>Tuesday Lunch: 2010 NFL Conference Championships

Posted: January 18, 2011 in nfl
Tags: , , , , , , ,

>By Will Robinson

 
photosThat was another great and crazy weekend in the NFL. This past weekend we saw two blowouts, an intense, close game that went down to the wire, and a flat-out beating. A quarterback had a Bill Walton ’77 esque performance; another one had a coming out party; Pittsburgh’s main man had another typical comeback performance; and the Jets’ signal caller notched his fourth road playoff win in his second year of starting. Unfortunately, with New England being eliminated, my Super Bowl match-up has been squelched; however, my Super Bowl champion is still in the race. Let’s cut the crap now and get to the two conference championship games.
SUNDAY
NFC
#6 Green Bay Packers (12-6) at #2 Chicago Bears (12-5), 12 p.m. PST, FOXphotos
 
Aaron Rodgers had a performance for the ages, with his 31/36, 366 yard, three-touchdown performance against the #1 seed Atlanta Falcons. Rodgers completed his passes to eight different receivers en route to the 48-21 rout. The run game, led by James Starks, was not very affect as the Packers compiled 96 yards on 31 attempts. The run game will need to be more efficient against Chicago so Rodgers is not overly exposed to Julius Peppers and the Chicago defense. Green Bay’s defense was phenomenal last week, led by Clay Matthews’ two sacks and Tramon Williams’ two interceptions. They disrupted Matt Ryan and completely stopped Michael Turner. The Bears are also coming off a dominant win at home against Seattle, and Jay Cutler became the first quarterback in playoff history with two rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns. Matt Forté had an average day running, with 80 yards on 25 attempts. The team had 176 yards total on the ground. The defense was great shutting down the Seahawks until the fourth quarter, when they reeled off 21 points. Granted, the game was out of reach, but a three-touchdown quarter is nothing to completely disregard. This should be another hard fought game at Soldier Field.
Prediction: Green Bay 27-23
 
AFC
#6 New York Jets (13-5) at #2 Pittsburgh Steelers (13-4), 3:30 p.m. PST, CBS
The Jets executed a great game plan to shut down the high-powered Patriots offense, only rushing three or four on Tom Brady and covering EVERY SINGLE RECEIVER. Darrelle Revis is now back to his all-pro form, and played fantastically against New England. Shaun Ellis also did a phenomenal job getting to Brady, sacking him twice and constantly pressuring him throughout the game. Mark Sanchez looked back to his typically mistake-free playoff self, throwing for 195 yards, three touchdowns, and no picks. LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene ran the ball very well, which they will need to do against Pittsburgh this week – which will not be easy. Pittsburgh started rough against their chief rivals, but managed to pull off a great win. Ben Roethlisberger is extremely underrated, and I would have him as a top-five quarterback (Brady, Peyton Manning, Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Roethlisberger) in the league. Forget what he has done in the past in his personal life. He has two rings (one of them he was a nervous, second year quarterback. The other was Ben coming through in the clutch). Roethlisberger’s last loss in an AFC Championship game was his rookie season. The defense was also great against Baltimore, allowing 126 yards. Safety Ryan Clark played the game of his career, forcing a crucial fumble and picking off Joe Flacco. Their offense made some bad miscues early, which allowed Baltimore to score with a short field. The main issue is the Pittsburgh’s patchwork offensive line, which was down to their last suited lineman last week. I expect a slugfest.photos
Prediction: Pittsburgh 24-17

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