A starting-out visual to encourage yourself with, if you’re a Pittsburgh fan.
Meanwhile: apparently, they need to do better pest control in the Packer and Steeler locker rooms. We’re hearing dark tales of a “bug” in each venue making players sick – which bodes ill, as it were, for the conference championship games on Sunday.
It doesn’t bode as ill for the Falcons and Patriots, of course. We’re sure they’re all stand-up guys who’d rather be playing opponents at full strength. (And who aren’t anxious to catch the bug themselves, for that matter.) But the prospect of, say, Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson having fevers and tiring easily probably doesn’t seem, you know, catastrophic to Atlanta DC Richard Smith.
The spread is a healthy but not indecent 6 for both games, with Atlanta and New England obviously favored. Gut feeling here: the overdogs will get it done. Yeah, that’s easy to say. But the gut feeling here last Sunday was that the Cowboys would find a way to lose, and sure enough.
That and $4.25 will get you a tall espresso drink at a SoCal Starbucks this week.
Moving on. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan really has had one heck of a year. On paper, at least, the head-to-head of Ryan and Brady would represent one of the most obvious contests in Super Bowl history.
But Roethlisberger and Rodgers are inveterate rabbit-pullers, whenever they’re spotted the hat. And the good news for them is that they won’t be facing the best defenses in the league. If Big Ben is behind a half step at the moment, he might as well be playing the Patriots.
The bottom line for Sunday is that it ought to be two good, offense-intensive games, unless Rodgers is too sick at game time to function at 100%. The AFC game seems more lopsided, of course, based on respective records and reps. The Pittsburgh secondary, not the league’s best, has got to outdo itself, if Brady is to be baffled enough for it to matter.
Green Bay at Atlanta tees up first, at 3:00 PM Eastern. Pittsburgh – our last LU fave standing – kicks off at New England at 6:40 PM Eastern.
Today (Saturday), of course, we have no doubt you are all watching the East-West Shrine Game in St. Pete. So much more entertaining than the unsightly doings out on the streets, where the women’s marches are underway.
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) January 21, 2017
Speaking of the women’s marches, we are pleased to report the participation of our former secretary of state.
— The Hill (@thehill) January 21, 2017
We always knew, John.
In another hour-ish, the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl will kick off in Carson, CA. The Reese’s Senior Bowl has the weekend to itself on the 28th; South will square off with North in Mobile, AL.