Unlike the last few years, the Green Bay Packers have actually advanced to the NFC Championship game, for the first time since winning the game against the Chicago Bears and going on to win the SuperBowl. This year we didn’t have our Achilles heel — the 49ers — there to keep us from going places. However, their division rival, the Seattle Seahawks are still in the running for the big game, and with Seattle controlling the No.1 seed, we’re stuck making the trip there to battle for the NFC crown. The last two times we’ve played the Seahawks have ended badly, though one of those games was the infamous Fail Mary game, in which the shitty replacement refs made the worst call ever and handed the win to the home team. I thought for sure when we faced them again in week 1 of this season that things would go differently, and to begin with it wasn’t too terrible, but it ended in a 20 point loss.
Time changes football teams. We have had the healthiest season in recent memory this year, losing almost no one to injury (or at least only for a game or two), which means the players are gelling. Our Offensive line has played at a high level all season, our run game has been strong, and our defense has become stingy at the right time. I think we peaked at the right moment, and this post season team reminds me of the 2010 team that won it all. Plus, most analysts and fans are calling for a Seattle blowout, meaning we are the underdogs, and that usually fuels our passion to win. It worked in that 2010 season, it can work for us again. Despite Rodgers being hobbled and the Seahawks being feared, I have high hopes for a win. I’m not going into this game scared, 12th man be damned.
On the AFC side of things, the Patriots are back, and have pretty much owned their spot in the playoffs for the last 15 years. A new challenger has appeared in the Colts, with Andrew Luck leading the team further than he has in the past, though his 0-3 mark against the Pats leaves something to be desired. The Patriots are playing the same brand of football they always do, having a high ranking offense, and a lower ranking defense — features they typically share with the Packers though I think we beat them in both categories this year. The Colts are the wildcard upstart that could dethrone New England, or could fall flat. I can see the game going either way, though I’m rooting for the upset. My preferred Superbowl would be the Packers vs. Colts, just to make things a little more interesting, but I’ll take a Packers/Patriots bowl as well. I just don’t want to see the Packers lose at this juncture because Rodgers deserves another ring to go with his 2nd league MVP award.
Here’s my picks for the weekend:
Packers 20, Seahawks 17
Colts 24, Patriots 20
#bythenumbers #nfl #picks