Packers and Bears. I picked the Pack to win this because I didn't trust Cutler to come up big in big games. Boy was that an understatement. I'm interested to see what happens with the knee injury. Even if it's not too bad I'm not sure I trust the Bears to tell the truth on it. How could they if it's a minor injury? If it turns out to be something that most people will feel he could have played on then he'll be destroyed officially in that town. They have to say it's serious don't they? So how will we really know? We won't would be my guess. We will just have the image of a surly, seemingly disinterested Cutler standing on the sideline. Is it fair to him to question his toughness? Sure it is. That's what we do as fans. These points are all over the blogs and articles but I think they are fair points. First, if he's seriously hurt why stand on the leg from the sidelines for the rest of the game? But he wanted to support his teammates. Well then how about throwing on a headset and getting involved and supporting them like a leader does. Also, we've seen QBs beg and plead to be put back in the game after being injured. There was none of that visible from Cutler. Again, maybe we missed something. Some people don't wear their emotions. Cutler could have been dying inside but it's pretty clear if that's ever the case we'll never know it because the guy has robot face on pretty much 24/7. 2nd point, We've watched guys hobble around in the pocket on bad knees before. Byron Leftwich did it famously at Marshall . Robbie Bosco did it to win a national championship all the way back in 1984 (start at 5 min mark). Say what you want about negatively about Brett Favre (and I have), but that dude played more games than you could count where he should have been in the locker room by the second quarter. I don't know if Cutler could have played or not. I suspect he could of but maybe his knee truly was toast and he would have done more damage than good. Again, I don't know. I do know at least on this night Cutler didn't seem like much of a warrior.
--The Packers made this game much closer than it should have been. They seemingly played the entire game on the Bears side of the field and yet punted wayyyyyy more than you should ever punt your opponent's 40 yard line. A lot of third and shorts were missed and that could kill their chances in the Super Bowl if they don't get it fixed. Rodgers wasn't stellar but he was good enough. The Pack deserve to go to Dallas for the Super Bowll but you can't tell me we wouldn't have had a better game had the Saints been playing instead of Chicago. Damn Seattle Seahawks. Screwing up the playoffs again.
Steelers and Jets. I picked the Steelers because they were at home and because I thought their defense would show up big. Not a big leap to pick the home team but it's hard to go against Roethisberger in a big game. The dude seems to have a knack for making key plays. His last 3rd down play to ice the game was classic Roethlisberger. Extending the play, throwing on the run and off balance, and of course completing it. I thought the Jets should have been hustling a bit more in the latter part of the 4th quarter so more time would be left if they scored but the runs were working for them and they needed a for sure score. They were relying on their defense which played well in the second half. Just not good enough on 3rd down. --when they needed it the most. Still, it was a good playoff run for the Jets. If Sanchez has some clutch in him but needs to make a step up in consistency. I've learned one thing with Rex Ryan's guys, you don't want to count them out.
Super Bowl Pick: Steelers over the Packers. Sometimes the Packers mess up on the little things. It's what hurt them in the games they lost this year. Penalties, dropped balls, bad clock management. It's not epidemic or anything, just enough to lose some tight ball games they have no business losing during the year. The Steelers do all the little things right. I think Mike Tomlin is one of the top 3 coaches in the league. I want the Pack to win it but I think Steeltown gets another title.