NFL: Championship Weekend

My predictions over the last several weeks have been simply awful. As a matter fact, had you taken my predictions and gone to Vegas simply to bet against me, you could have made some serious money. Anyway, in spite of my past failures, here we go again.

Aaron Hernandez

Baltimore Ravens versus New England Patriots: First, let me start by saying I really do not like Tom Brady. I never have. I don’t know why, but I just don’t. I acknowledge that he is one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. If he wins another Super Bowl, I might just fall into a state of depression. (I’m just joking, of course.) Currently, I’m having flashbacks to the Brady hysteria that we heard back in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The fact that the Patriots have not won a Super Bowl in the last five years has dampened that hysteria considerably. As I look at the remaining teams in the Super Bowl hunt, it is hard for me to see anybody who has a good opportunity to beat Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. Tom Brady with this outstanding tight ends, Deion Branch and Wes Welker, will use the short and medium range passing game to move the ball relatively effectively against a good but not great Baltimore Ravens defense. I think it is quite possible that the Patriot offense can put up 25-30 points today. On the other side of the ball, I just don’t see how the Baltimore Ravens are going to be able to match that offensive output. I don’t see how they are going to be able to consistently move the ball and score points. New England wins and advances to the Super Bowl.

Eli Manning

San Francisco 49ers versus the New York Giants: Eli Manning is currently playing as well as any quarterback in the NFL. The Giants seem to have put together several solid team performances, landing them in the championship game. The multiple problems they had on defense seem to have been fixed. On offense, the running game is much better and Eli Manning is on fire. The dropped passes that we saw from all of his wide receivers seem to be a thing of the past. I’ve counted out the San Francisco 49ers multiple times this year. I have underestimated Alex Smith, time after time. In the last five minutes of the New Orleans Saints game, he played as well as any quarterback in the league. He threw the ball accurately and made outstanding decisions. I don’t think that you can underestimate how well the San Francisco 49ers are playing on defense. They are stopping the run and they are playing pass defense extremely well. I look for Alex Smith and the San Francisco 49ers to take advantage of turnovers and head back to the Super Bowl for the first time in more than a decade.

This should be a great day of football.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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