The Dr of the NFL’s Fearless Forecast
AFC Championship Game-New England @ Denver
Is there some sort of immutable law that states that if, in the pre-season, you pick a team to go to the Super Bowl, that you are not allowed to pick against them in the championship game? If so, I’m in a difficult spot. Before the year began, my prognostication was a Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl, more on Seattle shortly, but I’m leaning against Brady and company today. Here’s why. Too much is being made about last week when New England ran over Indianapolis. As we pointed out, Indy couldn’t stop the run all year, so let’s make LeGarrett Blount out to be Jim Brown just yet. The Broncos run defense has been stout all year [ranked 7th in NFL] and they will provide much more resistance than the Colts did. Look for Brady to come out throwing in this game vs. a porous Broncos secondary that just lost its’ best corner in Chris Harris and is without their best pass rusher in Von Miller. I fully expect the Pats to consistently move the ball and Brady to amass at least 350 yards passing.
Bill Bellichick has a conundrum in this match up vs. Peyton, if he stacks his chips to stop Denver’s running game, Manning will devour his secondary, and if he stays in a cover 2 to prevent the big play, Peyton will audible into a run and Knowshon Moreno and company will run up and down the field on a terrible Patriot run defense [ranked 30th in NFL]. People forget that because the Colts couldn’t take advantage of it because they were a poor running team, Denver will.
In what promises to be a high scoring shootout, TD’s over FG’s will be the difference. Which team will convert in the Red Zone? Peyton completed 72% of his Red Zone passes and threw 37 red zone TD’s with zero INT’s during the regular season, look for that trend to continue. In addition, New England will be playing a road playoff game for the first time in 7 years. The Patriots are 1-5 vs. the spread in their last 6 road contests, and are 0-5 vs the number in their last 5 games played on glass. Broncos advance to the Super Bowl.
Denver 37 New England 30.
NFC Championship Game-San Francisco @ Seattle
I’ve been going back and forth on this one all week. Seattle’s been the best team all year but the 49ers are red hot and playing better right now. Home field is huge in this one but the 49ers front 7 vs. Seattle’s erratic O-line can quiet things down. Russell Wilson concerns me, he’s not played well the last 4 or 5 games and he’ll be without Percy Harvin. But Colin Kaepernick has been awful in both games he’s played in this building.
As good as Seattle’s defense is, you can run it occasionally on them. The 49ers ran for 163 yards in week 14 win against Seattle, can Gore and company repeat this on the road? This is the key to the game, if Gore is producing, the 49ers can sneak out with a win, if not, Seattle will pressure Kaepernick, contain his rushing lanes, and force him into mistakes. Much has been made of the 49ers resurgence on offense since the return of Michael Crabtree, but Richard Sherman will effectively eliminate him and Vernon Davis will have his hands full with Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas who are the best Safety tandem in the league.
I think San Francisco must get off to a healthy start to take the crowd out of it, otherwise things could snowball. Kaepernick completes just 54% of his passes when he’s trailing. Their offense is built for long drives, not short ones. This is why Gore is the key to the game, by establishing the run and sending a physical message, it could set the 49ers up for the upset. We all know that Seattle is near invincible at home but San Francisco is better equipped than any other team to pull this off.
So who wins? In a game that promises to be a tight, low scoring affair, I think it’s Seattle’s year. I trust Russell Wilson more in this spot not to make a critical error than I do Kaepernick. If both teams struggle to run it, which I expect, it gets to which QB will avoid the big mistake. No defense is better than Seattle’s at stopping the opposing QB, with the combination of pass rush and coverage ability. Look for Seattle’s secondary to get the best of Kaepernick and with the homefield to back them, Seattle returns to the Super Bowl.
Seattle 19 San Francisco 13
Special Guest Blogger, Trent Laurentino
2 out of 4 Stars
Can anybody ever make a good horror sequel? I guess not.
With the horror film-maker of our time, James Wan, behind the camera for this incredibly anticipated contribution to the genre, the expectations were sky-high. After putting together creative interpretations such as Saw and the first Insidious, it seemed he could do no wrong.
Then the movie started.
And with a muddled combination of sleazy screen-writing and cliché horror spooks, Insidious Chapter 2 was about as entertaining as a run-down Nintendo videogame from the 70’s. The rushed script included ridiculous story twists and lackadaisical dialogue that made me shiver on occasion but not nearly as much as the already used plot lines from his two previous entries, Insidious and the The Conjuring, which happens to be the over-whelming flaw of the film. If it weren’t for the amount of already used material from his two previous films, then maybe Insidious 2 would’ve had a chance of sliding with me but unfortunately, the narcissism was too blatantly obvious. The failure of the film was in the writing and everything that proceeds just turns out humdrum and officiously identical to Insidious and The Conjuring. Although, being an avid horror geek, a film such as this still falls under the category that pictures such as Gareth Edward’s Monsters and Wan’s The Conjuring do, which is decent considering the garbage that is released in modern day for horror. With manageable dialogue [for the most part], and actors who don’t make you actually want to kill them yourself, the movie is watchable, which is already better than the average horror film. All that said, I did enjoy the petrifying performance of Lin Shaye reprising her role as Elise just as well as child actor, Ty Simpkons, who gives another surprisingly pleasant performance as Dalton. Overall, Insidious Chapter 2 is a bumpy ride that might make you jump a few times but still, nothing nearly as special as its’ predecessor. If there was any hope for horror fans such as me looking for the first great horror sequel [not including James Cameron’s Aliens, which I consider to be an action film rather than a horror piece], then this was it, and Wan failed. Maybe we should go back and watch Dario Argento’s Inferno, then it might make us feel good about Insidious Chapter 2.
Return to: Perry Laurentino Blog