Season record: 77-47-5 (62%)
And then there were four…
Two weeks from today, Super Bowl XLIX (yea, I’m still a sucker for the roman numerals the Super Bowl uses) will be played in Glendale. Today we’ll all figure out who will make the trip to Arizona.
Today’s games feature four teams who have won the Super Bowl in the modern, pass happy, era. However, the Colts are the new kid on the block, with Andrew Luck making his first appearance in a championship game. Meanwhile the Patriots haven’t won the Super Bowl since 2004, a surprising stat given that since 2004, they’ve only missed the playoffs once. Since Luck has entered the NFL, the Patriots have blown out the Colts in every meeting. Will that change today?
On the NFC side, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers return to a recent house of horrors as they fly up to Seattle. In week 1, it was a total beat down as Seattle won with ease. In 2012, it was the replacement ref fiasco that stole a win from Green Bay and gave it to Seattle on a bogus touchdown on the games final play. Seattle is looking to repeat as champs, while Green Bay is looking for their 2nd ring in the past five years. Who will get a chance in two weeks to add to the trophy case?
Seahawks -7.5: Jump on this now because it’s climbing fast. Most places have -8 listed now and I’ve seen some -8.5 as well. Not a good sign for Packer backers as the public is making more of a play on the ML then the spread and yet that price is getting fatter as well. The bookmakers have done little to stop Green Bay action from coming in, never a good sign.
In a weird scheduling quirk, this game will start at Noon on the west coast. The NFL rotates the start times on a yearly basis for the championship games and this year the NFC drew the early game.
Seattle isn’t a team that starts fast, but they put runs of points on you in a hurry. Usually that avalanche comes in the 2H, with help from a defensive or special teams play (like last weeks Carolina game).
Mobile QBs have killed Green Bay over the past few seasons, and Wilson is the best of the bunch.
Center Max Unger will play for Seattle, which is great news for them. He’s one of the best interior linemen in the league.
Green Bay’s offensive line has played really well all year, much better than I thought they would perform. Seattle’s pass rush is a different animal though and Rodgers calf is still not healed. A week after facing minimal pressure against Dallas, he will have his hands full today.
Seattle was the most penalized team in the league, and accepted the least amount of penalties in the league for first downs. That’s an amazing stat for a division champ that’s one game away from the Super Bowl. If they can play clean today, this could get really ugly.
After two straight NFC playoff weekends marred by dumb calls that heavily influenced the outcomes of the games, it’s fitting that these two meet this weekend considering their participation in that replacement ref debacle. Does anyone know the NFL rules anymore?
Final Score: Seahawks 30 Packers 14
Seattle -14.5 (+240), this is a class teaser buster, as many will tease Green Bay to +14.
Colts +6.5: This went to +7 for less than a half hour this morning before going back to +6.5. Resistance like that on a key number like 7 in a marquee game is an eye opener, especially when the team on the other sideline is none other than the darlings of the public: Tom Brady and the Pats.
Trent Richardson is staying home for “personal matters”. If I worked in the Browns front office I’d constantly start chain emails that contained pictures of Richardson sitting on the Colts bench just to lighten the mood a little.
“The Colts can’t run the ball.” Well, the Patriots attempted to run the ball TWICE in the 2H last week versus the Ravens (both Brady sneaks on short yardage situations). Luck and the Colts will be fine slinging it around, even if the weather won’t be ideal.
Just how tough was it for the Pats to get past the Ravens? They pulled out a WR pass play for a guy who had never thrown an NFL pass, plus three plays where they fooled the Ravens with four offensive linemen and random ineligible WRs. I understand that you survive and advance, and playing a team like the Ravens in January requires pulling out all the stops. But c’mon, you talk about emptying the playbook? The Colts won’t be got off guard.
The Pats defense is very good, but the Colts defense has been coming on strong. They’ve put pressure on Andy Dalton and Peyton Manning in the playoffs and Vontae Davis is one of the best corners in the league.
Speaking of Peyton, everyone is dismissing the Colts win because he was apparently pretty injured during the game. Or so we found out after the game was over. Manning wasn’t on the injury report all week, had a bad game, and then news is reported that he played with a quad injury? The Colts played well, give them credit. Everyone’s playing hurt at this time of the season.
This will be a tight game, and Indy’s special teams will play a role. Adam Vinatieri has missed one FG all year and Pat McAfee is one of the best punters in the league, especially when pinning teams inside the 20.
Final Score: Patriots 23 Colts 21
Colts ML (+240), just for a hedge.
Patriots win by 1-3 points (+550)
Patriots win by 4-6 points (+800)