Ralph Vacchiano's post on New York Giants | Latest updates on Sulia
I'm off to Atlanta this weekend. Here are my picks for the NFC playoff games ...
Green Bay Packers 31, San Francisco 49ers 24 – I still admire Jim Harbaugh for what I think is the gutsiest coaching decision I’ve seen in years, benching Alex Smith and switching to Colin Kaepernick midway through the season. He’s been good and this 49ers team has everything else – a strong rushing attack, a strong defense. But is there any one more locked in right now than Aaron Rodgers? I know they lost in the regular-season finale to the Vikings, but they beat them in the playoffs, barely breaking a sweat. Rodgers has the same look in his eye (and in the offense) that he did in 2010. The 49ers’ defense is good, though they did give up 34 points to New England and 42 to Seattle in back-to-back games just three weeks ago. So they are vulnerable. To me that puts the game in Rodgers’ hands, and he’ll win a dual with Kaepernick any day.
Atlanta Falcons 27, Seattle Seahawks 17 -- Nate Silver, the stat guy who perfectly called the presidential election, predicts the Seahawks will go to the Super Bowl. So do Gil Brandt, my SiriusXM NFL Radio colleague who went 4-0 with his picks in the first round. But I don’t buy it. I know the Falcons bombed in the playoffs each of the last two years, but I think they have too many weapons to do it three years in a row. The Seattle defense has been tremendous and they may have the corners to handle Julio Jones and Roddy White, but when you add in Tony Gonzalez and Michael Turner and so many other secondary weapons, it’s just too much. Plus, the Seahawks are a different team on the road and they’re making their second cross-country trip in the last two weeks. This will be the Falcons’ coming out party and they are ready for the Big Show.