What could I possibly tell you the weekend of the AFC/NFC Championship games that you haven't heard all day, every day, for the last week? Both games are monster matchups. We've been hearing just how historic the Bears/Packers rivalry really is. Am I the only one that wasn't aware that this was the "best rivalry in the NFL"? Raise your hand if you've ever seen the two teams play in the playoffs. It's a tough label since they haven't played a post-season game since the early 1940′s. The variables in this game are endless. How much of an involvement will Matt Forte have in the Bears offense? Will the Bears pass defense (ranked 20th in the league) put the clamps on Greg Jennings who caught for 3 yards shy of 100 in the week 17 win over the Bears? Who will win the turnover battle? To me, the matchup will come down to the quarterback position. Sure, that sounds redundant, but things become redundant for a reason. Both QB's are riding at an all-time high. Last week Jay Cutler threw for 274 yards while rushing for another two touchdowns. (Only the 2nd QB in NFL history to throw for two TD's and rush for two TD's in a post-season game). Aaron Rodgers is coming off one of the best quarterback performances I've seen in recent memory in his win in Atlanta last week, throwing for 366 yds, hitting 31 of his 36 attempts. The week before in the wild card round, Rodgers tossed 3 touchdowns as well, and in the last nine games has thrown for 22 TD's while only throwing two picks. Most people are picking against the Bears, and while I'd love to go against the grain, I have to also side with Rodgers and the Packers in a nail biter.
The Jets/Steelers matchup raises just as many questions that I won't pretend to know the answers to. How could I? Last week I honestly would have bet my mother's soul that the Patriots would have wiped the floor with the gang green. I can't run from it. Furthermore, I picked Manning and the Colts the week before that. I thought it made sense on paper. On game day, 'on paper' doesn't count. Grown, motivated professional athletes don't put much stock into pre-game picks. I always mention the quote from Mike Greenberg from 'Mike and Mike' when he says "I don't know the outcomes of these games. If I did, I'd be living in a mansion in Vegas." Obviously, I'm no different. To date, the Jets have still only beaten a handful of winning teams. Does that matter? My logic says it does, but when I've watched the Jets the last two weeks, it doesn't seem to. I'm one Jets win away from fully hopping on the Rex Ryan bandwagon. The guy seems larger than life, which in New York is something worth mentioning. Rex's adopted son, Mark Sanchez, according to the national media, "has his swagger back", and I can't argue. Hell, dude has beaten Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in back to back weeks, why not Big Ben? I'm not sure what I want 'The Sanchize' to do for me to make me a believer, but for whatever reason I'm not there yet. I'm sorry New York fans. Leading up to last week I said if the Jets beat the Pats, I'd download the Fireman Ed app on my phone. I did. What a waste of $1.99. The App is horrible! In the spirit of my anger, I'll continue to pick against the Jets this week. Both defenses are stingy, but I think it will be the Steelers offense that gets it done Sunday. But what do I know.