On the rare occasion that a reader comments on my blog, I get really excited. Excited at the fact that you guys are reading what I have to say and knowing that my daily rants and lackluster predictions for things doesn't go unnoticed.
So when a comment popped up earlier this week I, like always, was anxious to read what this person had to say. To paraphrase, this gentleman kindly assured me he was glad I was not putting any money down on my weekly NFL picks, otherwise I might not have a house to live in. He went on to request that I pick the Steelers in this weekend's AFC Championship so that he, a Jets fan, can celebrate his team's trip to the Super Bowl.
To you, sir, I must fully admit you are correct. Over the past month and, more recently, the past few weeks, my psychic abilities have been awful. I mean really bad, folks. Last week marked the second straight week in which I went just 1-3 and have fallen dangerously close to losing all credibility. I must also congratulate you, commenter. As you will see below, I'm leaning toward Pittsburgh this weekend which, of course, means the Jets will triumph. Start celebrating, dude. This one is all but over ...
Steelers 23, Jets 16
OK, so I'm going with the Steelers, but only to appease my readers. Actually, I think it's time the Jets' miracle run finishes up. Earlier this season, the Jets stormed into the Steel City and escaped with a win. But that was without Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, who has proven time and time again just how much of a difference maker he is.
Mark Sanchez has matured so much from this time a year ago, but again, facing this Steelers defense is much more daunting than the unit Indianapolis threw at him in last year's AFC title game. His opposing quarterback, meanwhile, is clutch in these games and with home-field advantage to boot, it's the Steelers in this one. (Sorry, Pittsburgh fans).
Bears 27, Packers 24
Everybody seems to be talking a lot about Aaron Rodgers lately, and rightfully so. With wins against the Eagles and Falcons, Rodgers took down arguably the two top arms in the conference this year in Michael Vick and Matt Ryan. Now, it's Rodgers' time to shine.
Not so fast, my friends (little Lee Corso for you college fans). Nobody is talking about Jay Cutler and Co. People seem so quick to praise Rodgers for winning his first career playoff game, but Cutler did the same thing last week. Even though it was against lowly Seattle, Cutler threw 4 TD passes and the momentum is surely with him. Look for tight end Greg Olsen to have a big game. Green Bay has pro-bowl caliber cornerbacks, but often leaves the tight end open downfield. Once again, this should be a great matchup in the sport's best rivalry, but with the Bears playing in the comfort of that bitter wind, it'll be a sweet day for Cutler.