It’s NFL Playoff Conference Championship Weekend, and time for Colin’s Blazin’ 2 predictions. Colin went 2-2 in the Divisional Round, including a couple of bad beats with Houston and Kansas City surrendering late, backdoor, blown covers.
Colin is always heavy on the dogs, but this weekend he’s rolling with the homefield favorites and laying the points.
Here are his Blazin’ 2 plays for the AFC and NFC Conference Championship Games:
- Packers at Falcons (-5) – Red-hot Aaron Rodgers leads the Pack into Atlanta in the last game in the Georgia Dome. Taking Aaron Rodgers and the 5 points is tantalizing, but Colin thinks a banged up Green Bay won’t be able to hang with Atlanta on the road.
The Falcons are averaging almost 37 points in their last 7 games, and feature Julio Jones and the dual threat running back tandem of Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman. The Falcons have put up points against some of the better defenses in the league, including the Chiefs, Cardinals, Rams, and Seahawks. Matty Ice and the balanced Atlanta attack should be able to shred an injury plagued Green Bay D.
The Atlanta defense isn’t top-tier, but Vic Beasley, Jr. led the NFL with 13.5 sacks, and they should play fast in front of a deafening home crowd. Take the deeper, healthier, more complete Atlanta, to win and cover in a track meet at home in the last game in the house that Deion built. 35-27 Falcons.
2. Steelers at Patriots (-6) – Colin also likes New England as a home favorite to cover 6 against Big Ben and the Steelers in Foxboro.
The Pittsburgh defense has improved statistically since Week 11, but it’s been against the likes of Tyrod Taylor, Cody Kessler, Andy Dalton (without A.J. Green), RGIII, and Eli Manning. Slowing down Brady and the Patriots offense at home should be a slightly bigger challenge.
Colin thinks running backs LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis can be a difference in the game if they can get in the end zone and turn some 3’s into 7’s. Blount rushed for over 1,000 yards and led the NFL in touchdowns (18), and Lewis provides big play potential out of the backfield as a receiver.
It won’t be easy for Roethlisberger and the Steeler offense to march into Gillette and put up points. The Patriots defense isn’t dominant, but has held 7 of their last 8 opponents to 17 points or less.
The Pittsburgh passing game hasn’t traveled well this year. Big Ben has 20 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions at Heinz Field, compared to 9 touchdowns and 9 interceptions on the road. Don’t look for New England to have a repeat performance of their 3-giveaway game against the Texans that led to 13 points. Belichick will have everything extra-buttoned up this week.
Take New England at home to cover the six. 33-26, Patriots.
Make sure you download, listen and subscribe to Colin’s Blazin’ 5 Prediction Podcast with RJ Bell every Saturday morning through the end of the football season. He’ll sit down with RJ and see how this week’s Blazin’ 5 stacks up against the Vegas sharps.