Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins will come into Pittsburgh looking to win their first playoff game since 2000, which was the first season after Dan Marino retired. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been hurt for the past few weeks and is looking like he will not play in Sunday afternoon’s affair.
Matt Moore has filled in admirably for a banged up Tannehill but this is the mother fucking playoffs here.
The Steelers have been one of the leagues best teams over the past 10 seasons and seem to be in the dance almost every year. I fully expect the Steelers experience to allow them to cruise to an easy win over an inexperienced Dolphins team today.
Working in the Dolphins favour is that Jay Ajayi has been a revelation as he quickly replaced an aging and banged up Arian Foster mid-season. Ajayi is proving that with a good O-line he is a legit three down back.
Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker have been a dynamic receiving duo for the Dolphins and are constantly making solid plays.
However, the Dolphins defense simply sucks. They allowed over 6,000 offensive yards this season and now they are going to go head to head with one of the league’s best offenses in the Steelers… yikes.
The Steelers know how to win.
Big Creepy Ben seems to play through everything and seems to do well no matter what the circumstances.
The Steelers are as healthy as a playoff team probably can be expected as they face a weak defense at home.
The Steelers aren’t going to take the Dolphins lightly and I expect them to come out flying which will force the Dolphins to abandon the run game which will expose a young QB in Moore.
The Dolphins will be able to get some points over the Steelers but the big steel machine will just roll every time they touch the ball which will keep the game constantly out of reach. This game is the equivalent of bringing a knife to a gunfight.
Prediction: Steelers win 34-17
Fantasy Predictions: Big Ben and Antonio Brown put on a show and have 2 TD’s each by half against the Miami defense. The 2nd half will feature a run heavy/kill the clock offense from the Steelers. I have a feeling Bell won’t factor that much into the game today simply because he won’t have to and he’ll be allowed to rest by the 4th quarter. Jay Ajayi will put up 80+ yards but fail to score a TD. Lone bright spot for the Dolphins will be a TD received by Devante Parker.
Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants
This is the game everyone wants to watch.
The Giants have had quite the successful season (11-5 record) and the Packers miraculously ran the table to not only squeak into the playoffs but steal the division from the lowly Lions.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m a fair weather Vikings fan, so I am supposed to hate the Packers. But I can appreciate generational talent when I see it, and Aaron Rogers is one of the best Quarterback’s to ever play the game. When the Packers offensive game clicks it’s so entertaining to watch and the game of Football league wide is better off.
The Giants on the other hand play the opposite of entertaining football. Eli Manning may have two Superbowl rings but he may also be the worst Quarterback to eventually enter the Hall of Fame.
The Giants possess a dynamic Odell Beckham Jr. who may be one of the most exciting Wide Receivers football has ever seen, but it seems the Giants don’t use him enough.
A typical Giants offensive set of play calling seems to consist of a two yard dive up the middle, a stuffed dive up the middle followed by a four yard check down pass followed by a punt or field goal attempt. Then in the 4th quarter Odell gets unleashed to score a ridiculous game winning touchdown.
The key to the Giants success has been their defense which has consistently limited offensive running potential from any opponents. The Giants have only allowed 1417 running yards this year, but in the air they have been exposed at times.
This probably bodes well for the Packers who rely on their passing game and with Eddy Lacy out for the season, converted Wide Receiver Ty Montgomery could be a sneaky dual threat in the air out of the backfield.
With all that said I have this terrible hunch that the Giants are going to make Rogers life not very fun today. Rogers has shown this season that when pressured he will not always make the smart play. It’s part of what makes Rogers so damn good, but if he is forced to scramble and not get comfortable in the pocket the Giants will have a chance to make some defensive stops.
I’m not even going to waste my time writing about the Green Bay defense. Outside of Clay Matthews the team has been banged up from day one and they are practically playing walk on players in their banged up secondary.
The game will likely be a slow game to start but will be won in the air. I hope the Packers can win this out for the sake of entertainment value, but the Giants have consistently won games this year that they did not deserve to win. The Packers have without a doubt the home field Lambeau advantage but Eli Manning and the Giants have literally made a career off of bullshit chintzy wins. Odell Beckham Jr. and breakout rookie Sterling Sheppard will give the Packers secondary a lot of of problems Sunday evening and I expect 80+ yard production from each player.
Prediction: Giants 20-17
Fantasy Predictions: Aaron Rogers throws for two TD’s but it will not be enough as the Green Bay defense will let their QB down late in the 4th quarter as Eli Manning throws a bullshit coin flip long ball to Odell Beckham for the win. Sterling Sheppard will also get a TD. Neither team will yield a running back to crack 50 yards or a TD.
If you disagree with my uneducated and biased analysis let’s hear your thoughts in the comments!