So the Jets and Steelers squared off for the AFC title and the Steelers won. Stunning no?? What else would you expect? One is a franchise that for just about 40 years has represented true excellence, stability and success. The other is a one hit wonder. A January miracle 42 years ago, but mostly an also ran. I will credit Rex Ryan for getting New York into the Final 4 in back to back seasons for the 1st time ever, but when push came to shove, his big mouth and defense did not cut the mustard. Their supposed power running game had all of a yard in the 1st half. On the other side, you had a Pittsburgh team who needed a couple of first downs to book their passage to the Super Bowl. Did they run, run, run and hope the defense held? In essence playing "NOT" to lose? No! With 2:50 left in the game, they throw on 2nd down and complete a pass to Heath Miller. Then after forcing the Jets to burn their remaining time outs, they still don't go max conservative and throw the ball on 3rd down. Ben Roethlisberger buys time like no one else, hits the rookie for the conference championship. While as a lifelong NYJ fan, had to doff my cap to the greatest football franchise of my generation.
Here's a thought we'll hit on today. Has the NFL become the ultimate "Whose Best Now" league? It's partially true in major league baseball, but look at recent champions and the lack of drama. Lakers, Duke, Auburn, the Blackhawks in the NHL last spring. They weren't complete locks, but once the season took form, it was obvious they were one of the 2-3 teams to beat and finished the deal. Call it parity, watered down, free agent impacted, all of it. The NFL makes you change your mind week to week about who might win on Super Sunday.
As far as the NFC title game, I can't believe how many idiots are questioning Jay Cutler. We're hearing about body language and attitude. I think it's a big, giant bowl of crapola! Either he's in or out. Period! End of list. Have you not watched this guy for 5 years now??? The fiery, heart on sleeve personality isn't his thing. The big question is why did Chicago have a "deer in headlight's" clown like Todd Collins as their back-up? It was obvious Caleb Hanie was more mobile against the Packer rush that was killing Cutler, plus the kid can throw. In a game like this, the coaches must be ready at the snap of a finger to implement Plan B. Awful. Plus it was obvious Cutler didn't have it early on. Kudos to the Packer defense. I mentioned last week how they were the overlooked factor Championship Sunday. Lot of talk obviously about the Pitt, Jet and Chi defense, but no way Green Bay makes it this far without that very athletic, diverse group. Well done. This is an awesome Super Bowl matchup. From my chair, the most intriguing since the Cowboys of Staubach and Steelers following the 1978 season.
We will also hit on the Oregon win at Corvallis on Saturday. Way too many Beaver fans getting way too ahead of themselves about a fair to poor team just because the Ducks are struggling on the hardwood. This was a bad slap of reality to one of the worst D-1 programs in America the past 20+ years.