Tuesday, 17 January 2017

5 things to watch this NFL Championship Sunday

Forget the Super Bowl, this IS the best Sunday of the year. Two NFL championship games, baby. Here are 5 storylines to watch out for on Sunday.

1. Big Ben's mobility

Nursing a lower body injury, Ben Rothlisberger is always a storyline in a Steelers game. Can he escape the pressure like vintage Ben? We'll find out.

2. Matt Ice on the big stage

Matt Ryan is the only QB left that hasn't won a title. How will he play on the biggest stage? Will he keep up his stellar play or buckle under the pressure of the larger spotlight?

3. Patriots running game

You never know what New England is going to do on offense with their running game. Will Blount carry it 20 times? Will Dion Lewis become even more of a go-to on the ground? How will James White factor in?

4. Packers defensive pressure

Everyone assumes that Atlanta will be able to throw and run at will. But perhaps Clay Matthews can turn back the clock and come up with a defensive game of yesterday. If not, this will be a 43-40 type of game.

5. Tom Brady magic?

He is the winning-est quarterback in NFL history. Without the wear and tear of four early games, and with a bye week to start the postseason, we could be primed for an outstanding Tom Brady performance. All signs point to it.

Hear more analysis this Saturday and Sunday from 7 to 9am ET on TSN 690 in Montreal, brought to you by DeadHitSports.com.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Weekend Game Plan's Super Bowl Pick

It's the NFL playoffs, time for me to put my money where my mouth is. As usual, I pick a team to win the Super Bowl with some buddies. Last year, I had my Broncos and raked home the dough. How sweet it was. This year I have no Broncos. But I do have a pick in mind.

On the AFC side of things, football betting should be confined to two teams: the Patriots and the Steelers. Both have playoff pedigrees, both have offenses that are on track and both have great coaches. I don't believe in the limited abilities of Alex Smith, as it will have to be the Chiefs' D that will carry them.

Over in the NFC, everyone is excited about Dallas. Me, not so much. I firmly believe that the rookie factor at quarterback will hurt them against top defenses. For that reason I really like Seattle and the Giants, the two best Ds left.

So, to me the Super Bowl is New England versus Seattle, a rematch from a couple of years ago, with the Pats once again coming out on top.

There you have it. My Super Bowl pick, for what it's worth. Enjoy the playoffs everyone!