The 2009 NFL Playoffs continue this afternoon with the AFC and NFC Championship games - and once two winners are decided, Super Bowl XLIII's participants will be decided. So let's hear it, Broncos fans - who's going to the Super Bowl? Today's matchups promise to, at the very least, be highly entertaining...
Arizona Cardinals (11-7) vs Philadelphia Eagles (11-6-1)
3:00 PM EST, FOX
Cardinals coverage: Revenge of the Birds
Eagles coverage: Bleeding Green Nation
Can the Cardinals really rise above 60 years of futility and get to the Super Bowl? The only NFC team never to have played in a Conference Championship Game sinve 1970 has finally gotten there and they get to host the game to boot. Their opponent? A team that has been to 5 such games in the past 10 years alone. There's something about the Cardinals team, however, which may remind some of another team Kurt Warner lead to the Super Bowl. He didn't win NFL mVP, but I'm sure he prefers this team opportunity more than individual praise.
For the Eagles, Donovan McNabb has his own demons to excercize. Benched earlier in the year, McNabb has come back with a vengeance and might be playing the best football of his career.
There's something about the Cardinals team, however, which may remind some of another team Kurt Warner lead to the Super Bowl. He didn't win NFL MVP, but I'm sure he prefers this team opportunity more than individual praise. I can't believe it, but I like Cards to put the cherry on top of what has been the wildest NFL season in years.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 23, Eagles 20
Pittsburgh Steelers (13-4) vs Baltimore Ravens (13-5)
6:30 PM EST, CBS
Steelers coverage: Behind the Steel Curtain
Ravens coverage: Baltimore Beatdown
Now this is old fashioned, hard-nosed football at its best. The Ravens and Steelers, for lack of a better term, hate each other. The Ravens have had the Steelers beat twice this season only to see Big Ben and the black and gold overcome and win late. Now the Ravens, who have played 2 physical playoffs games already, not to mention the fact they haven't had a week off since early September, are physicallly ailing. LB Terrell Suggs is suffering from what might be a severe shoulder injury, and the age on this defense just might beginning to crack a bit. The Ravens were dominated by the Titans last week, but forced 3 turnovers. If the Steelers can protect the football, they WILL win the game.
PREDICTION: Steelers 23, Ravens 10
Predicted Super Bowl XLIII matchup: Pittsburgh Steelers Vs Arizona Cardinals
Now it's your turn. While I sit here and realize that my predictions will likely result in a Ravens vs Eagles Super Bowl, you have a chance to one-up me and gain some bragging rights if you post your predictions as well. Let's hear it!