After two rounds, my record is a scintillating 7-1, with Cincy’s meltdown the only game marring my stellar postseason record. It’s nice to know that, with only two weeks left for my “Best Picks” column, I’ll be retiring with a winning record.
We have a great slate of games this week, with the top two seeds facing off in both conferences for the first time in over a decade. This is how it’s supposed to be, folks, so enjoy the games.
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos
When these two teams met earlier this season, it was a matchup between two top defences, and one clearly superior offence. True to form, New England seemed to have the game in hand, until the contest turned into one of those “domino” games where a couple of unexpected things happen, and the ripple effect turns everything topsy-turvy. In this case, a little injured Gronk here, and a little muffed punt there, and the next thing you know, Denver steals the win. So, here we are again. The offences are basically the same, with the Pats clearly superior. The defences are banged-up, but still pretty top-notch. I feel the same way about this game as I did the previous one, that the Patriots should win. Beware the dominoes, though. Winner: Patriots
Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers
Confession: I’m rooting for the Cards in this one. I mean, with Carson Palmer, Bruce Arians, and especially Larry Fitzgerald involved, what’s not to love? I’d really like to pick them to move on to the big game, but I just can’t. The Carolina defence is deep and talented, and more to the point, it makes big plays. And as for Cam Newton, he just looks like the difference-maker that smart fans always knew he would be. Winner: Panthers