NFL Playoff Picks 2012: Last Minute Picks for AFC, NFC Championship Games

Tony SantorsaSenior Writer IIJanuary 22, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots walks back to the sideline against the Denver Broncos during their AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

This is it—only four teams remain in the NFL playoffs and only two teams can advance to Super Bowl XLVI by today's end. 

At 3 p.m. at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. we have Tom Brady and the New England Patriots playing host to Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens. Then at 6:30 p.m. in San Francisco, we have Eli Manning and the New York Giants traveling cross-country to battle Vernon Davis and the San Francisco 49ers. 

All week long I have been making predictions—but let's take a look at my last-minute picks for the AFC and the NFC Championships. 

 

Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 17:  Vince Wilfork #75 of the New England Patriots chases Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens in the first half at Gillette Stadium on October 17, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriot won 23-20 in overtime.  (Photo by Jim Ro
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

This is truly a battle of fire and ice: an elite and dominant defense in the Ravens and a high-scoring passing attack in the Patriots—which will prevail? 

I have been saying all week long that no matter how well Baltimore's defense plays, Tom Brady is still going to score points—there's a reason why he was voted the NFL's top player entering this season. Taking that into consideration, Brady is going to put up points and I simply have zero faith in the arm of Joe Flacco—I do not believe that he will be able to keep up. 

Final Prediction: New England 31, Baltimore 17

 

New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 13:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants in action against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on November 13, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In all honesty, I actually see this game as a toss-up—these two teams are so evenly matched. 

With that being said, I'm taking the team with the experience and is currently white-hot, Eli Manning and the New York Giants. 

Manning and the Giants will be playing in their second NFC Championship Game in the past four years while Jim Harbaugh's 49ers is a very young team—in the sense of playoff experience—and that will not play in their favor. 

The Giants will ride off of their success of beating the NFL's best team in the regular season a week ago, the Green Bay Packers, and will advance to Super Bowl XLVI. 

Final Prediction: New York 27, San Francisco 20 

 

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