Just three games remain

Jan 20, 2012 -- 9:23am

Three games remain.

It's one of the saddest things about the new year, every year.  Our weekends of fun with family and friends watching America's favorite and greatest sport are fading fast with just three games left.  It's Championship weekend and  you can hear both games on Sportsradio 810, but as excited as we are for the NFL's final four to begin, Championship weekend isn't quite what it used to be.

I'm not sure why, maybe these games are never as epic as the hype and the buildup, although the Super Bowl doesn't disappoint us very often anymore.  Or maybe it's what happens the weekend before.  Remember last week?  A game for all time between the Saints and the 49ers, the fall of Tim Tebow and the Giants punching out the one seed with a dominant performance at Lambeau that sent cheeseheads indoors for the next 5 months.  I've made a swich.  My favorite pro football weekend has become the divisional round.  Four stand alone games that seem to last all weekend, and what a great weekend it was.

Still, we have just three games left.  So we had better make the most of them.

Ravens at Patriots:

It's hard to think the Ravens are actually going to roll into Foxborough and slow down Brady and the Beast.  The Pats offense breathes fire and chews up defenses like it's luke warm Jello.  Gronkowski has changed he tight end position more than anyone since Tony Gonzalez, let's face it, he's a really big wide receiver.  The Patriots are always all things new with the same coach and quarterback.  I'm sure Rob Gronkowski is a fine run blocker, but has anyone ever seen him do it?  If Frank Martin was the coach of the Pats, Big Rob would have never had a chance to get on the field.  I can hear it now, "If you can't block and tackle, you will not play for me."   Well, I guess the guy can block.  But who cares.  He's a big, physical receiver that they call a tight end.  He's not.  He's redifining the position and he creates the toughest matchup ever for a linebacker or in some cases, a defensive end.  That's the beauty of this beast.  And he's had plenty of success on any corner or safety that comes is way, too.

The Ravens can't score with New England.  If the pats score four touchdowns, they've got this one.  But I guess the Ravens can dial up a gameplan that gets physical with Brady and makes him hurry.  If they do, and the Pats offensive line is nothing to brag about, they could force some turnovers and maybe physical pound Brady off his game.  Ray Rice can run and the Ravens could eat up a lot of clock with a 150 yard rushing performance.  But I don't see it.  The Patriots are so good offensively they don't seem to need much defense.  34-20 New England.

Giants at 49ers:

How can you go against the Giants?  I believe they are the most complete team still playing and they definitely have the best pass rush.  If  you had a team in the playoffs with a coach and quarterback that had already won a Super Bowl,  a very good running game and a stout defense with a tremendous pass rush, what else could you ask for?

The problem here is Alex Smith.  The Niners signal caller was all world a week ago, but that was against the Saints.  Saints defense isn't about stopping people its about picking off passes.  You stay away from that and you look really, really good.  And Alex Smith did.  In fact he looked like Joe Montana.  It was remarkable and he's easy to root for.  But the G-Men will bring it this Sunday against a San Francisco O-Line that had trouble pass protecting all year.  I see at least four sacks and at least two turnovers by Alex Smith.  That' more than enough for Eli Manning and a smokin' hot Hakeem Nicks to hit a big play or two and advance to the Super Bowl.  Giants 24, 49ers 20

Maybe I just believe in coaches and quarterbacks that have been there before, it's the Patriots and the Giants again.

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