Patriots 24, Steelers 20
Oh, did we mention the conventional wisdom that young Ben Roethlisberger would fall apart in Pittsburgh? Or that Jerome Bettis was too old and slow to be the Bus anymore? Don't be surprised if both wind up laughing all the way to Super Sunday in Jacksonville.
On the other hand, the two-time champion Patriots are the Patriots. And until they actually lose a big game, I'm not picking them to lose oneespecially not to a team that already has beaten them once this year.
Falcons 24, Eagles 20
Without Terrell Owens, the Eagles aren't just short on receivers; they're short on swagger and confidence. After Owens was injured, a sense of fatalism settled in on Philly fans, who now think it's their destiny to lose a fourth straight NFC championship game at home.
Meanwhile, Michael Vick last week bolstered the case that he, and not 49-TD Peyton Manning, should have been the league's MVP. As goes Vick, so go the Falcons. Michael can go very, very fast.
I think the Eagles' fans are right; Philadelphia is a team of destiny this year. And the Falcons are destined to play on Super Sunday.