Old dude, it's time to see who is going to get to go down to Houston and play for a nice shiny trophy, and I am pretty sure that this post will be a political free zone here.
Man, I hope so. One of the reasons we play games is to forget about everything else and we're seeing too much of the political world seeping into places where it ought not.
That actually makes sense, Decrepit! Have they been putting some extra brain additives in your Geritol lately?
Again, I hope so. But that's not why we're here, right?
Nope, we're here because of football. And the biggest thing is we have two excellent matchups, and people are going to enjoy the football, and not worry about politics, at least for a couple of hours. And as usual, I have a metric ton of HYYYYYYYYYPPPPE! to unleash.
You never seem to run out.
That's right. I got it. And it is time to talk some football and pick some games. Watch me work!
Glorious Green Bay Packers (+5.5) vs. Hotlanta Dirty Birds. This is a rematch of a game played in October, that the Falcons won in a 33-32 shootout. The Packers come in very beat up, though it sounds like some of their injured players might be able to give it a go. What the Packers need to do is going to be tough, but I think they can do it. The key for the Packers is to have Ty Montgomery run the ball and keep Matt Ryan off the field. My biggest concern for Atlanta is that this is the final game in the Georgia Dome, and there is bound to be a lot of emotion and pressure on the Falcons. Matt Ryan has not performed well in the playoffs throughout his career, and that needs to change in the biggest game of his life. This game will feature a lot of points, but I think the Packers will still have another game to play. Packers 63, Falcons 50.
Bet the over, then? I suspect a lot of points will indeed be scored, but I don't see anyone putting up 63. Two key players for the Packers did not play the last time these teams met -- Jared Cook and Clay Matthews. Those are key contributors, especially Cook, who has really opened up the middle of the field for the Packer offense. Atlanta can rush the passer better than the Cowboys, but they are suspect along the back line. If the Packers can get a couple of stops defensively, they will win. But it's going to be a shootout for sure. Packers 37, Falcons 34.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+6) vs. New England Patriots. The Patriots were expected to roll through the Texans, and did just that. The issue I see for New England is that the Steelers are not just a team along for the ride. They have talent and Mike Tomlin has done a better job than some of his critics give him credit for, and it's worth remember the Steelers are a talented group of players. Even though New England won the first meeting in Pittsburgh, look for this game to be very close until the Steelers pull away late, and for New England sports fans to face the reality that maybe it is time to clean house. Steelers 35, Patriots 11.
What does Tom Brady have left in the tank? That's the question. He looked mortal at times against the Texans, although that's an excellent defensive team. The question for the Patriots is simple -- can you stop LeVeon Bell? No one has recently. The Patriots tend to take away one player, and the guess here is that they will concentrate on Antonio Brown instead. Pick your poison. Patriots 24, Steelers 20.
Enjoy your football Sunday, and hopefully these games are going to be dramatic and interesting. And again, I may say some crazy stuff, but I call it like I see it. Ben out!