Seattle Will Continue to Soar – Patriots Cure “The Headache”
Last weekend, we went undefeated in our Wild Card Weekend picks. The chance of that happening again is unlikely.
Maybe it’s because I lived in Chicago too long. I’ve been around Cubs fans and Bear fans enough to know they hedge their hearts with a lot of “they’ll find a way to lose” thoughts. Maybe it’s so they won’t be so disappointed at the end result – but they usually are just that – disappointed. This weekend will be no different.
Pittsburgh Bests Baltimore
Maybe I’m hedging my heart here, I’m sure Pittsburgh will find a way to … wait a minute, I don’t live in Chicago anymore! Pittsburgh will win this slugfest. I love these games. In the last three years, they’ve met eight times (Steelers on top 5-2). The average margin of victory in these contests? 3.5 points.
For me to say whoever can turn over the ball less wins, well – that’s pretty simple. Talk is that Joe Flacco has more freedoms in this year’s offense. For the Ravens, they’ll need him to be fantastic to get his first win against a Big Ben-led Steelers team.
Green Bay Has a Running Game?
Who’da thunk James…wait a minute, let me look up this guy’s name…Starks, that’s it. Who’da thunk James Stark would have such a big impact on last week’s game? Yes, the Falcons have had a chance to watch the tapes, and yes Starks runs a little too upright to fit my fancy, but it’s an improved running game. If the Packers jump ahead via the pass, that will set up the run.
In their meeting earlier, Rodgers was the leading rusher for Green Bay with 51 yards. Starks might not make the impact or difference he did statistically against the Eagles – but having him on the field will add balance.
Seattle Will Host the NFC Championship Game!
What? They will if both NFC road teams win this week. Seattle has already won a game this year at Chicago. There is magic in the air for Seattle – and they will need it again this week.
Two key things for Seattle this weekend: 1) Make Jay Cutler the goat – not hard to do, if they can make him the focus of the offense. Cutler has turned over the ball 22 times this year (16 picks, 6 fumbles lost). 2) Stay healthy: A lot of the Seahawks gave so much of themselves, many were found limping and nursing during the week. An injury to any of the key players could be as costly as a turnover.
Patriots Cure the Headache
The headache heard around the world stops here. Rex Ryan – I dig your intentions to motivate your team (that is your intention, yes?), but I’m getting a headache. And the Patriots will cure the headache. I think this will be an embarrassment. 45-3 again? Maybe.
Tom Brady is playing almost perfect right now. He demands the same from his team – and his demands are often met. The Jets barely eked out a victory last week and I don’t think they stand a chance in this game. If Santonio Holmes learns how to catch the ball – maybe he’ll be an x-factor, but I don’t see that happening in this game. The Pats will control the clock, stop the run and force Mark Sanchez to win this game on his own. And he won’t.
So there ya go. Next week: Steelers at Patriots and Packers at Seahawks