21 January 2011

2010 Conference Championship Picks

Packers at Bears: These are well matched teams. The Bears look terrific. Mike Martz has got the Jay Cutler attitude problem AND interception problem under control. Brian Urlacher seems rejuvenated, and Julius Peppers is playing great. He played great in Carolina, too, of course, it's just that the rest of his was a mess. Charles Tillman creates turnovers the way American Idol creates crap one-hit-wonder pop stars. Matt Forte provides a significant ground attack, which helps keep Cutler from trying to do too much. And two words that strike fear in the heart of every special teams coach in the NFL: Devin Hester.

On the other hand, the Packers are heading for their 3rd road game in a row. They're the #6 seed, and they just pulled off the big upset win over the Falcons a week ago. Their issues with injury this season have been well documented, well, everywhere. And they're playing a divisional rival, which is always just that much harder.

But I'm still picking the Packers. And not just because they took out an Andy Reid team in the first round of the playoffs for only the second time in his 12 seasons as head coach. Aaron Rodgers is on FIRE and not only can't you stop Clay Matthews, you really can't even hope to contain him. Donald Driver and Greg Jennings are going to have to play a lot better than they did on January 2, though.

Jets at Steelers: The Jets are looking surprisingly good at this stage, too. Mark Sanchez seems to be over his sophomore slump from earlier in the season. The secondary combo of Revis and Cromartie is as good as it's supposed to be. Santonio Holmes has his playoff face on, making "Did I just see that?" catches every time you turn around. LaDanian Tomlinson is playing like he's 21, not 31. Jason Taylor, too.

Wait - is Troy Polamalu playing? Yes? Steelers.

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