[1) R.I.P., Joe Pa. 2) Dolfans may still vote in our reaction poll to the Joe Philbin hiring in blogpost immediately below this new one. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]
GOATS ON PARADE! BONEHEAD PLAYS = PATRIOTS-GIANTS SUPER BOWL: The Super Bowl -- you know, that thing Miami last won 38 years ago? -- is Feb. 5 in Indianapolis, and that fair city tonight learned it will host a Patriots-Giants rematch game. A missed 32-yard field goal by Baltimore's Billy Cundiff and a muffed punt in overtime by San Fran's Kyle Williams proved the difference. New England will be favored (I'd guess by 4 points). Who do you think will win? Not who you want to win, but who you think will? And why?
AFC Championship: Patriots 23, Ravens 20 -- Good lord! Ravens miss a tying 32-yard field goal in final seconds and Patriots escape. Had New England winning but missed it against the spread. I do think the better team won, even if it did need some luck. Most impressive: That the Pats are good enough to win even when star Tom Brady has a poor game. "I sucked," Brady said afterward. He pretty much did, and yet NE is Indy-bound anyway. ..... Original post: There is nothing I am more sure of in either of these games than simply Tom Brady's ability, at home, to outscore the other team today. Also think Bill Belichick's blitz package will rattle Joe Flacco into a couple of turnovers and that New England's defense lately has been better than earlier in the season. See Pats covering the 7-point line as well. Pick: Patriots, 27-17.
NFC Championship: Giants 20, 49ers 17 (OT) (Underway) Defensive puntfest ends with winning 31-yard field goal after a muffed punt. I called the upset. Kyle Williams' turnover on punt return is the difference. ..... Original post: With some trepidation I think the hot Giants will be a road-'dog upset winner at Candlestick tonight. San Fran is a very solid team (and favored by 2 1/2 points) but NYG is chugging on all cylinders now. Eli Manning takes aim at the best threesome of wide receivers in football, and I think the Biggies' nearly awesome defensive line will really disrupt the Niners offense. Pick: Giants, 24-20.