Only 4 teams remain in the hunt for Lombardi Trophy. I still stand by my prediction of a Baltimore/Philadelphia matchup...but there could be a developing chink in that matchup. Namely, the emergence of a Steelers offense.
Biggest surprise of the playoffs has to be the Arizona Cardinals. I never really believed Carolina was a Super Bowl caliber team but the meltdown of Jake Delhomme was nothing short of amazing. Five interceptions and a fumble put the Panthers in a hole that no team can easily escape. If Arizona gets Anquan Boldin back before Sunday, they could give the Eagles a real fit. The Eagles defense remained stout against the Giants but it would be very difficult to cover both Fitzgerald and Boldin with Warner throwing the ball. I will still give the edge to Philly, though. In a close one.
On the AFC side, well, it should be interesting. I have given the Baltimore defense a lot of credit but I can't say I was overly impressed with their effort against the Titans. Tennessee moved the ball but they couldn't finish a drive. The Baltimore offense wasn't that great because Tennessee lined up against the run. I would expect more Flacco passes this week. On the other side, Pittsburgh annihilated San Diego. The defense played well but the amazing part was the newly discovered offense. Parker ran the ball like you would expect, the offensive line played well and Roethlisberger didn't make any dumb mistakes. His passes were crisp and on target.
This game could be a battle for the ages. The two best defenses in the league should make this very interesting. If Roethlisberger and the offensive line play as well as they did against the Chargers, Pittsburgh can score on the Raven defense. The key is minimizing mistakes. Beating a team three times in a season is a tough order and Pittsburgh is going to have to do just that to make it to another Super Bowl. I hope Pittsburgh wins but I've already made my Super Bowl pick and the Steelers weren't there. So, I go with Baltimore...in an amazing game.