Last week for the NFL Divisional Playoff, Nippertown.com sports writer Jesse Jacobs went 2-2 with his predictions. Can he ratchet it up a notch this week and go 2-0? We’ll have to wait til Sunday to find out, but in the meantime, here are Jesse’s prognostications for this weekend’s NFL Conference Championship Games:
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP: NEW YORK JETS 21 @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS 17
The Jets are not a fallacy. They’ve always carried a loaded barrel full of talent holstered on their belt. Rex Ryan’s judgment on the football field far exceeds his judgment behind the microphone. The Jets players are no longer outthinking themselves, because they’re apparently too mad to think. Bart Scott is probably at home right now, yelling at himself in the mirror a la Golem:
“Don’t be so angry, Bartholomew. You’re playing tremendously. I’m proud of you,” says Scott.
“Don’t call me Bartholomew! I’ll kill you!” Scott retorts before head butting the mirror into a thousand pieces.
All jokes aside, there is no NFL team that would be eager to play the Jets currently. The Pittsburgh Steelers are the team that drew the short straw, but they won’t view it that way. The Steelers will play with composure, and likely outperform the Jets for much of the game. The Jets will bring the heat in the fourth quarter and elevate their game late, as they have all season. The Jets have a flair for the dramatic on and off the football field. They play their best football with their backs against the wall.
If the Steelers win…
1. Mike Tomlin will shake hands with Rex Ryan
2. Ben Roethlisberger will give credit to the Jets players
3. I will slip into a coma, and not the good kind where you wake up with super powers. Don’t act like you’ve never heard of “The Dead Zone.”
If the Jets win…
1. Bart Scott will literally eat Sal Paolantonio.
2. Antonio Cromartie will buy a billboard reiterating that Tom Brady is a *bleep.*
3. Rex Ryan will address the media about “being eliminated from the playoffs.”
4. Braylon Edwards will miss the Super Bowl following a back-flip-related injury.
I will be rooting for theatrics above all else. There is no denying the quality of the match up ahead, however. If the Jets can complete defeats of the Colts, Patriots and potentially the Steelers on their way to the Super Bowl, it will mark one of the most impressive playoff runs in NFL history.
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP: GREEN BAY PACKERS 31 @ CHICAGO BEARS 10
The historical matchup of Chicago versus Green Bay is finally being restored in the new millennium. There are no grudges between any of the players in this game, but that’s unlikely to be the case afterwards. Two of the best defenses will face off, though Green Bay has a substantial advantage offensively. The Bears will have to control the time of possession and keep Aaron Rodgers on his toes to have a chance in this one.
Packers offensive line vs. Bears pass rush: Bears defensive end Julius Peppers is not human. He’s six-foot-seven-inches and just shy of 300 pounds. Peppers runs like a gazelle and is stronger than an ox. I watched a game several years ago where Peppers he picked up the tight end assigned to block him and threw him backwards into the quarterback for a sack. That’s a true story.
Packers wide receivers vs. Charles “Peanut” Tillman: I can’t pass up an opportunity to name drop “Peanut” Tillman. I still don’t get the nickname, but I’m willing to embrace it. Tillman played a fairly atrocious game last weekend despite his team’s victory. Tillman essentially handed the ball to Seahawks wide receiver for a late touchdown. He also dropped an easy interception earlier in the game, but punished himself immediately after with a set of pushups. I wish I could fail at my job and rectify the situation with pushups.
The Packers are the best team remaining in the NFL postseason. I like them to not only beat the Bears, but go on to win the Super Bowl. Bret Favre is the only obstacle standing in their way as he once again tried to upstage the Packers, announcing his “retirement” on Sunday. Expect Favre to retire and unretire several more times during Super Bowl media week. Fortunately for our sanity, the Packers appear ready to step out of the shadow of old number four and start the dynasty that he never could.
Story by Jesse Jacobs, who also writes for The Ballston Journal
JESSE JACOBS’ NFL PLAYOFF ROUND-UP:
WEEK ONE: Wild Card Playoffs
Seattle Seahawks 41, New Orleans Saints 36
New York Jets 17, Indianapolis Colts 16
Baltimore Ravens 30, Kansas City Chiefs 7
Green Bay Packers 21, Philadelphia Eagles 16
WEEK TWO: Divisional Playoffs
Divisional Playoff Predictions
Pittsburgh Steelers 31, Baltimore Ravens 24
Green Bay Packers 48, Atlanta Falcons 21
Chicago Bears 35, Seattle Seahawks 24
New York Jets 28, New England Patriots 21