Our very own Wesley Kaminsky has already given his predictions for this weekend’s slate of NFL games. Now it is my turn. Last week had some great football games, highlighted by the shocker in Seattle. Marshawn Lynch’s run was arguably the greatest rushing attempt I have ever witnessed in my life. After making a play like that, you had to believe that destiny was on Seattle’s side.
This week the matchups appear to be even better. Lets take a closer look.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
Can you say World War III? This will be the most physical game of the entire regular or postseason. It is going to be an absolute slugfest. Only the mighty will survive. These two teams have been dueling it out in the AFC North for some time now. The players do not like each other. The respective team’s fans do not like each other. And you better believe they each want to end the other’s season. These are two teams that play some of the best defense in the NFL. Guys like Ray Lewis, Troy Polamalu, Ed Reed, and James Harrison are just a few of the key names that will be on the field. I think there is one key distinguishing factor between these two teams though. Baltimore has way more playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. Guys like Ray Rice, Todd Heap, Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin, and I could go on. Pittsburgh will put up a big time fight and many will pick them because they are the home team. But realize the visiting team won both matchups between these two rivals in the regular season. Well Round 3 will also go to the visitor. I got the Ravens winning 17 to 14 in an absolute dogfight.
Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons
This is truly a great matchup. It pits the two best teams in the NFC going at it in the round before the Conference Championship. Atlanta finally showed some kryptonite in Week 16 against New Orleans and dropped a game in the Georgia Dome. I will state that the Falcons have been the overall best team in the NFC from Day 1. But they are catching a Green Bay team that is playing better football than any team in the NFC. Aaron Rodgers has it going on all cylinders. He really reminds me of Steve Young in the early/mid 90s. You better believe the Falcon’s mediocre secondary will be exposed as the Packers pull the road upset. I got my Preseason NFC Champion pick, Green Bay, winning 24 to 21 in a great game.
Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears
A team that goes under 500 makes the playoffs. And wouldn’t you know it in the parity filled NFL, they knock off the defending champs in Round 1. Sadly for Seattle, their magical ride ends Sunday at Soldier Field. The Seahawks will have to rely heavily on the pass in that the Bears have a great rushing defense. I am not counting on their being great weather in Chicago on Sunday. Matt Hasselbeck will have to continue to turn the clock back 5 years. Even so, I do not see it being enough on this day. Bears win 13 to 10 in a brutally ugly game.
New York Jets at New England Patriots
The mouths have been running all week. There is no love lost between these two divisional foes. The roles have been reversed yet again though. Coming into the season New York was the sexy pick to win the AFC. New England was supposed to be in for a down year. The Jets defeated the Patriots handily in Week 2. Then little but little, New England took over the AFC. They then proceeded to stomp the Jets 45 to 3 in Week 13. Now the Jets have to travel to Foxborough to take on a team that simply does not lose at home. Does my preseason Super Bowl pick have it in them to pull off the road upset? You better believe it. The Jets can run the ball effectively versus anybody. And you better believe that the weather is not going to be pretty in Foxborough come Sunday. It is hard to pick against Tom Brady, but I got to do it in this case. The Jets will prove to be road warriors and control the game on the ground all night. Jets by 1 in a road shocker.
So I got both Number 1 seeds going down and I have 3 road teams winning. Sounds kind of suicidal right? Lets see how it plays out.
Enjoy the games.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.