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Silver Dragon 01-15-2008 10:22 PM

Silver Dragon's Conference Championship Picks
I couldnít have been more pleased with a 2-0 start in last weeks match ups, but as upsets are becoming more of a rule in the NFL, my 0-2 finish left me 2-2 on the Divisional weekend. Canít say that Iím disappointed, the San Diego upset over Indy was shocking, jaw-dropping, and down right exciting. The Giants win may not have been as big of a surprise, but it was still a game that was edge of your seat and down to the wire. We can only hope that this weeks match ups continue to impress and intrigue. With no real need to hype, these games are exciting all on their own, lets get right down to the picks.


Sunday, January 20th, 2008

AFC Conference Championship
#3 San Diego Chargers(13-5) at #1 New England Patriots(17-0) 3:00PM (CBS)
I must admit, I had never expected to see the Chargers make it this far and I canít say that they havenít deserved it. This Chargers team has come together to play their best game at the most important time, and Philip Rivers managed to fit together an impressive game against the Colts last week. Unfortunately, Rivers will be a game time decision this week, Antonio Gates is still nursing an injured toe, and LaDainian Tomlinson will be working off a bruised knee. Shawne Merriman is going to have his hands full this week as I expect Tom Brady will be able to deliver his passes quickly, and the Chargers battered offense may leave Merriman and the rest of the defense on the field for a good portion of this match up. So these injuries couldnít have come at a worse time and now the Chargers will be traveling to Foxboro to take on the seemingly undefeatable Patriots. With confidence and experience, Tom Brady will be leading his Patriots into yet another AFC Championship game at home. With a run game in the legs of Laurence Maroney and Kevin Faulk, the Patriots should have just enough to keep the Charger defense honest. Targeting numerous receivers in Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and Donteí Stallworth, this match up could prove to be another Tom Brady show. Can the Chargers continue to overcome and defeat the Patriots this week even with all their injuries? Or will this game be over by half time?
Patriots advance to the Super Bowl again in an attempt to cap their perfect season.

NFC Conference Championship
#5 New York Giants(12-6) at #2 Green Bay Packers(14-3) 6:30PM (FOX)
The Giants are another team that has become hot at just the right time. Everyone expected to see Manning in the Conference Championship; weíre just surprised itís in the NFC Championship. A sporadic and inconsistent quarterback, Eli Manning has somehow managed to pull himself together for a series of games when the games matter the most. With Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer cutting back on the number of drops they were prone to earlier in the season and pop you in the mouth run style of Brandon Jacobs, this offense has been getting it done on the playing field. To top it off, the return of Michael Strahan to the Giants defense has only added spark to their defensive play and held opponents in manageable games. This week they will have to travel to Lambeau Field and attempt to manage Brett Favre and his young Packers team. This team has been on a hot streak of their own and will look to attack the Giants defense in every way possible. Favre will continue to utilize Greg Jennings and Donald Driver who have been fantastic in making plays after the catch this season. Then there is the up and coming Packer star in Ryan Grant, who has turned a few heads over the Packers run game and lit an ice cold field on fire last week with 201 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Can he repeat the performance? Snow showers are predicted for Friday and Saturday in Green Bay, a lag in those clouds could mean more for Sunday, and with a temperature high of 10 degrees these teams should feel right at home and us fans should be in for quite a game.
Packers prevail with a finishing touch by Favre.

And that pretty much gives you my Super Bowl participants for 2008. Two cold weather teams will be battling for the World Title in hot and sunny Phoenix, AZ. But weíll talk about that game at another time.

Silver Dragon 01-20-2008 01:51 PM

With the games just hours away, it would probably be a good idea for me to take the time to make my ATS picks. Finishing 2-2 last week, I can hardly hope to improve much as we are now down to only two games. Both games sporting spreads larger than a touchdown, the home teams are once again considered heavy favorites, but so were last weeks home teams who only accounted for 50% of the wins. So who covers this week? Who beats the spread? Letís have a look.
Sunday, January 20th, 2008
San Diego Chargers
New England Patriots -14
The Chargers have proven to be a surprisingly better team than expected after last weeks dismantling of Peyton Manning and the Colts, but too many injuries against this Patriots team is going to prove to be entirely too much to handle.
New York Giants +8
Green Bay Packers
Giants have been playing at the top of their game after deciding to give the Patriots a run for their money in their final regular season game. They want a rematch in the Super Bowl and will battle to the final whistle with the Packers, but Favre in the final seconds proves to be the final touch on a Packers victory.
And thatís how I see it this weekend. Chargers made a good run, but just canít run through New England and the Giants keep it close enough to beat the spread, just not the Packers. Patriots and Packers, see you in Arizona.

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