Saturday, January 15, 2011

NFL Playoffs Preview (Divisional Round) Part 1

Welcome to another week of playoff football. To be honest with you, I'm still reeling from the Eagles loss last week. I expected my Iggles to be here, and to be vying for a spot in the NFC Championship. Unfortunately, the mutant looking Clay Matthews, the excellent play of QB Aaron Rodgers, and ineptness of Andy Reid's coaching got in the way. However, that has nothing to do with this week's matchups except the fact that I will be rooting fervently (that is an understatement; I'm praying for Rodgers to have a career ending injury) against the Packers.

Like last week, this will be another weekend of terrific games as great rivalries were renewed on the AFC side of the playoffs. Both the Jets and Ravens (considered underdogs) decided to be vulgar, and offensive before they met their opponents on the field. For the New York Jets, it was CB Antonio Cromartie who started things off by stating that he hated Tom Brady, but he didn't stop there....No, Cromartie took it one step farther and decided to call Tom Brady an asshole in public. Good Lord, I love playoff football. I know Cromartie's comments ended up offending a lot of people, and rightfully so. However, I simply loved all the trash talking by the Jets week because A) it decreases their chances of winning....Seriously fellas making Tom Brady angry and motivating him even more is not the way to win playoff games. Second, it adds a lot more drama and excitement to an already intriguing playoff match up. It's no secret that I'm a huge wrestling fan and this match up feels like it has all the build up of a Wrestlemania match. Though, Brady seemingly brushed the comments off, you know that he is seething on the inside. An angry Tom Brady will be a sight to behold and I, for one, cannot wait to see him carve the Jets secondary like a turkey on Thanksgiving night.

The Jets and the Cromartie weren't the only ones who took part in trash talking or inciting their opponents before a match, the Baltimore Ravens and Terrell Suggs also decided to get in on the fun.

Yup, that's a middle finger to the Pittsburgh Steelers

Cmon, how can you not be excited about the fact that Terrell Suggs just added more fuel to the raging fire that is the Steelers vs Ravens rivalry. The last time these two teams met in the playoffs, it was one of the most brutal and physical football games, I had ever watched. Hell, WIllis McGahee still cringes every time he remembers that game (watch the clip below for why)

All of this trash talk, bitterness and hate will help in providing you the fan with the most entertaining product that the NFL can put out, and isn't that the point of the Divisional Round of the playoffs. This is where the contenders get separated from the pretenders as we narrow down the playing field to 4 of the best teams in the NFL.

Let's get this shit started!

Baltimore Ravens (5)


Pittsburgh Steelers (2)

As I mentioned above, this should be a brutal game. Both the Steelers and the Ravens have tremendous defenses, each of which is capable of putting massive, bone crunching hits on people. This does not bode well for Ben Roethlisberger, whose Offensive Line has been absolutely putrid for most of the season. For the Steelers to win this game, Big Ben has to come up huge today, he will need to avoid the pressure that the Ravens will undoubtedly bring. That means, he will have to get out of the pocket, making excellent throws while he is still on the move or just making plays with his feet. Roethlisberger had a tough offeseason with the rape allegations and a suspension to start off the regular season. With a defining game today, he will take the first steps towards putting all that stuff behind him and cementing his legacy as one of the best QB's in the league. After all, winning makes America forget. Right, Kobe Bryant? On the opposite side, stands Joe Flacco and he has to do the same for the Ravens to advance. Last week, Flacco didn't fare too well when the Chiefs rushed him, he lost fumbles and made some terrible decisions. If he does the same thing this week, Polamalu and Company will not let him get away with those mistakes. Ultimately, I would trust Ben Rothelisberger who has won his last six games against the Ravens to win me a game rather than Joe Flacco.

Trust Ben Roethlisberger on the field......not off of it

Winner - Pittsburgh

Green Bay Packers (6)

Atlanta Falcons (1)

America has hopped on the Green Bay Packers bandwagon, while the media has spread its legs and firmly impaled itself on Aaron Rodgers' cock. Can you tell that I'm bitter about last week's loss yet? My bitterness stems from the fact that America is right to jump on the Packers bandwagon, they are a dangerous team. Hell, they could very well be the best 6th seed in recent memory. Their QB is playing at unbelievable level, the team is getting healthy and gelling at the right time. Even their biggest weakness (the lack of a running game) seemed to have fixed itself with the emergence of RB James Starks last week. On the the other sideline stand the Atlanta Falcons, who earned a #1 seed in a touch NFC this season. Their franchise QB Matt Ryan is playing great football, just take a look at his home record (20-2). They have a tremendous arsenal of weapons on the offensive side of things with Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez, and Michael Turner. All in all, this has the makings of a fantastic game. If we are lucky, this might even turn into a shootout if the Falcons can take advantage of the mismatches they have with Gonzalez. Unfortunately, I don't think the Falcons will be able to prevail over Clay Matthews and Company which is why I'm picking the Packers.......That still doesn't stop me from rooting for Aaron Rodgers to have career ending injury ala Joe Theissman.

Would you bet against The Predator?

Winner - Green Bay Packers

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