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amNY's Superbowl matchup prediction: Patriots vs. 49ers

Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots.

Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots. (Getty Images) Credit: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots. (Getty Images)

(2) Baltimore (13-4) at (1) New England (14-3), Sun., 3 p.m. CBS

New England's bruised pride is finally healing. The Patriots have their first playoff win since the Giants knocked them off their pedestal four years ago. With offensive options as diverse as the tools in a Swiss Army Knife (and some as lethal), coach Bill Belichick seems to be at his scheming best. By comparison, Baltimore's offense looks inept at precisely the wrong time. And the Ravens' defense, fierce but sprinkled with aging stars, will suffer a few too many big plays from Tom Brady. Patriots 31, Ravens 24

(4) GIANTS (11-7) at (2) San Francisco (14-3), Sun., 6:30 p.m. FOX

After four games of do-or-die dominance, it's tempting to expect the Giants' crushing average victory margin of 17.8 points to carry through. That's because the Giants are in that higher plane of performance which causes talk of momentum to cloud one's view of each successive matchup. No, this one will play out differently. The 49ers' defense is all-around excellent enough to force an appearance from "Bad Eli," who was glimpsed twice last month against Washington and the Jets. Once the Giants' one-dimensional offense falters, New
York's Super Bowl hopes will be extinguished at Candlestick Park. 49ers 23, Giants 20

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