After an exciting divisional weekend of NFL playoff action that had the top two teams in the NFL ousted four teams remain in their quest to win Super Bowl XLV (45) in Dallas on February 6th. Any of the four remaining teams have a great chance of hoisting the Vince Lombardi trophy but the odds on favourite is whoever wins the matchup between the Jets and Steelers in Pittsburgh this Sunday. Both the Green Bay Packers, and Chicago Bears play terrific defense but the AFC has been the class of the NFL for many years and will have an edge in the Super Bowl.
The New York Jets overcame a 45-3 defeat in December at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough to surprise and flabbergast every New England Patriot fan in the world this past Sunday. The Jets led by their brash trash talking Head Coach Rex Ryan played outstanding defense against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The Jets are coming off a huge and victory and will be facing a whole new challenge in the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh overcame a 21-7 half-time deficit to out score the Baltimore Ravens 24-3 in the second half and went on to win their game 31-24. As a result Pittsburgh will host the AFC Championship game at Heinz Field. The last time these two teams met was in week 15 in Pittsburgh. The Jets won 22-17 with a field goal and safety in the 4th quarter to break a seventeen all tie. However Pittsburgh was without star tight end Heath Miller and Pro Bowl All Star safety Troy Polamalu. The Jets will need quarterback Mark Sanchez to hit his receivers Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, and Jerricho Cotchery with precise accurate throws like he did against New England. Pittsburgh is not a team you can successfully run the football onm Mark Sanchez needs to have a big game. Pittsburgh has made its name on defense, preventing opponents from running the ball for decades. Jets running backs Ladainian Tomlinson, and Shonn Greene will have a tough time running on Pittsburgh’s tough defense. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can expect to receive the same type of treatment Patriots quarterback Tom Brady did last Sunday. Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, David Harris, Jason Taylor, and the entire Jets defense will be in Roethlisberger’s face all game long. One advantage that Big Ben has is his gigantic 6’5 240 pound frame. It will take two or three good shots from the Jets blitz to knock Roethlisberger to the ground. If that happens the Jets have a phenomenal chance of winning. Pittsburgh also has the option of running the ball with their spectacular running back Rashard Mendenhall. Mendenhall ran for 1273 yards during the season with 13 rushing touchdowns. Mendenhall is a fantastic option for the Steelers offense if Roethlisberger struggles. Overall the Jets have already had their Super Bowl win this when they shocked the football world and beat the New England Patriots. The Jets run is over and the Steelers will be the victorious team heading to Dallas not the Jets Jets Jets!! Prediction Steelers 20 – Jets 17
The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears are part of the oldest rivalry in the NFL. Their first meeting was in 1921, and their next meeting will be this Sunday afternoon in Chicago with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. The Bears and Packers met twice during the regular season with both teams winning on their home turf. In week 3 Chicago defeated Green Bay 20-17 at Soldier Field, and on the last week of the season with Green Bay’s playoff hope’s up in the air the Packers came back to defeat Chicago 10-3 at home. The Green Bay Packers have won 4 must win games in a row to keep their Super Bowl dreams alive. Before beating Chicago in week 17 Green Bay put up 45 points in a win over the New York Giants. Those two back to back wins got Green Bay into the playoffs and thus allowed them to trounce Philadelphia, and Atlanta on the road before this Sunday’s matchup. Chicago had an easy victory over the surprising Seattle Seahawks last Sunday. That game was simply a warmup to the big game that awaits Chicago this week. Both teams know each other really well and know each others game plan inside and out. Now would be a great time to pull out any trick plays or magical maneuvers with the element of surprise being key to shocking the opposition. Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will have to play another game without throwing any interceptions, so far Cutler has done that job just fine. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been on fire during the playoffs and Chicago will have to disrupt, disturb, and knock Rodgers on his ass repeatedly if they have any chance of winning. Green Bay has been very inconsistent running the ball and Rodgers will easily be Green Bay’s best option at putting up points. For Chicago their kick returner Devin Hester is a key weapon. Hester is the best return man in NFL history. The Packers kicking team needs to make sure that Hester doesn’t have a chance at returning the football for a Bears touchdown. This will be a low scoring game with both defense’s at their peak. Whatever team makes the least amount of turnovers will win. Both field goal kickers Mason Crosby of Green Bay, and Robbie Gould of Chicago simply can’t miss any field goal kicks, regardless of how the wind blows in the windy city. In a low scoring game like the one you will see on Sunday afternoon every point matters. As a result I like the team from the North to march on to the Super Bowl. Prediction Bears 13 – Packers 14