As has been well documented in this space, I am truly the World's Worst Football pronosticator. Even when I do well, I suck. Sometimes I think I have really good weeks picking the NFL just to shake up those people who start to believe that, in order to be successful, all they have to do is pick against me on every game.
I'm so bad sometimes I'm good, just so that I'm even worse, if that makes any sense.
I haven't been posting my picks for the past month because, frankly, I haven't had the time. Busy busy busy. But, you can take it from me that the unrecorded picks floating around in my head were pretty awful.
So let's look at the Super Bowl semi-finals this weekend and figure out who is going to win.
In the NFC, we've got San Francisco travelling to Atlanta to take on the flawed but talented Falcons.
Based on how well the 'Niners have been taking care of business over the past couple of weeks, with sudden superstar Colin Kaepernick playing quarterback and their defense stifling people, I expect that San Fran will be heavily favoured to win this game. Even though they're the number two seed.
And rightly so. Let's face it, Atlanta barely escaped with a win over Seattle last weekend. The Falcons defense looks susceptible and the Atlanta offense, while stocked with fabulous players, takes too many plays (entire drives, even) off to be competitive.
Do you know how close Atlanta was to losing to Seattle? If the refs had ruled Seahawk running back Marshawn Lynch down at the six-inch line rather than deciding he broke the plain of the goalline on that last touchdown, Seattle probably would have won the game.
Think about it: If Lynch is down, the Seahawks have to use up at least one more play (and eight to 20 seconds) to score the go-ahead touchdown. That would leave Atlanta with maybe 20 seconds after the kick, rather than the 31 seconds they used to move into position for the game-winning field goal.
And that's a lot tougher task for the Falcons.
Meanwhile, consider this: Seattle's comeback against Atlanta in the second half was based on Lynch and quarterback Russell Wilson posing a significant running threat to the Falcons' defense, making play-action passing more effective and forcing the Atlanta linebackers to play closer to the line of scrimmage. That left the mid-range passing game wide open and Wilson, who played like a veteran, took full advantage, averaging more than 15 yards per completion while leading the comeback.
Guess who can play the exact same brand of football, with Frank Gore and Colin Kaepernick in the backfield and a host of talented receivers ready to catch the ball in the intermediate to deep range? Yep. San Francisco.
And they'll do that. They'll establish the threat of the run and then throw over the Falcons' linebackers. And they'll probably be more effective with the run too, since I think their offensive line is even better than Seattle's, Gore is more of a threat than Lynch and Kaepernick is much more willing than Wilson to take off when things break down.
It's uh oh time for Atlanta's defense.
The Falcons' only hope is to try to outscore San Francisco in a shoot-out. But San Fran has a very strong defense and a better defensive line than the Seahawks. Matt Ryan won't have as much time to throw the deep ball against the 'Niners.
So pick San Francisco, say 31 - 21.
In the AFC, it's New England hosting Baltimore. A rematch. A grudge match. A great match.
I just can't get a feel for the Patriots, especially their defense. Who are these guys? How are they playing so well? They shut down a powerful Houston offense for much of that game, giving up points only after New England was well ahead in the fourth. And how does a team like New England manage to pick up a top-ten corner like Aqib Talib in the middle of the season like that? I mean, didn't anyone else think that the Pats were already rich enough and try to grab this guy when Tampa dumped him?
On the other hand, when Ray Lewis announced his plans to retire after this post-season, I knew the Ravens would get a huge emotional boost from that and set out every week to make sure it wasn't Lewis' last game. A defense that was thought to be getting old has been playing with renewed vigour and I think they have enough playmakers on the field to give Brady trouble.
Will the Pats miss Ron Gronkowski at tight end? Of course they will. Don't let any of the media hype fool you. And if Danny Woodhead is out, that's another blow to the Patriots. Against an intense, rejuvenated Ravens defense, Tom Brady needs every weapon he can get on the field.
Here's how I see it playing out. I think the Baltimore defensive front will dominate the line of scrimmage against New England's line. I think they shut down the run and force Brady to win it through the air. Yes, Brady is capable of doing just that but my feeling is that the Ravens cut into his production just enough to put their own offense in a position to win the game.
It will come down to whether or not the Ravens get the chance to get Ray Rice into the game early and often, establish the run, then make it a contest between Talib and Torrey Smith, who ate all-pro corner Champ Bailey alive in Denver last week.
My pick: Baltimore for Ray Lewis, 27 - 24.