For the past three decades I have been an avid NFL San Francisco Forty Niner fan, growing up in the Bay area during the eighties was a magical time. It was the pure exhilaration I felt watching Montana throw a perfect spiral to Dwight Clark and later Jerry Rice but who can forget Ronnie Lott with his heart thumping blocks, head on, and tackles. Today it's Kaepernick to the likes of amazing receivers such as Bolden or Davis or taking the ball himself and running for 50 yards to get the first down plus yards although I can't leave Gore out of this equation, before this teams amazing receivers when all we had was defense, Gore was there to run the ball for the first down. He is in my opinion the backbone of what this team has become. This great offense has an equally scary defense with players such as Smith, Bowman, Brooks, and Willis who can sack, intercept or bring their opponents to a three and out. Of course this team's success is not due strictly to the handful of players I have mentioned here there are so many more. After nearly two decades of sparse playoff games and losing years they found their rhythm and are an unstoppable force.
As I sat with a few good friends last Sunday in 70 degree Florida weather we watched San Fran's first round wildcard game against Green Bay, a long time play off rivalry. In frigid near ice bowl conditions these teams battled until the end with the Niners making a field goal to win the game 23-20. Whenever these two teams meet the outcome is the same a nail biter of a game where I sit on the edge of my seat and the winning score coming down to the final seconds of the game. I believe it's one of the most exciting rivalries in the NFL but I don't tell my Green Bay friend that. I just rub it a little when the Niners win. I'm sure he would do the same as he is always decked out head to foot in Green Bay attire.
The game at Lambeau wasn't the only nail biter last week as Indy came from a huge score deficit to beat Kansas City, and New Orleans and Philly put up a game riddled in tension as New Orleans squeaked out the win by two points. I haven't mentioned yet the Bengals/ Chargers game, sorry Bengals but I think you forgot to show up.
This week in the NFL playoffs we start the festivities with New Orleans and Seattle in Seattle. Most people I know think Seattle's gonna take this game but I'm rooting for New Orleans not only because Seattle is a frighting divisional rivalry with San Fran (San Fran has a better divisional record than Seattle and they beat them only a few shorts weeks ago ) but Seattle chokes in the playoffs. My vote is for New Orleans. Next up is the Indie/ New England game. I have to go with Indie. I like their new QB he's smart and all about the team. New England seems to be a team where each and every member is only for themselves (I've never liked their arrogance). Go Indie! Tomorrow's line up begins with San Fran and Panthers. I keep reading that Panthers got this in the bag. Don't be too cocky Niners are a rugged fighting team that play as one and one for all. They beat Green Bay on their frozen turf! They are a force to be reckoned with and will prevail. Last up on Sunday afternoon is San Diego vs. Denver. I keep hearing Peyton Manning, Peyton Manning. Ok I'll give it to him he's a great pocket QB who came off a near career dropping injury a couple years ago. Does he still have it, sure so long as he doesn't get sacked the wrong way. I'm going with the underdog San Diego.
Whether my picks win or lose I'm hoping for suspense filled games that come down to the wire. Great football that's what it's about. Good luck to everyone out there and may the Niners take the Panthers on their home turf. Go NINERS!
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