of the results I got using your keywords was a New York Times story from January 20, 2016.

The TRUE Scandal of DeflateGate Lies in The NFL’s Behavior

In which the New York Times, no Patriots fans for sure, tell us how Roger Goodell and the NFL ignored voluminous evidence by scientists regarding the PSI pressures of the footballs.

When you BDSers have lost the New York Times, you know you’re in trouble.

PS, I’d ask you for evidence to prove your silly Belicheat NPD claim with actual credible and multi-sourced cites, but since we all know you can’t, why bother?

F-#2.

Del Dolemonte on January 24, 2016 at 9:22 PM

Whaddaya expect from someone from Hochuli’s old hood…

Christien on January 24, 2016 at 9:22 PM

Del Dolemonte on January 24, 2016 at 9:22 PM

Hee! Neither, I’m a CheeseHead through and through, though do favor the Steelers over Jets.

And as a rabid Packer fan, I (like any other rabid NFL fan) am allowed to have visceral and illogical hatred against any and all other teams, especially the good ones. :)

smokeyblonde on January 24, 2016 at 9:27 PM

Damn but Newton and Panthers look good!

smokeyblonde on January 24, 2016 at 9:37 PM

Yup, it’s over. The thing is. When was the last time a quarterback associated with Ohio won the Super Bowl?

rbj on January 24, 2016 at 9:38 PM

Looks like the Panthers will have one more game – and one more chance for Jazz to incorrectly pick them to lose.

TarheelBen on January 24, 2016 at 9:41 PM

Looks like Sam Mills brought the Dome Patrol spirit to Carolina.

Christien on January 24, 2016 at 9:41 PM

Okayyy … Carolina and Denver it is...
.
But I’ll be more interested in the commercials … : )

listens2glenn on January 24, 2016 at 9:56 PM

Trump made the Patriots lose because it was going to cost him NH. I think he used Kelo.

xblade on January 24, 2016 at 10:02 PM

Cam Newton has been damn impressive this year – hope he gets MVP as definitely well deserved.

So … Panthers v Broncos … GO PANTHERS!!!! :)

smokeyblonde on January 24, 2016 at 10:08 PM

Cam Newton has been damn impressive this year – hope he gets MVP as definitely well deserved.

So … Panthers v Broncos … GO PANTHERS!!!! :)

smokeyblonde on January 24, 2016 at 10:08 PM

Completely agree, and the joy he brings to the game is something to savor. I’m going to be torn on the SB, as I’d like Manning to got out with a win, yet you gotta love a hell-raising, non-establishment fighter like the Panthers and Cam.

TXUS on January 24, 2016 at 10:17 PM

The all powerful offense of the Panthers should destroy the Broncos in SB 50.

Of course, every one was sayin’ a similar thing about the “unbeatable” Colts in ’69.

Rovin on January 25, 2016 at 4:23 AM

Sigh
Palmer choked

I’ll be rooting for the NFC
Go Panthers

cmsinaz on January 25, 2016 at 4:47 AM

Not the point – Broncos players in the last week have talked about how the only way to stop Gronk is to take him out (for the rest of game) by taking out his knees.
I have a problem with that.

If you’ve ever played football you would know that the best way to tackle a big guy is to hit him low. Although if his knee hits your head you’re going to be hurting.

The media likes to start this he said, she said bs by taking answers to questions out of context and then relies on fanboys/girls to wildly spread the rumor that the hated opponents are trying to kill our players!

No one ever said they were going to try and injure your precious Patriots player.

Vince on January 25, 2016 at 7:34 AM

Not the point – Broncos players in the last week have talked about how the only way to stop Gronk is to take him out (for the rest of game) by taking out his knees.
I have a problem with that.

They said this in a conversation about helmet to helmet penalties among other things. In today’s league you have to hit low. As a DB or a safety if you aim at the chest/midsection all the WR has to do is lower his helmet a tiny bit for an extra 15 yards, and they all know and do it. The freak-out over concussions is going to lead to many many extra knee injuries, but better a knee than a brain I guess. (P.S. No knee shots on Gronk that I saw so there is that)

airmonkey on January 25, 2016 at 8:44 AM

Not as bad as the NFL officiating, but Carson Palmer SUCKS.

jaime on January 25, 2016 at 12:42 PM

Comment pages: 1 2