Thursday, January 20, 2011



Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Jets

ANALYSIS: Both teams survived close games against their bitter rivals last week, but Pittsburgh needed to come from behind to win against Baltimore. Ben Roethlisberger passed for 226 yards and two touchdowns as he now heads to his fourth AFC Championship Game. The Steeler defense must continue the momentum they had last week in the second half. If they can do this, their "stairway to seven" could become a reality.

It has not been pretty for the Jets, but they sure will take another win in the playoffs. New York did not let up against the Patriots and finally defeated their biggest tormentors on their to their second straight trip to the AFC Championship Game. Mark Sanchez's three passing touchdowns last week made him the first player to beat Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in a postseason. Can he add Big Ben to his mantel?

PREDICTION: Steelers 24, Jets 21

KEY MATCHUP: The Steelers' defense vs. The Jets' defense (If you thought last week's Ravens/Steelers game had a lot of defense, then how about a game with two of the top three defenses in the NFL? To quote Bart Scott, "Can't wait!")


Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers

ANALYSIS: Two things can be said about the Bears after last week's game against Seattle. 1) The Bears' defense is dominant and 2) Jay Cutler seems like he becoming more trustworthy. Cutler torched the Seahawks for 274 yards and two touchdowns as the Bears dominated from start to finish. Can the Bears continue to shuffle to Dallas?

Brett who? Aaron Rodgers is making Packer fans a little less worried about the future of their franchise by continuing to show up and show out in big games. Rodgers threw for 366 yards and three touchdowns in Green Bay's rout of Atlanta last week. It also does not hurt when Tramon Williams has three key interceptions in the playoffs either. All the Packers need to do is beat their hated rivals to get one step closer in bringing a title back to Titletown.

PREDICTION: Packers 27, Bears 24

KEY MATCHUP: Aaron Rodgers vs. Jay Cutler (Both QB's are playing lights out football right now so it will come down to who wants it more. Although Cutler has Matt Forte, Rodgers has the better set of receivers and that will be the difference.)

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