After a crazy weekend last week, we are heading into the Conference Championships with two insane match-ups. Insane in the sense of I have no idea how these will end up. I could see how any of these teams could runaway with a win, or get crushed, or eek out a win. All the Cowboys did by losing was make this tougher.
Both games are actually rematches from earlier this year, but that doesn’t really help. The Falcons pulled off a one-point victory on the Packers back on October 30th, so that’s of no help. The Patriots easily handled the Steelers in Pittsburgh on October 23rd 27-16, but Ben Roethlisberger didn’t play, so again, no help. Anyway, here we go.
Packers @ Falcons (Line: Falcons -5)
When the Falcons claimed that one-point victory these were two different teams. The Packers were 4-3 going into this one, and the Falcons 5-3. The Packers would go through a few more weeks of trouble, but clearly have righted the ship. Once again Aaron Rodgers is getting value out of all his receivers, so that whole “Jordie Nelson is out” thing doesn’t matter.
However, the Falcons have lost one of their starting Defensive Ends, which will be a slight set back. This one is going to come down to defenses. Neither teams is particularly dangerous, or smothering. Whichever one decides to step up will take this one, and I think it’s the Falcons.
Steelers @ Patriots (Line: Patriots -5.5)
The Steelers struggled against a perennial playoff choker last week, but the Patriots struggled to put away the Offensively-challenged Texans. Both are good on Defense, with the Patriots being sneaky-good, while the Steelers Defense has had to win games. Although, one looked good last week, while the other took awhile to fire up.
A healthy Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell is a massive plus for the Steelers. Everyone likes to bring up “bulletin board material,” but I think it’s a bit overblown. But that doesn’t excuse how stupid Brown’s Facebook Live incident was. Will that play a role? Probably not, but the announcers will be sure to bring it up a dozen or so times. Since I have no idea on this one, I’m going with the favorites in a tight one.
I think any combination in the Superbowl will be a good one. I’m not sure I am going to be able to watch. I’ll either be in the air, or just arriving in Sydney after two insanely long flights, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to catch it. However, as a Lions fan I am used to not caring who wins the Superbowl.