Super Bowl Madness Podcast with Wonder

Friday, January 20, 2012

NFC Championship Preview: Final Four

Baltimore going to New England. We know what the Ravens did last time in the playoffs. 24-0 after one quarter. Harrasing Brady. Ray Rice breaking it off for 80 yards on the first play. I just don't see it happneing again for one reason. I just don't feel the Ravens' O-line is playing at the level they need to play at in order to dominate the Patriots. They need to control the line of scrimmage. BIG TIME. That means at least 36 minutes of time of possession. They need to rush for 150 yards. That much pressure on the run game will open up the lanes for Flacco to keep the pass rushers at bay and also open up the short game to Ray Rice. They should at least try to stretch the field a few times. I don't think they have someone to stay with Torrey Smith deep if they hit it at the right time. That has to be Baltimore's main focus offensively. As for defense, I think Baltimore is not going to be able to dictate the terms with Brady. What they should instead hope to do is contain him. I don't mind if Welker or Hernandez or Branch escapes for a 70-yard bomb. What you don't want is him to be marching down the field with a methodical 12-play 80-yard drive. That is what you have to avoid. They should just ignore the run. They should just come with guns blazing and pressuring Brady. Up the middle! Let your corners play one on one press. You can't let Welker get off the line without paying the price. Hit him and hit him hard. Put him on the ground. Do the same to Brady. Just hit him. Let him know it's coming. That is the way to play the Patriots. I just hope that the Ravens have the guts to play the way they should.  As for the Patriots they need to protect Brady and they win. Simple as this. Keep him upright you win. Defensively they have to stop the run. You do that you win the game. That is it for them. It actually doesn't do the Patriots all that good to run the ball unless they are crucial 3rd and 5, 3rd and 2. Letting them run for five yards on first down isn't the end of the world. Just can't let Brady sit back there. For the tight ends: Gronk- hit him with a linebacker have a safety over the top. Can be done. Just can't give him a clean release. I think New England is gonna win the game. New England will feel pressure if Baltimore can get up on them. It's absolutely critical to get up right away. 24-17 NEW ENGLAND

Giants at 49ers- Still excited about the big win at Lambeau and about not going to New Orleans. I think its critical that the offensive game plan takes the weather into mind. Going to be tough to hit those 40, 50 yard passes. Need to have a game plan where you hit the short quick routes to Nicks (who is so good in short areas), Ballard, Bradshaw out of the backfield. Don't even bother running between the tackles. Ok once in a while to keep them honest, fine. Don't expect to run on them that way. The Giants' game plan should be to run wide; sweeps, counters, misdirection plays. Please, I'm begging you, let Bradshaw catch the ball. He can make huge plays for the Giants. On defense, it's simple: stop the running game. That is what needs to happen. If they can force Smith to throw the ball the Giants have a really good chance to win. As for the 49ers, they have to pound the rock, make third downs, get the ball to Davis. Most importantly, they need to scare the Giants. They have to at least try to throw the ball down the field to Crabtree or someone. At least let the Giants know they CAN do it. Again, their best chance of winning is power sweeps with Iupati pulling. Just a beast. A guy I've always hated, coming out of the draft is Smith. He can be had. Whether it be Osi, JPP, Tuck. They have to overload pressure on Anthony Davis and put Smith on the ground. He has good feet, so you have to contain him too. But he has to feel the pressure. This has to be dominant. Hunter is a good runner in addition to Gore too. Kendall Hunter is tough as well. The Giants need to deal with Davis obviously, I think Rolle can do a decent job on him and help with a LB on a release. In my opinion, the team that wins this game is the one that doesn't necessarily make the best plays, it is the one who doesn't make the worst plays. Someone is going to lose this game, not win this game. I'm talking fumbles, picks, penalties, bad snaps, things like that. Its incumbent upon the Giants to have at most one turnover. Two or more turnovers by the Giants and they probably lose this one. I think the Giants do it though. I am picking 27-20 GIANTS. The exact opposite of the regular season.

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