Week 3 of the Radio Sport NFL Rhombus brings us to the Conference Championships.
Before we get stuck into this week's predictions, let's check out the scoreboard and see how your panel has performed so far!
Where it stands:
1- MP - Marc Peard: 8 of 8
2- KJ - Kent Johns: 6 of 8
2- NY - Nigel Yalden: 6 of 8
4- NR - Nate Rarere: 5 of 8 **
** The Rhombus Judicial Committee decided to award Nate the same number of victories as the lowest scorer from Wildcard Weekend **
Well at 8 from 8.... Now's probably the best time to tell you that you can watch Marc Peard for the lead up and during the coverage of the Conference championships, free to air on TVNZ, Duke TV.
NFC Championship game Packers ($2.60) at Falcons ($1.45) - 9:05am Monday, Duke TV -
Aaron Rogers threw a Voodoo Magic pass at the end of the Dallas game and everyone lost their shit about how amazing he was... and he is. But his defensive secondary isn't good enough to shut down Atlanta. Matt Ryan has too many weapons to hand off or pass to. Prediction: Atlanta make the Super Bowl.
I'm convinced the Falcons are heading to a Super Bowl this year, They have burnt me in the past so I'm a little tentative to jump both feet in on Matt Ryan and his merry men. Prediction: The Falcons are better than Green Bay, as were the Cowboys last week, and they are better in the right positions which will give them the win.
OK, so Aaron Rodgers is off the charts right now but like last week I'm going with the better team. The Falcons actually look the real deal and will be first to 40 on the day.
Prediction: Finally Matty Ice gets to go to the big dance, and maybe then he can get a better nickname. Falcons by 10.
This pick is all about getting a competitive Super Bowl because as much as I like the Falcons, I have no doubt in my mind they'll get stage fright in a fortnight irrespective of the opponent. Green Bay, on the other hand, won't and as well as Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is playing, I'm rolling with Aaron Rodgers and company to win another road playoff game. Prediction: Rodgers scampers for a 5 yard touchdown to win for Green Bay in OT.
AFC Championship game - Steelers ($2.80) at Patriots ($1.40) - 12:40pm Monday Duke TV.
Only a mad man bets against Brady and Belichick at home in the conference finals...I believe the Steelers are the only team in the league right now that can march into Gillette Stadium and win. They are used to playing outside in cold weather, they have a good young defence that can stop the run and pass, they have an explosive offence that can really put pressure on the Pats' stellar defence.
Prediction - Steelers to win in a tight one.
I respect the heck out of the New England Patriots. Tom Brady should rightfully be referenced the greatest quarterback of all time; Bill Belichick is a superb coach who surrounds himself with a plethora of outstanding co-ordinators and coaches while Robert Kraft could very well be the best owner in all of American sports. Their record of success and excellence speaks for itself. They are the benchmark by which all NFL teams are measured. But as a long suffering, intensely loyal, butt fumble enduring New York Jets fan, I can't stand the Pats. Truth be told, I'd rather dip my testicles in gasoline within sparking distance of an open flame than pick the Patriots to win this or any game for that matter.
Prediction: Steelers (for the love of god) to win ... any means necessary!
New England without Gronk should be beatable, so in typical NE fashion they just go about being unbeatable.
Prediction: New England go to the Super Bowl. Again. Ugh
People may not realise the Patriots allowed the fewest points in the league this season. Surely they won't turn the ball over like they did against Houston. It would be the Steelers best chance to win, having so many threats with the ball.
Prediction: A close low-scoring affair with New England emerging victorious. An injured Gronk to livestream HIS post-game party