This week the Atlanta Falcons will host the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game. The winner of this game will represent the NFC in Super Bowl XLVII.
With the emergence of rookie quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the Falcons potential for a meltdown, here are 5 bold predictions for the NFC Championship game. Wanna Bet On the NFC Championship Game? Click here for a $50 – $1000 free play!
NFC Championship: Best game of the day
The NFC Championship will be more entertaining than the AFC Championship: With apologies to the retiring and flamboyant Ray Lewis, the game between the Ravens vs Patriots will be a dud. The preview breaks down why the
Patriots will dominate this game and that will make the game between the 49ers vs Falcons the best game on tap this weekend.
NFC Championship Game Upset
Falcons Beat the 49ers: Our in-depth preview of the big game provides more detail on this game. But this stat from ESPN says it all. No. 1 seeds are 6-0 in conference championships in the past seven postseasons (2005 to 2011). The last to lose was the 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers, who lost to the New England Patriots 41-27.
Atlanta Falcons Choke..Almost
The Atlanta Falcons Will Blow Another Big Lead: The Falcons blew a huge lead against the Seattle Seahawks a week ago. In the end Matt Ryan led the Dirty Birds to victory but it shows that this defense does not play well with a lead. The Falcons will get another lead and lose it (again) before pulling out the last minute victory.
Field Goal Kicking Key
Matt Bryant Will Kick the Game Winner as Time Expires: The 49ers have had problems all season long with field goal kicking and nearly replaced David Akers before the game against the Green Bay Packers. Meanwhile Matt Bryant is as solid as they get especially in clutch moments.
The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Bryant was 17-for-18 in regular-season games on go-ahead or game-tying field goal attempts in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime in his career. That is reason enough to take Bryant over Akers in this game. (Note: Alternate Bold Prediction could have been Akers misses game winning field goal in waning seconds.)
Target: Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick rushes for less than 50 yards: Kaepernick was the star in the playoff win against the Green Bay Packers when he torched the Packers defense for long runs during the rout. The Falcons are changing their defense to stop him in the NFC Championship game. Falcons coach Mike Smith is going to simplify the defensive playbook to contain the young runner.
“You’ve got to have vision on defense and you can’t match up and play match coverage or man-to-man because when he gets into the secondary, he’s a guy that can go the distance,” Smith said.
This type of defense will contain Kaepernick and force him to throw the ball, thus limiting his rushing yardage.
The 5 bold predictions may not all come true this Sunday, but one prediction that is sure to come to fruition is that this will be an outstanding game.
NFL Championship Weekend Previews, Props, and Picks Against the Spread