Baltimore @ Pittsburgh
I've heard a lot this week about how physical this match-up is going to be. In fact, their first couple games were so intense that they led to multiple fines and the players involved complaining that Roger Goodell wants them to play touch football. Here's what I think Roger Goodell should do for this game: Make them play touch football, literally. That'd really stick it to 'em eh?
Green Bay @ Atlanta
The first match-up between these two was close throughout and felt like a playoff game. In fact, some considered it a possible playoff preview. Once again, it seems most everyone is going with the Packers on the road. While they proved last week that they can win a road playoff game, I think this may be a case of the Falcons being undervalued because they didn't play last week and everyone forgets that they were the best team in the conference for the whole regular season. Can Green Bay pull the upset? Certainly. Will they? I don't think so. How's that for definitive analysis!?
Seattle @ Chicago
If there's a singular play that may come to define the Seahawks' season it's Marshawn Lynch's 67 yard TD tun. Not just because it was one of the greatest runs in the league's history, but also because it's a metaphor for this year's team. If you count, there are nine Saints that get a hand on Lynch, nine times he could have been stopped along the way, kind of like the nine times Seattle lost this season. And even though he got slowed down by some of those would-be tacklers he kept running, even though it seemed like he wouldn't be able to score. It would be too ridiculous for him to score on a play like that, much like it would be too ridiculous for the Hawks to get to the playoffs with a season like that, but that didn't stop the team, much in the same way it didn't stop Lynch. By the end of the run Lynch leapt into the end zone and told everyone else to suck it, and, here's another chance for the Hawks to tell the haters to suck it.
New York Jets @ New England
It's fitting that the Jets came into this season talking a bunch of shit and now they're going to go out the same way. I don't know that I expected anything different from them, but that doesn't take away from the fact that's it's idiotic. Has talking trash to the Patriots ever worked? Actually it probably worked a lot in their first three or four decades of their existence, but I was concentrating more on the last ten years.