Here we are, the final 8 teams in the running for the Super Bowl. Seattle is the only team that seems out of place, Atlanta is the big question mark, another Ravens-Steelers battle, and New England is being New England. Here are my thoughts:
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers:
This series is always hard fought and physical, and this one will be no different. This will be their third meeting this season after splitting the previous two games. Both teams won on the road and Pittsburgh is hosting, but I don't think that will matter much in this game. I see the Steelers really pulling away with this game in a surprisingly high scoring affair. Of course in this rivalry that means a 22-16 Steelers win. On a side note, this has a VERY good chance of being the first playoff game to use the new overtime rules!
Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons:
I think this one will be another hard fought game, making for another great Saturday of football. This is truly Atlanta's, and Matt Ryan in particular, chance to prove themselves. Of course the same could be said of Aaron Rodgers and this young Packers team. The surprising performance from rookie James Starks last week killed the Eagles, and I think he will be the deciding factor again today. Packers win a tight one 31-30.
Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears:
This game will be closer than most expect. The Seahawks aren't that good, but neither are the Bears in my opinion. Jay Cutler has a big arm and when he is sharp he can be great, that just doesn't happen often enough for me. Hasselbeck has playoff (and Super Bowl) experience and that does matter. So does homefield advantage and so I think the Bears win this one 28-21.
NY Jets at New England Patriots:
Another third meeting of the season and another split series. The Patriots are a different team now though. They are in Super Bowl shape already and the Jets are a run of the mill playoff team. I have a hard time seeing the Jets hang in there and so I'll keep it short with a Patriots win 34-12.
I think it will be another great weekend of games. And if I am right we will have an amazing pair of games next weekend! Steelers at Patriots and Packers at Bears that is an epic weekend!