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.
The picks were inaccurate. They were WILDLY INACCURATE. So inaccurate in fact that it is difficult to be more inaccurate and still be writing about football picks. To be more off than I was in the championship round, you would have to have picked teams that play other sports. Which I actually thought of doing, but decided against, seeing how people would not have seen the sarcasm and humor.
Let’s go over the worst picks EVER made from the championship round.
Game one: Packers @ Bears: The Packers were 3½ point favorites on the road, and the O/U was 44 points. My pick: Take the Bears and the under. My pick for final score: BEARS 24, PACKERS 17. The actual final score: PACKERS 21, BEARS 14. I said that I thought the game would turn on the run game, and that the difference would be the running of Matt Forte, picking up a TD and running for 90 yards. Boy, was I wrong.
I was wrong on the rush yardage, and he didn’t score. He did get the most receptions by any bear, with 10 catches for 90 yards, with 4 of those catches coming in the Bears final drive 4th quarter drive with backup QB Caleb Hanie. I was pretty much 100% wrong about everything there. I said the Pack would be less effective than the Bears running. Wrong. The Pack ran for 120 yards, and scored there 2 offensive TD’s on the ground.
The Packers were clearly the better team. Even though the offense was spotty at times, Rodgers was picked twice, and didn’t hit pay dirt with a pass, they got the job done, and ran pretty well on a tenacious Bears defense. The Packer D was strong. They played well, picked the bears QB’s off 3 times, and sacked them twice, and held the Bears to under 6 yards per pass play.
The story of the game, though, was Jay Cutler. People have been criticizing Jay Cutler, like he cut and run when the chips were down. He did something to his knee in the first half. He took a pain killing shot at the half, tried to play the second half, gave it a shot, and couldn’t do it. I’ll leave the critics, none of whom could sit in the pocket for 3 seconds with 300+ pound steroid fiends trying to kill them, alone. They aren’t worth the time and effort it would take to insult their clear inferiority properly.
But I digress…
Game two: Jets @ Steelers: The Steelers were 3½ point favorites at home against the Jets and the O/U was 38½points. My pick: Take the Jets and the over. My pick for final score: Jets 24, Steelers 20. The actual final score: Steelers 24, Jets 19. I thought Mark Sanchez would be sparse but effective, that the Jets would keep it close. I thought that Ben Roethlisberger would be more effective than he was when the Jets had played the Steelers a few weeks earlier, but that they would still come up short.
Sanchez was good, given the circumstances. He went 20 for 33 with 2 td’s and no picks, and had a much better QB rating (102.2) than Big Ben (35.5), and that is much better than most people thought he would be. Not exactly sparse yet effective. Just plain effective, even if he could only string together one really effective drive the entire game.
The score was close, but the Steelers owned the Jets early, and the game was really only as close as they were because Ben …err… dropped the ball, and there was a safety with 7 minutes or so left in the game, and that handed the ball to the Jets with 7 minutes left on the clock, where they had, perhaps, the only really effective drive of the entire game, which included a 4th and 10 where Braylon Edwards justified his paycheck for once.
The Steelers ran all over the Jets, ran them over. They had to, because Ben had issues getting the ball to his receivers, the Jets D played him tough. Sure Big Ben threw the ball to 7 different receivers. That’s nice, but when the most catches any one of them has is two, and the most yards any receiver had was a whopping 38…. then that isn’t so nice. Unless you’re on the other teams D.
Viddy of the Day: Super Bowl 2011 Elephant picks Green Bay Packers to win Super Bowl XLV.
On with the WILDLY INACCURATE SUPER BOWL PICK!
Both of these teams got past good teams with very strong defenses in their last games. Both of these teams had some offensive struggles last game, to be honest both QB’s had bad games airing the ball out two weeks ago. Both teams had a fairly strong ground games last time around.
These teams made it to this grand stage on the strength of their tenacious defenses, and there is no reason to think that that will change for this game. They both have run fairly well this postseason, better than expected in the Packers case, and that is going to be hard to duplicate. The QB’s should both be better for the big game. Big Ben has been money when the lights have shined their brightest, and I expect that to continue. Aaron Rodgers is finding out what it takes to be where Big Ben has been for the past few years.
Running Offense: The Steelers will have success running the ball. Expect a minimum of 100 yards and 1 touch from Rashard Mendenhall. The Packers will have some level of success running the ball. Expect James Starks to run for about 80 yards, and he might get to pay dirt. No guarantee there, though. Neither quarterback will get in on the ground. They both did last week, so the Defenses will be looking for and defending against it.
Passing Offense: The Steelers will have some success passing. Big Ben is money in these games, but the Packer D will play big against him. Look for Roethlisburger to go around 20 for 35 and 240 -250 yards and 1 td. Aaron Rodgers should be effective sunday, very effective. I am thinking he may actually throw for 300 yards and 2 or 3 TD’s against the normally stingy Steeler D.
Special teams: These teams, defensively strong as they are, will probably cause the opposing offenses to stall a number of times close to the end zone for a field goal chance or 5. Expect both teams to get one at least. Any kick/punt returner can run one back given the right conditions, so I’m not going to try figuring that bit out.
Everybody and their dead uncle Ernie are saying this game is going to be a close one. I don’t know that it’s necessarily going to be as close as most of the people who pass for prognosticators say it will. It won’t be a blowout, obviously, but don’t look for a three point victory, eeked out in the final seconds or minutes.
I have a number of friends who are Steelers fans, this pick is for them.
Take the Packers and the over.
Final Score: Packers 34, Steelers 24.
Have fun at your Super Bowl parties, America. Try to make it work Monday without too much of a hangover. Enjoy the game!