The Reuters global sports blog
We are liveblogging the NFL Conference championships on Sunday – come back at game time for in-game chat and info with Reuters reporters and fans.
Sunday’s American Football Conference (AFC) championship game (15:00 ET) between the high-powered New England Patriots and ferocious Baltimore Ravens is more than just a clash between two rivals battling for a place in the Super Bowl.
It is a classic showdown between teams with opposing styles of play. A match-up that has been played all over North American fields for generations and has the ingredients for an intriguing battle that will be decided as much by wits as athleticism. Read more from Julian Linden’s Reuters preview here.
The New York Giants have enjoyed plenty of playoff success on the road, but their good fortunes will be tested in Sunday’s NFC title game against a San Francisco 49ers team that has lost just once at home all season.
from Photographers' Blog:
By Jason Reed, Larry Downing and Molly Riley
Hey football fans… imagine walking past the solid steel doors guarding the locker room outside one of the National Football League’s most treasured teams and standing inside watching 60 professional athletes preparing to take the spotlight in front of 70,000 expecting Baltimore fans.
Talk about fantasy football coming true; that ultimate “back stage pass” was given to Reuters’ photographers Jason Reed, Larry Downing and Molly Riley from the Baltimore Ravens as an early Christmas present last December, extending them complete photographic access of their cheerleaders during the production of an in-depth multimedia project by Reuters entitled, “Ravens Rule the Skies.”
Back on track with a combined 9-3 record over the past two weeks which means I head into Week Eight on Halloween weekend showing no fear for what lies ahead.
Yes, it’s Halloween and the Lineman would never let it go by without all kinds of frightening references.
Record: 23-19; Last week 4-2; Pick of the Week: 5-2
That was more like it, a very solid 5-1 effort in Week 6 after a very tough month of average results.
Could we be perfect in lucky Week 7? Feels good.
Record: 19-17. Last week 5-1
Pick of the Week: 5-1
PICK OF THE WEEK
Green Bay Packers (6-0) at Minnesota Vikings (1-5)
(Lines Packers minus-8.5)
Doesn’t it seem a long time ago that Brett Favre was the only storyline that matter in this NFC North rivalry?
Record: 7-5. Last week 2-4; Pick of the Week: 2-0
PICK OF THE WEEK
Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) at San Diego Chargers (1-1)
(Line: Chargers minus-14.5)
The Lineman is only sure of one thing this weekend and that is that football fans are in for a real treat with all four games shaping up as potential classics.
It was a rough ride for home teams last weekend with only the Seattle Seahawks surviving and who says you need an elite quarterback to win in the playoffs.
After the last 2-4 we had a big bounce back week so that’s the game plan again.
I was going to start off by making the Miami Dolphins my Pick of the Week but since that game has been played, well that would be cheating (I think).
Most football experts will tell you that it takes three full years to evaluate an NFL draft class, but don’t tell that to the media, who are only too happy to provide the instant gratification of a thumbs up or down analysis after less than 72 hours.
Draft guru Mel Kiper of ESPN gave the Green Bay Packers his highest grade, an A, based primarily on their top two picks of defensive tackle B.J. Raji and outside linebacker Clay Matthews. While the Oakland Raiders, who selected the speedy, but unpolished wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bay with the seventh overall pick and the Dallas Cowboys, who didn’t have a pick until the third round after trading away earlier selections, both received the lowest mark of D.