TOJ Championship Week Preview

TOJ with a preview of the AFC and NFC Championship Game

It feels like a hundred years ago we were preparing for the New York Jets vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game. This year’s version features the two team’s top rivals, as the New England Patriots have reasserted their dominance of the AFC East and the Baltimore Ravens have finally maneuvered further in the playoffs than Pittsburgh.

At first glance, it is hard to convince yourself that Baltimore can win this football game. Yet, you then need to remind yourself that New England hasn’t beaten a team with a better than .500 record all season and that they lost to a similarly constructed Jets team in the playoffs last year. Baltimore has the talent on the defense to disrupt the Patriots mighty offense. The question is really whether the Ravens offense can do enough to pull off the upset?

New England’s defense is garbage but the simplicity and mediocrity of the Ravens offense may not be able to take enough advantage of it to pull the upset. In the end, I think the New England revenge tour continues another week and they knock off the Ravens in a game closer than most expect.

In the NFC, the Giants and their fans have got the match-up they have wanted in San Francisco. I would offer a word of caution from experience however. I remember a New York team and their fans being incredibly hyped after knocking off the consensus best team in the regular season on the road in the divisional round and then being understandably confident against a team they looked good against earlier in the season in the Championship Game, just to suffer a major let-down.

From the sounds of things, the Giants have already punched their ticket to the Super Bowl. I wouldn’t sleep on San Francisco in the Mud Bowl that the field should be on Sunday. Regardless, in this year of NFL misery for Jets fans it only makes sense we would have to suffer through a Giants/Patriots rematch, so why pick against it?