2013 NFL Playoff Picks and Predictions: Conference Championship Round

Al Bello

After an ugly week picking the Divisional Round, the APC editors attempt to redeem themselves with the Conference Championship Games.

Last week was ugly for the three of us; all three of Kevin, Devin, and myself went 0 for 2 in Saturday's game, and I got absurdly lucky on Sunday when the Falcons' near-but-not-quite-complete-collapse ended in a win for Atlanta and pulled me to 2-2 on the week. This week, Kevin and I will try to improve our playoff records this week by picking the two games on Sunday.

San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons

Kevin: 49ers

Kaepernick's running and the read option are not gimmicks. And even if they are, Kaepernick can throw a great deep ball and the Niners have a stable of running backs that they can run the ball with. Matt Ryan looked like good old choking Matty Ice before the drive for the field goal. He threw two bad picks against the Seahawks. I'd be very surprised by a Falcons victory.

Evan: 49ers

Russell Wilson gave the Falcons' defense fits; I certainly don't think they'll have any easier of a time against Colin Kaepernick. If the Niners' pass rush shows up again, Matt Ryan will be in serious trouble, and I don't believe he'll be able to lead a last-minute drive to pull out another win.

Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

Kevin: Ravens

Yep, I'm going to be that guy. I know that betting against the Hoodie at home, and for Joe Flacco, is ridiculous. But the Ravens have been one of the couple best teams in the league since John Harbaugh took over. The only thing that's been holding them back is bad play-calling and Flacco's chokerific performances. I think they've cured both problems. I believe in the Ravens.

Evan: Patriots

Nope, I'm not buying the Ravens this week. They can present some matchup problems with the Patriots' defense, but Tom Brady just does not lose at home in the playoffs. Seriously, he's 11-2, and although one of those two losses did come at the hands of Joe Flacco and company after the 2009 season, I'm not a fan of the aging Ravens defense in this one. Also, New England beat Baltimore in this game last year in Foxboro. Give me the Patriots by 10.

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