NFC/AFC Championship Game Picks

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    Re: NFC/AFC Championship Game Picks

    In response to portfolio1's comment:

    Tex, you rightly note Ray Rice's ability to break long plays.. While he will get more touches than any one Patriot Vereen is actually more dangerous at breaking big plays.

    A point overlooked when talking about the passing game: the Patriots frequently empty the backfield and put the RB out on a far end of the field. While some teams might want to do this JUST to spread the field, getting a LB out of the middle area of the field, and while the Patriots do like this feature to help open space for Welker and Hern, we do throw to those RBs sometimes. But MORE to the point, when Vereen is out there he is a true recevier. He ran downfield patterns in college and caught a fair amount of balls. The Patriots have started to use him there as a WR. They have thrown deep to him and thrown short to him there. He has WR speed. It creates a matchup problem for any team. My point ends up being that when you compare receiving CORPS you should include Vereen as more than guys to throw a swing or merely a safety valve.

         Based on last weeks' performance, I can understand you're enthusiasm for Vereen. But, let's not get carried away. He had ONE good game. The great ones, like Rice, consistently have good games. Let's see what Shane does against the vunerable Ravens' LB corp, before we nominate him for the Hall of Fame. Can he produce under pressure? Last week, he came in to replace Woodhead. But, this week, he's likely going to be given a bigger role in the game plan. Can he stand up to the physical pounding he's bound to receive? Call he hold onto the ball?

         Don't want to sound too negative, but Vereen doesn't have enough good games under his belt to allow us to assume that he'll consistently come up big. That said, what he did last week was certainly encouraging.  



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    Re: NFC/AFC Championship Game Picks

    Patriots 38

    Ravens 17



    Falcons 31

    49ers 20

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