Blog Entry

49ers, Patriots pulling hard for upsets on Sunday

Posted on: January 15, 2012 1:52 am
Edited on: January 15, 2012 12:37 pm
The 49ers and Patriots know who they'll be rooting for Sunday. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The Patriots and the 49ers advanced to their respective conference championship games on Saturday. San Francisco did it with defense and a heroic effort by Alex Smith, while Tom Brady simply eviscerated the Broncos. And on Sunday, both teams will be rooting for upsets in a big way.

For the Patriots, it's hard to imagine that anyone can beat them if they play like they did on Saturday; Brady threw five touchdowns in the first half and that game was never really close.

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And they're already locked for home-field advantage. Regardless of whether it's the Ravens or Texans they play in eight days, the game will take place at Gillette Stadium.

But given a choice between the Ravens and the Texans, it's hard to imagine the Pats wouldn't prefer facing rookie passer T.J. Yates.

Yes, the Texans defense is stout and, yes, the Texans running game is explosive and dangerous and two-headed.

But the Ravens are a brutally physical team that provides a tougher matchup and potentially nightmarish memories of the 33-14 loss to Baltimore in New England during Wild Card Weekend in 2009. Joe Flacco, Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith would at least, presumably, keep the Pats defense honest enough to let Ray Rice run wild.

The Patriots would have a much easier time bottling up Arian Foster and Ben Tate with Yates providing minimal damage.

As for the 49ers, neither option for the NFC Championship Game is great. Both the Packers and Giants present problems. But if the Giants were to upset the Pack in Lambeau on Sunday, that would put the path to the Super Bowl squarely through Candlestick Park.

For the 49ers, getting a second home game would be absolute gravy. They've been nearly unstoppable in Candlestick this year, with their only loss a 27-24 overtime nailbiter to the Cowboys in Week 2. Once this season, San Francisco's beaten the Giants there. It's a clear-cut advantage.

And, of course, there's the quality of opponent. The Giants are terrifying if you're the 49ers because of their fierce pass rush and the problems that could pose for Alex Smith.

But the Giants actually allow more rushing yards per game than Green Bay (121.2 to 111.8) though the Packers are the preferred defense if you're the 49ers. They're not the preferred offense though: while Eli Manning's elite, the Giants simply can't cause the kind of matchup problems that the Packers present.

And the 49ers already stopped Drew Brees and the Saints. They can stop anyone, clearly, but if they're picking between a the pair of opponents they could end up against, they would absolutely rather see the Giants in San Francisco than the Packers in Green Bay.

Which is why they, like the Patriots, are pulling for an upset on Sunday.

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Since: Sep 9, 2007
Posted on: January 15, 2012 2:50 pm

49ers, Patriots pulling hard for upsets on Sunday

talking to the faithful(season ticket holders) at Mass today most are rooting for the Giants and homefield but I say to be the best, beat the best and we already beat the Giants so let's get the Smith/Rogers story line fired up. Then the big show is good whether it is San Mateo's Brady vs his home town team or Harbaugh Bowl II. GO NINERS

Since: Oct 6, 2010
Posted on: January 15, 2012 2:17 pm

49ers, Patriots pulling hard for upsets on Sunday

49ers wouldn't prefer the Packers at Packers stadium however its not imposssible to beat the packers...just remember the Saints have a Hall of Fame QB in Brees and a high power offense that is similiar to the packers and the 49ers won it with a shoot out...look for another shoot out if it comes down to the wire between 49ers vs Packers.

Since: Jan 9, 2012
Posted on: January 15, 2012 1:01 pm

49ers, Patriots pulling hard for upsets on Sunday

What a f-ing loser!! You actually want someones career ended by injury? Jerk

Since: Aug 23, 2010
Posted on: January 15, 2012 9:22 am

49ers, Patriots pulling hard for upsets on Sunday

I'm a Pats fan first and farmost but I also like the 49ers.  The Pats don't really care because they know they are at home.  Would they rather face a rookie qb, yes.  Do they want to see Foster, Tate and Andre Johnson?  Not really because Foster can take over a game by himself and the Pats would have problems containing this dual threat ability.  The Ravens are a much more physical bunch but are a little older on defense and might have problems containing the Pats te's.  They can also run the ball with Ray Rice but are not as stout at wr.  I know the Patriots have to play a great game next week who ever they play.  As for the 49ers they want the Giants to win so they can play at home but the Giants are a different team than earlier in the season and might be peaking at the right time.  They do not want to go to GreenBay and play the Packers because they won't be able to keep up with that offense.Cool

Since: Jan 8, 2012
Posted on: January 15, 2012 8:04 am

49ers, Patriots pulling hard for upsets on Sunday

Wow this is a SPORTS website where you get to voice you BEST sports opinion...........and that what you come up with. GENIOUS!

Za Money Shot
Since: Jan 15, 2012
Posted on: January 15, 2012 7:29 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: January 15, 2012 4:01 am

49ers, Patriots pulling hard for upsets on Sunday

Considering how Eli pooped the bed, as you put it, I can't call him elite in good conscience.

Joe Flacco isn't elite, and he had more wins this season.  And all his bed ruining took place on the road, as opposed to Eli. 

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