We’ve reached the Final Four of the NFL playoffs, and the match-ups aren’t exactly what most of us expected. The New England Patriots take on the Baltimore Ravens (which isn’t all that surprising), while the surging New York Giants look to upset the San Francisco 49ers.
It should be noted that, in a season dominated by quarterbacks, two of the top-four defenses are still in the hunt (Baltimore and San Francisco). More so, quarterbacks like Joe Flacco and Alex Smith, who aren’t considered “elite,” have an opportunity to prove the pertinence of this school of thought: Solid, while not necessarily stellar, quarterback play and strong defense can win your team a championship.
But things could still swing the other way. Tom Brady and Eli Manning are both under center for explosive offensive teams with porous, yet opportunistic, defenses. The conference championship match-ups are going to be major clashes in style, and it will be intriguing to see which wins out.
So who wins this Sunday? Does Joe Flacco silence his critics? Will Tom Brady make another run at a Super Bowl? Do the Giants continue their remarkable playoff run? Will the 49ers build on their impressive fourth-quarter performance against the New Orleans Saints?