Jets 16 Steelers 6
This is the worst possible AFC Championship Game I can think of. The only teams I had rooting interest in out of the AFC were Indianapolis and Baltimore and both of them gagged at the end of their very winnable games. So it looks like I have to break this down. All things considered, the New York Jets are superior to the Pittsburgh Steelers in nearly every aspect of the game besides QB and rush defense. My biggest reasons for this prediction are:
1.) Special teams. Pittsburgh’s ST is highly suspect and they already gave up a kick return for a touchdown to Brad Smith in their first meeting. Last week the Steelers allowed a fairly large opening kickoff return and then nearly lost the lead when Lardarius Webb’s punt return for six was called back due to a
phantom hold. I expect Brad Smith and/or Antonio Cromartie to perform extremely well against the Steelers’ biggest weakness.
2.) Offensive line. The Jets pass rush sacked Tom Brady 5 times through coverage sacks and effective blitzing. The Steelers offensive line is injured and awful. Ben Roethlisberger’s insistence on thinking he’s unstoppable will cost him several sacks and the Jets can force him into stupid mistakes.
3.) Possible bias. I watched some of the bad calls from Super Bowl XL two days ago. I’m not too crazy about either of these teams so the end result is of little significance to me…..but when the Steelers lose I think the world is at peace.
Pittsburgh can very well win this game by forcing Mark Sanchez to play terribly and that’s entirely dependent on how Troy Polamalu performs. I believe the Jets defense will do enough to force turnovers and stifle Pittsburgh’s offense to the point where the Jets might not even have to score an offensive touchdown (something they’ve perfected this season). Welcome to the Super Bowl, Ladainian Tomlinson.
Packers 155 Bears 7
I advocate an NFL lockout effective this evening if Chicago wins. If you recall, Green Bay was my Super Bowl pick at the start of the season. I’m sticking with that and frankly after last Sunday I have no interest in seeing the Bears win. Clay Matthews will stomp Jay Cutler and use him as a jump rope by halftime. Matt Forte will suffer from a concussion due to running into the brick wall known as BJ Raji over and over and over again. Green Bay’s special teams will have it’s usual screw-up and let Devin Hester score a touchdown. That’s all Chicago will get.
The live blog is HERE. By the end of today we can begin the Super Bowl hype.