COLE’S NOTES: Wild card 2—Steelers, Packers the picks
Thank goodness we have two more match-ups on the card.
Before that, though, I do want to take a couple of notes to point out some things I said in yesterday's post.
"Houston could win with Brock's usual 14 completion - 150 yards - 1 touchdown - 1 interception performance but that will require their defense to continue to hold the opposing team to less than 14 points, like they have had to do way too many times this year." Well, Osweiler had 14 completions for 168 yards with a TD and no INT's... close.
On point once again with the Texans holding Oakland to just 14 points and racking up 3 interceptions and held Oakland's running game to 65 yards.
"They will be beat by Seattle QB, Russell Wilson, picking them apart. He will be all over the field getting both of his tight ends involved, Doug Baldwin will have a good game, and that running game will be all over the field."
Well Wilson hit eightdifferent receivers, threw with a 77 per cent completion percentage and a pair of touchdowns. Doug Baldwin had 11 catches for more than 100 yards and a touchdown. And Thomas Rawls ran for more than 100 yards in the first half, alone, and finished with 167 yards and a score.
I didn't get the final score margins right but I did go 2-0.
So now onto Sunday's action.
The 1 p.m. game sees the Miami Dolphins going to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers for a match-up that features the widest point spread of the weekend. The Dolphins are going to be starting their back-up quarterback, Matt Moore, for a fourth straight week.
And for that reason alone I say the Steelers roll. To add to that you have Ben Roethelisberger with two Super Bowl rings running the offense, Steelers leading receiver, Antonio Brown, hungry for his first post-season touchdown and the best all around running back in the game in Le'Veon Bell.
This offense is what makes them the scariest team in the AFC. Yes, they are only ranked third but they were without Bell for the first part of the season and lost a game with Roethelisberger out with injury.
The Dolphins and their fans are giving themselves this false hope this week by saying, "We will run. And we will win."
Running back Jay Ajayi has had one of the most surprising seasons of any player this year. It's surprising because it wasn't even supposed to be. Arian Foster started the season as Miami's number 1 back but eventually got hurt and retired.
Even more surprising is that Ajayi finished the year with more than 1,200 yards behind that offensive line, not known for being able to protect their QB much and open many holes for their running game.
Pittsburgh is scary. Pittsburgh at home is "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" scary. Pittsburgh wins 33-17 with Miami scoring a late meaningless touchdown.Game 2 for today is the most intriguing of the whole week. Eli Manning takes his New York Giants into Lambeau Field to face the red hot Green Bay Packers.
I talked about the Steelers being scary at home... Green Bay is even tougher to beat when playing host. Couple that with the fact that Aaron Rodgers has led the Pack to six straight wins it should be an easy game for Green Bay.
"Should" is the key word. The one little nugget everyone seems to continue to bring up is that "Eli is a great playoff QB". The way I like to put it is that he seems to get the W when he really doesn't deserve it.
This year is eerily similar to the Super Bowl winning Giant season where they weny into the post season as a low with the defense leading the way.
What's different about this year is that Eli hasn't really shown, at any point this season, that his offense is all that competent. Odell Beckham Jr. is a top three wide out in the game but outside of that the injury riddled Packer defense should be able to give their offense more then enough chance to let Rodgers win the game.
Rogers will have a 300 yard, three TD game and will also have wide receiver turned running back, Ty Montgomery, run the ball about 18 times which is more production than the Packer could ever expect from that side of the playbook.
Green Bay shows Big Blue the door, with a nice cheese basket as a parting gift on the way out, and beats New York 27-20.
What do you think folks? Who you got?
Enjoy the games.
PS. I really hope that both Giants and Packers teams beat each other up so much that neither team will be able to travel to Dallas next week and the Cowboys will make their way into the Conference Finals on a forfeit win.
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