New England Patriots(2) at Denver Broncos(1)
This game is a really, really tough call. The Broncos were my preseason Super Bowl runner up pick, but the Patriots are on fire right now. Despite being ravaged by injuries, the Patriots remained an elite and dominant team in the league this season. They put up 43 points on the Colts without having Brady throw a single TD pass. LeGarrete Blount absolutely dominated this game, having a career day on a big stage. LeGarrete Blount? You mean the guy they traded a 7th round pick for? Yeah, him. That’s a testament to the genius of Bill Belichick and the coaching job he’s done this year. The Patriots defense played very well also, forcing 4 interceptions from Andrew Luck. The Broncos, however, steamrolled their opponents on offense this year during a record setting season. The 2013-14 Bronco’s offense ranks with the all time great offenses in history. Defense, though, has been suspect. During the regular season meeting of these teams, Brady was able to pick apart the secondary of the Broncos in the second half and overtime en route to a dramatic 24 point comeback. The Broncos will start out hot, but let the Patriots back in the game with shoddy defense. Peyton steps up and wins this game for the Broncos and sends them to the Super Bowl with a 45-42 victory.
San Francisco 49ers(5) at Seattle Seahawks(1)
The last 2 times these teams met in Seattle, the Seahawks have thoroughly controlled the game throughout. It will be a different story this time. Despite the crazy crowd noise and less than ideal conditions, the 49ers are primed to travel to New Jersey to seek a 6th Super Bowl title. Ever since the Seahawks lost at home to the Cardinals, Russel Wilson has been in a funk. He threw for just 103 yards in the Seahawks’ divisional round victory over the Saints, and the 49ers pose a far tougher task than New Orleans on the defensive side of the ball. Kaepernick and the 49ers have won 3 straight road games and 7 overall. The offense is clicking on all cylinders with Michael Crabtree back in the lineup and a healthy Vernon Davis. The Seattle defense is still great, but the loss of CB Brandon Browner hurts this team. If the 49ers want to win, they have to wrap up and gang tackle on Marshawn Lynch, who busted through the half hearted attempts of the Saints defense last weekend. Third time’s a charm for the 49ers, as they steal a 20-10 victory.