Monthly Archives: January 2011

NFL Championship Games

This Sunday the nation watches as two teams will advance to SUPERBOWL XLV.  In the AFC you have the steel-city bruisers versus the trash-talking boys from the Big Apple.  In the NFC you have the leagues oldest rivalry.  The opportunistic Bears versus the aggressive, high-scoring Pack.  Both games should be fantastic and fans of these four teams will be on the edge of their seats as both games should be close.

NFC

Chicago v. Green Bay

These two teams don’t like each other very much.  They respect each other, but don’t like each other.  The fans can’t stand one another.  The back and forth between fans through the media and online has reached new heights.  Who knows, there could be more action in the stands on Sunday than on the field.  To analyze this game really doesn’t go much further than Jay Cutler.  Bottomline, how he plays will dictate if Bears are prowling the streets of Dallas in two weeks.  As a Bear QB he is 1-3 versus the Pack with 9 interceptions.  That of course scares me big time but I won’t necessarily put that all on him because last years Bears were not very good.  Conversely, Jay Cutler is 22-0 as a QB when he concludes the game with a 100 QB rating or better.  That is a very telling statistic.

Green Bay will rush everyone at Jay all day long.  Jay will run, Jay will fall and Jay will not collect $200.  The best thing Jay can do under rough circumstances is not turn the ball over.  Mike Martz has to help Jay by running the ball and keeping the passes under 15 yards.  Quick looks in the slot and passes to the back out of the backfield will make any pressure Green Bay brings negligible.

On Green Bay’s side of the ball Aaron Rodgers will do well, he always does.  The Bear simply have to do what they did in Green Bay a few weeks ago which was stop the run and put pressure on Aaron without blitzing too much.  The Bears D is almost unbeatable if Peppers, Harris and Idonije are able to put pressure on the QB.  It allows Briggs and Urlacher to stay back and do what they do best which is filling the running lanes and taking away the intermediate passing attack.

There are two other intangibles worth noting.  If Hester and Manning get the ball on special teams the Bears should have great field position all day.  So, even if the Bears don’t score much, Punter Brad Maynard should keep Green Bay inside their own 20 most of the day.  If Green Bay has to play up hill all day they won’t win.  One other one worth mentioning is the matchup between Matthews and Webb.  LB Clay Matthews is Jack Lambert, Dick Butkus and Thor all rolled into one.  He makes a huge difference on that defense.  On the Bears side is very green rookie OT Webb.  He has shown steady improvement all year but he will be staring down the blitzes from Clay all day.  If he can contain him even a little that will help Chicago.  If he can’t than Chicago could be in trouble.

MY PICK – Chicago 17 Green Bay 13

AFC

New York v. Pittsburgh

This is going to be a great game.  Pittsburgh has been tough as nails since Big Ben’s return and the Jets have been like a boulder rolling downhill.  Both teams, on the surface, are very equal.  Both defenses are very tough, the QBs don’t make too many mistakes and the running games are very good.  Both teams are also well coached.

NY is facing a better running team than they did last week.  Rashard Mendenhall is vastly underrated.  He is very tough.  The one thing that the Steelers have going for them and this should come into play this weekend is the knack for the big play.  At almost guarantee at one point in this game when things are tight Big Ben is going to hook up for a big TD with Wallace, Sanders or Ward.  It will more than likely be a difference maker.

The Jet offense is good but has been inconsistent.  While Pittsburgh making big plays is almost a guarantee, I don’t feel the same way about the Jets.  I don’t think the offense can break open a game or come from behind late to win.  Their recipe for success is their defense holding the opposing team to under 20 points.  That is pretty much the bottom line.  I don’t want to knock Sanchez or the couple of weapons he has at wideout but that offense doesn’t scare me much.  I can see them moving the ball decently enough against Polamalu and the boys but I can’t see them making big plays and scoring too much.  LT could be a difference maker and open up the passing game but it isn’t likely against Pittsburgh.

Some intangibles worth mentioning might be the Jets pass rush.  They were able to disrupt any sort of passing attack from Tom Brady last week by keeping constant pressure on him.  That will be their plan against Ben as well.  The only difference is if they bring too many of their talented LBs on the rush it could open up for a big run or pass play.  Big Ben always played well under pressure.  The final intangible I can think of would be Pittsburgh’s depth and experience.  This is their fourth AFC championship in 7 years.  They have a great coach and an amazing system that works.  They can plug in and rotate guys all over the field and not lose too much.  They Jets are close but on the road against a team like Pittsburgh is going to be tough.

MY PICK – Pittsburgh 27 NY 16

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NFL Divisional Playoffs

The NFL playoffs are in full swing.  It is a wonderful time of year, but sad at the same time because we know the glorious game of football is coming to an end for the year.  To make matters even worse there is that pesky issue of the CBA which has next season up for grabs.  Well, I guess none of us can control what the NFL does in the off season.  Obviously we hope it is the two sides playing nice and coming to terms.  But, if they don’t it is going to be a long time until we see football again.  SOOOOO, let’s enjoy the hell out of these playoffs.

