The headline of Hartford Courant sports writer Jeff Jacobs’ sports-section-leading piece in today’s paper reads: “Pats-Giants: Start the Crazy Clock”. (The online headline was cleaned up a bit, making clear this is just a prediction and that the Courant hadn’t mistakenly sent out tomorrow’s sports page today.) It seems a little rude for a professional writer to jump the gun like that but, honestly, it sure does seem like we’re on course for a rematch of 2008′s extraordinary tilt, doesn’t it? Do we really believe the Patriots aren’t going to steamroll the Ravens? Do we really believe that Alex Smith is going to get it done against a Giants defense that just smacked the shit out of Aaron Rodgers a week after smothering Matt Ryan? As the ESPN guys say, Come on, Man!
Ravens @ Patriots (3:00 PM): I wish that sense of inevitability wasn’t there on the AFC side of the ledger. Normally, yeah, I want to see the Super Bowl matchup that brings me the best football or at least the best story lines, but not where the Pats are involved. Keeping them as far away from another ring as possible is at the top of my wish list. I just don’t think Flacco and company have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting it done. Patriots 35 – Ravens 17
Giants @ Niners (6:30 PM): This should be a much more competitive game. You can’t dismiss San Francisco after everything they’ve accomplished this year. They are a substantial football team. There’s a lot of there there. And yet, at the risk of… well… OK, being corny, let’s say… um… fuck it: This Giants team has the Eye of the Tiger, dammit! They’ve got a vibe that they will not be denied. Giants 31 – Niners 28
Half hour until kickoff. Can’t wait.