2012 Wild Card Preview: Pittsburgh vs Denver

This is the last of four posts this week examining the Wild Card matchups in the NFL Playoffs. Thanks for reading:

The last Wild Card matchup is in the AFC when the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Denver to face the Broncos at 4:30 ET on CBS. The Broncos snuck into the playoffs even though they lost their past three games while the Steelers have won six of their past seven games. Denver has the home-field advantage even though they lost twice as many games as the Steelers did because they won their division. As with the Falcons and Giants, the Steelers and Broncos never faced each other during the regular season.

Offense: For the Broncos, Tim Tebow mania continues. First, experts hated him. Then he shockingly led Denver on a series of fourth quarter comebacks to win seven of eight games. Finally, he lost the last three games with dismal numbers and barely made the playoffs. For the year, Tebow’s numbers are pretty mediocre – less than 2000 yards in 14 games played (11 started) with 18 touchdowns (12 passing, six running) while turning the ball over 13 times (six interceptions, seven fumbles). Tebow has been worse in the past few games and unless he turns it around drastically, it could be a long night for Denver fans.

For the Steelers, a lot hinges on the health of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. When healthy and able to play from under center, Roethlisberger is a very good quarterback but his recent injury has forced him to work from the shotgun position more where he has struggled. If he isn’t at full strength come Sunday, the Broncos can take advantage. The Steelers running attack is now in rough shape with the loss of Rashard Mendenhall last week with a torn ACL. On paper, Pittsburgh is much better offensively than Denver but the rash of injuries has given the Broncos a chance. Continue reading “2012 Wild Card Preview: Pittsburgh vs Denver”

Advertisements

Can The AFC Playoffs Get Any Tighter?

Week 16 of the NFL season is upon us and the races are incredibly close.  

Photo Courtesy of AP

 

Historically close.  

The San Diego Chargers blew out the Tennessee Titans on Friday night to clinch the number two spot in the AFC behind the Indianapolis Colts who continue their pursuit for perfection Sunday against the New York Jets. Besides the Chargers and Colts, the rest of the AFC is effectively up for grabs.  

Here is the current playoff situation:  

Division Leaders
1. Indianapolis Colts (14-0)
2. San Diego Chargers (12-3)
3. New England Patriots (9-5)
4. Cincinnati Bengals (9-5)  

Wild Card Leaders
5. Baltimore Ravens (8-6)
6. Denver Broncos (8-6)  

In the Hunt
Miami Dolphins (7-7)
New York Jets (7-7)
Houston Texans (7-7)
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7)
Jacksonville Jaguars (7-7)  

The Patriots and Bengals are in the best place  as if either wins, they clinch their division. The Ravens and Broncos control their own destiny as well, but any slip up by them opens the doors for any of the Dolphins, Jets, Texans, Steelers, or Jaguars. So many things can happen, but let’s look at some of the games this week  

Jaguars at Patriots – The Jags travel up North into the Cold to face Bill Belichick’s Patriot team. After a couple of turbulent weeks, New England enjoyed its first real home win of the season last weekend and have put the Randy Moss saga behind them. Meanwhile, Jacksonville fought valiantly against the Colts last week, but came up four points short of the upset. This should be a great game, but I’m giving the Pats the edge mostly because New England excels in cold weather and Florida teams don’t. New England Continue reading “Can The AFC Playoffs Get Any Tighter?”

Daily Sports Roundup 1/5/08

Besides actual games today, there hasn’t been much news in the world of sports, but let’s look at some stories anyways:

Brady Named NFL MVP: Not surprisingly, Tom Brady was named NFL MVP for the first time in his career. Brady had one of the greatest seasons by a quarterback in NFL history. He had a single-season NFL record 50 touchdown passes, a league-leading 4806 yards passing, and only 8 interceptions. He also led the league in completion percentage and passer rating at 68.9% and 117.2 respectively. He received 49 of 50 votes with Brett Farve receiving the other vote (likely from a Green Bay reporter). Brady led the Patriots to a perfect regular season and hopes to continue into he playoffs

Wild Card Weekend: The Redskins visited the Seahawks and Jacksonville travelled to Pittsburgh in the two wild card games today. In the first game, the Seahawks led the Redskins 13-0 entering the fourth quarter when the game became a circus. 2:22 into the 4th quarter, the Redskins had taken a 14-13 lead and recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. After Washington kicker missed a 30 yard field goal, Seattle drove down the field, scored, and completed a 2-point conversion to take a 21-14 lead. When Redskins QB Todd Collins threw his first interception of the year, Marcus Trufant took it 78 yards back for a touchdown. Another interception by Collins with 30 seconds left in the game ended it. The Seahawks defeat the Redskins 35-14. In the other Wild Card game today, the Jaguars have used an interception return for a touchdown and a 96 yard kickoff return to give themselves a 21-7 lead at the half. Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw 3 interceptions in the first half and he is going to need to have a great second half for Pittsburgh to stay in this game. Continue reading “Daily Sports Roundup 1/5/08”