NFC

The miracle Seahawks v. the Jekyl and Hyde Bears.  This should be a better game than most people think.  The Bears came off of a flat game against Green Bay in their finally while the S’Hawks are on a roll with wins over St. Louis and New Orleans.  Seattle is mostly healthy.  Matt is back at QB and Marshawn is running like Earl Campbell.  All of those things do work in the S’Hawks favor.  What doesn’t is the brutal weather expected for Chicago.  Snow showers and a high of 14 degrees.  Now Tom Brady torched the Bears a month ago in similar weather but that was Tom Brady and the Patriots.  They’re awesome and Brady plays ridiculously well in poor weather.  The S’Hawks are used to the moderate climate of Seattle.  So, what other than the weather is against the S’Hawks?  How about the Bears staunch run defense.  They are among the league leaders and if Seattle can’t run, Seattle won’t win.  For Chicago not to blow this game on offense is simple.  They have to NOT turn over the football and convert on 3rd Downs.  If they can do this than it will be an uphill battle for the S’Hawks.  PREDICTION – Chicago 24 Seattle 14

The Green Bay Packers are on fire.  They beat the big, bad Bears in a brutal defensive game and then the GB defense whooped up on Vick and Philly.  On the downside they are entering the Georgia Dome to face Matt Ryan and the Falcons.  Simply put they don’t lose much at home.  Actually, they have only lost once there so the odds are against GB right out of the gate.  Both QBs are great so they cancel each other out.  Green Bays defense is good and ATLs is underrated so they cancel each other out.  That leaves special teams, receivers and runners.  ATL wins each of those battles.  Weems should be able to give ATL great field position all day.  Michael “the Burner” Turner is better than, well, just about anything Green Bay has.  Finally GB does have some good receivers but ATL gets the edge with TE Tony Gonzalez.  Other intangibles?  Can’t see any really.  It should be a close game with the home team squeaking out a win.  PREDICTION – Atlanta 20 Green Bay 17

AFC

This is going to be a hate fest from the word GO!  Rex Ryan has his boys playing well.  They have a chip on their shoulder and they’re daring just about anybody to knock it off.  The J E T S are talking smack, especially Cromartie who called Brady an “asshole”.  Wow!  That is some hate.  Now, I like confidence.  Heck, the 85′ Chicago Bears were as brash as they came but they NEVER disrespected another player and they always backed up their talk.  Now the J E T S might want to pipe down a bit because Brady and company are healthy and rested.  Why do I get the feeling, if I may make this analogy, the NY Jets are the Japanese after Pearl Harbor and the Patriots are the sleeping giant.  I so have this feeling Brady will tear up that NYJ defense and the Patriot defense will treat Sanchez like their bitch.  PREDICTION – New England 35 NY Jets 10
This should be the game of the weekend.  I have gone back and forth on this matchup.  Baltimore looked spectacular against the Chiefs last week.  The defense looked like the Ravens defense we recognize.  Flacco and company are efficient.  They run and pass and last week made it look easy.  However, their opponent this week is just a little bit tougher in Pittsburgh.  The Steelers haven’t done any one thing superbly this season but they have been so solid all around since Ben’s return.  RB Rashard Mendenhall is a key guy for the Steelers.  He can wear down the aging Raven defenders with his physical in-between the tackles running and take pressure off of Big Ben.  If however the Ravens are able to contain Mendenhall they will begin teeing off on Ben.  The Steeler D should be able to keep Baltimore in check.  Once again it isn’t a great defense but they do everything very well.  They don’t make too many mistakes.  The final stat if you will is that Pittsburgh has a 6 game winning streak over the Ravens.  That may be something too difficult for this Ravens group to overcome.  PREDICTION – Pittsburgh 21 Baltimore 16

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King Douche at it Again

The Cavs are DEMOLISHED by the Heat 112-57.  Instead of being the bigger man.  Instead of just shaking hands, avoiding the media and going about his way he had to Tweet.  He Tweeted the following  “Crazy. Karma is a b****. Gets you every time. It’s not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!”

Really?  Does he honestly think God is kicking back with some Funyons and a six-pack watching the Cavs and Heat?  If there is a God King Douche I am pretty sure he has more important things to do.  Arrogant bastard.

“It’s just how I was feeling at the time,” James said. “It wasn’t even a comment from me, it was someone who sent it to me and I sent it out. It wasn’t toward that team. It definitely wasn’t a good showing by that team last night, I know they wish they would’ve played better.”  Well, no shit Sherlock.

So, the Heat coach came out and said that the team was going to take time to “educate” players about Twitter.  Are you kidding me?  Are these guys 8 years old?  Look, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist, if you don’t want people to see it or read it you don’t put it on the Internet.  How hard is that?  The next thing you know the Heat are going to have to have  Why it is Bad to Drink, Snort Coke and Drive Seminars.

The bottom line is he should know the people of Cleveland, the team and ownership are going to feel the sting for a while.  He should be an adult about it and just leave it alone.  However King Douche won’t leave it alone because that’s not his style.  He is gonna say it, or Tweet it or ooze it in some form or another.  Just another reason why it will be glorious when Boston, L.A. or San Antonio take their ass out in the playoffs.

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