Playoffs? You want to talk about playoffs? Don’t talk about playoffs. Are you kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game…another game.
Ya know, I’ve been better and worse than I was last week with my picks. I don’t know that these were all that bad, and I don’t know anyone short of Terry Bradshaw (who picked him because he didn’t care, see the viddy below) picked the Jets, so… Eh, screw it. Let’s go over last weeks WILDLY INACCURATE picks.
Game one: Ravens @ Steelers: The Steelers were 3½ point favorites at home, with the O/U being 37 points. My pick: Take the Steelers and the under. Final Score: Steelers 17, Ravens 13.” Actual score: Steelers 31, Ravens 24. Steelers and the over was the pick. Flacco was a fail, as expected. Baltimore had there number for the entire 1st half. The Steelers were just plain bad. Made up for it in the second half. Outscored the Ravens, outplayed them, out everythinged them. Made no real call other than the score on this one, said it would be a 60 minute bloody mosh pit with a ball in the middle of it. Nailed that and the Steelers winning. Nice to win once in a while.
Game two: Packers @ Falcons: The falcons were favored by 2½ points, and the O/U was 44 points. My pick: ”Take the Falcons and the Over. Final Score: Falcons 27, Packers 21.” Actual score: Packers 48, Falcons 21. Packers and the over was the right pick. I thought the Falcons would simply have too much for the Packers. I thought Turner and Ryan would be too much for the Pack. Turner and Hooch might have been more effective against the pack. The Pack scored as many points as I thought BOTH teams would score. Oops!
Game three: Seahawks @ Bears: The Bears were favored by 10 points, with the O/U being 33 points. My pick: “Take the Seahawks and the Over. Bears still win. Final score: Bears 31, Seahawks 27.” Actual score: Bears 35, Seahawks 24. Bears and the over was the right pick. A few points here, a few points there is what cost me from being dead on here. That’s my line of crap anyway. Hasselback was better than I thought he would be. Cutler wasn’t great, but he was good enough to beat these bums.
Game four: Jets @ Patriots: The Patriots were 8½ point favorites, with the O/U being 45 points. My pick: Take the Pats and the Over. Final score: Patriots 35, Jets 17. Actual score: Jets 28, Patriots 21. Jets and the over was the right pick. Where to begin. The Jets controlled this thing for most of the game. Brady looked to be on his heels for most of the game, which was surprising. If you look at the numbers, it looked like the pats were in control, but watching the game it felt like anything but the Pats in control.
A viddy then the picks…
Viddy of the day: Last weeks Fox NFL picks from last sunday. Giggled over the fact that Terry picked the Jets game right because he no longer cared, because he is so far behind in his picks.
Game one: Packers @ Bears: 3:00pm Sunday, on Fox. The Packers are 3½ point favorites on the road, and the O/U is 44 points. The Pack lost to the Bears here in October 20-17, but defeated the Bears when they had everything to lose, 10-3 in the last game of the regular season, despite the Bears going with their regulars for the entire game.
I love divisional matchups in the Postseason, it makes for some real serious smashmouth football, the best kind. Both defenses have been hella strong all year, meaning this game may be as titanic a defensive struggle as the one we all envisioned the Steelers – Ravens game last week to be. When I say that I especially have in mind the stellar performance that Jay Cutler turned in last week against the the less than stellar Seattle Seachickens. Meaning I do not expect him to be able to duplicate that performance against the much more stout Green Bay Packers defense.
A.J. Hawk, Clay Matthews and Co, are going to eat him for lunch. But then again, I expect Brian Urlacher, Julius Peppers and Co. to do much the same to the Rodgers and the Packers O as well
In the end, it is going to be I think, the running game that is going to make the difference offensively here. Neither of the Packs two running backs, Starks nor Jackson, or the full back Kuhn have fared well against the Bears D this year. I don’t think they averaged 20 yards each in the games against the Bears, and I frankly expect that trend to continue.
Not that the Bears run game was significantly better. Matt Forte was held to 29 yards in their first meeting in October. He did get 91 yards against the Pack in the last game of the year, but failed to reach pay dirt.
I think Matt will find pay dirt this week. I think it will propel the Bears back to the Superbowl. Take the Bears and the under.
BEARS 24, PACKERS 17
I’ve actually heard the word “PAYBACK” about this game from the Steelers perspective. The Steelers lost to this Jets team 22-17. The Steelers outgained them in overall yardage by 102 yards, had 8 more first downs than the Jets, Rashard Mendenhall ran for over 100 yards and 1 touch, but Big Ben threw 19 incompletions in 44 attempts, including 7 incompletions in his last 9 attempts, and 3 in a row in the red zone, while failing to drive his team down the field for the winning touchdown.
That kind of ineffectiveness in crunch time is not what most Steelers fans think of when they think of Big Ben. Mark Sanchez was asked to not to lose the game for the Jets. He didn’t. He was sparse but effective, 19 of 29, no int’s, one rushing TD, the only offensive TD for the Jets that day.
The Mewelde Moore Safety with 2 +minutes left that made a 3 point Jets lead a 5 point Jets lead made all the difference in that game.
I expect at least one aspect of this game to be the same as the previous matchup. Sanchez sparse but effective, No great numbers, but nothing bad either. I really don’t see him throwing for 3 td’s but 1 wouldn’t surprise me. The Jets will try to hold down the Steelers run game and force them to throw into the teeth of their defensive backfield, to Revis, Cromartie and Smith. I expect Big ben will be more effective this game then last, and by no means do I expect him to flub it the way he did against the Jets the last time they met.
The Steelers are a battle tested and ready football team, and have shown that with the win over the Ravens. The Jets have done much the same with wins over the less than spectacular Colts and much stronger Patriots. But can they do it again?
Yes. Take the Jets and the over.
Jets 24, Steelers 20.
That’s it from here, America. 12 Notes tomorrow, perhaps.