NFL Final Four: Predictions

Jimmy KimmelContributor IJanuary 11, 2009

So, after another exciting weekend in the NFL we are left with four teams. Two six-seeds are left, one of which will be favored. This all sets up for one exciting weekend. Last week I picked only one team correctly: Philadelphia.

So here are my picks for the 2009 Conference Championship Weekend.



Philadelphia Eagles vs. Arizona Cardinals

The Eagles are the first NFC sixth seed to make it this far, yet Arizona is the surprising team in this matchup. Both teams are coming off of double-digit upset wins. I have picked against the Cardinals all postseason.

The Eagles were my preseason Super Bowl pick.

Philadelphia's defense dominated the Giants and the offense had a solid day considering the conditions. The Eagles have been playing great football over the last month and a half. Westbrook was a non-factor in the Giants game, but look for him to play well against a Cardinal's defense that has been average until this postseason.

McNabb's numbers aren't great—although considering three drops by tight ends and one drop by Kevin Curtis that would have gone for about 40 yards, his numbers could have been a lot better. McNabb and Westbrook owned the Cardinal's defense on Thanksgiving Day.

Now to what brought the birds this far, the Eagle's defense. They controlled the game against New York and don't look for them to slow down.

The Cardinals have been a surprise and they killed the Panthers. Arizona discovered a thing called a run game. They have an explosive offense and their defense has been equally as good in 2009.

Kurt Warner is playing like well Kurt Warner. Larry Fitzgerald is amazing and Anquan Boldin should be back, although not 100 percent.

I see this being a good game. But with Boldin not being healthy and the Eagle's defense looking unstoppable, I don't see the Cardinals racking up too many points. McNabb wants to prove to Philly fans how much they really need him, Westbrook runs wild, and Akers tacks on a few field goals to his NFL record 18 consecutive makes.

The Eagles win and advance to the Super Bowl.

Eagles 37, Cardinals 17

MVP: Donovan McNabb



Baltimore Ravens vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Round Three. The Steelers swept the season series in two close games. Baltimore won a hard-fought close game in Tennessee. The Steelers blew out the Chargers and didn't really break a sweat. Big Ben didn't seem to show any side effects from his concussion.

Don't expect any surprises in this game, but do expect two things: defense and running. These are two of the best defenses in the NFL and don't expect either team to score over 20.

I think the key to this game is the fact that the Steelers are relatively fresh and Baltimore has played two very physical games.

This game will probably be more physical than both. I see the Steelers setting up an all Pennsylvania Super Bowl.

Steelers 16 Ravens 10

MVP: Troy Polamalu


This year has proven two things. First, defense can win games.

Second, the NFL is very unpredictable. So with seven days until we know who will be in the Super Bowl, something tells me there are a few surprises still to be seen.