Last week in the NFL I got off to an amazing start, picking both the Steelers and Packers on Saturday. It looked like a perfect week after the Bears beat the Seahawks, but in the final game of the week the Jets defeated the top ranked Patriots to leave me at 3-1 for the week. It’s fine, the Jets deserved the win based on the play of the cornerbacks and the amazing catch by Holmes. This week I hope to improve on my 5-3 overall record thus far in the playoffs. Once we get this far in the playoffs every game is must see TV.
Packers (10-6) @ Bears (11-5) – Sunday 3:00
As we saw in the AFC conference semi-finals divisional, opponents in playoff matchups always provides for great football. The Bears played a great game all around against the Seahawks on Sunday, but this week they face a better opponent in the Packers. At quarterback, Aaron Rodgers has a huge advantage over Jay Cutler. Although they have both played very well in the post season, watching Rodgers pick apart the Falcons defence at will gives him the obvious edge here.
At running back Forte is better than Starks who has been injured most of the season, but has still played well so far in the playoffs. At wide receiver the skill and depth of the Packers overmatches the Bears. Although the Bears defence with Brian Urlacher and Julius Peppers is tough and very skilled, it is still not as hard to play against as Woodson, Matthews and the Packers defence. The only way the Bears are better than the Packers is the always dangerous Devin Hester. Hester has been neutralized recently by kicking out of bounds and squib kicks. Most people had the Packers winning the Super Bowl this year, but after some injuries there were doubters. I still have them at least getting to the big stage.
Jets (11-5) @ Steelers (12-4)- Sunday 6:30
The Jets looked great against the throwing offence of Tom Brady and the Patriots, but the Steelers are the Patriots’ exact opposite. They run the ball, hit hard, and battle in the trenches. After beating the Ravens, the Steelers have proven that they are the physically toughest team in football. At quarterback, Big Ben Roethlisberger still has the edge over Mark Sanchez in skill, experience, and his two super bowl rings.
At wide receiver the Jets have the edge with a younger more talented group, which will look even better compared to the Steelers wide outs that will have to deal with Revis and Cromartie. At running back both teams are very skilled and have a bright future. The Steelers feature Mendenhall and the Jets have Greene. The Jets also have the aging Tomlinson, who has revived himself this season. I still give the edge to the Steelers. On defence I can`t award one winner so I`ll give the secondary to the Jets with Revis and Cromartie, but on the front lines the Steelers take it with James Harrison and the pass rushing abilities of Troy Polamalu. This is another game that will be amazing to watch.