NFL Week 14 Thursday Night Pick and Analysis – FootballThursday, December 8, 2011 8:34
Thursday night game pick for Week 14 of the 2011 NFL football season.
NFL Week 14 Thursday Notes & Pick
Football pundits and fanatics have very short memories.
Almost every commentator puts the Packers head and shoulders above everyone else in the league, and their victory over the Steelers in the most recent Super Bowl has become almost laughably remembered as some kind of dominant victory.
As we wrote in our post-mortem column after the Super Bowl, congrats to the Pack. They made more of the biggest plays at the most crucial moments. They earned their Trophy and Aaron Rodgers had a phenomenal postseason.
But, can we please give reality some respect. Regarding the Super Bowl…
- The Steelers made two crucial mistakes that cost them 14 points.
- Statistically, the game was even in every category.
- The Steelers had the ball with 2:00 left and one timeout to drive for the winning touchdown and fell short.
- The game was in doubt even though the Pack held a 21-3 halftime lead.
Likewise, the Packers 2011 campaign has the ball-licking media anointing Rodgers as Jesus with shoulder pads and, again, give the man credit, he is playing at a 123 QB rating, which will shatter every existing record–and he’s doling it when Tom Brady and Drew Brees are having legitimate MVP seasons.
Reality is the Devil, though…Regarding the ’11 Packers…
- They flat suck on defense with the second worst unit in the league.
- Their rushing game comes in at number 29 on the same hit parade.
- They are the most extreme example, perhaps in NFL history, of a one-dimensional team–passing offense or bust.
- Green Bay’s one win against a Super Bowl worthy opponent was in Week 1, a 76-point shootout against the Saints.
- Of their eleven wins, five have come against seriously flawed 7-5 teams–the Lions, Bears, Falcons, Broncos, and G-Men.
- Put another way, the Pack’s 2011 slate has them playing the NFC Central teams twice, not to mention the AFC West.
- The seemingly only other quality NFC team besides Green Bay and the Holy Men are the untested 49ers.
Packers’ fans will rightly counter that every team’s schedule is at the mercy of NFL parity, and Green Bay can only play teams that the league demands they play.
True enough, but two teams in the AFC are much more balanced than the Packers and can make life difficult for Aaron Rogers.
No disrespect to Houston, but losing Schaub to IR was a killer and Andre Johnson’s hamstrings don’t allow the Texans Super Bowl contender status.
New England? Their defense is the only one worse than Green Bay’s.
That leaves the Rat Birds and Steelers. Both are balanced on both sides of the ball and can create havoc for a passing team.
Baltimore has to prove they can beat Pittsburgh in the playoffs.
Pittsburgh wants revenge…
Aaron Rodgers just might have to be better than Jesus for the Pack to repeat.
For the Steelers to serve Green Bay that bitter gruel of revenge, they probably have to win out or take the long, long road through Baltimore in the playoffs.
It starts tonight at home against the defensively game, but offensively gameless Brownies. Vegas is giving Cleveland 14 points before the coin toss.
Unless the Steelers come out limp and useless like they did two years ago on a frigid Ohio evening, the Browns will need fourteen more points.
Pittsburgh 38, Cleveland 10
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