Mr. President: Mr. Woodson and His Associates Are Here to See You
This whole "making NFL playoff picks" thing has been fun, but the two-week gap between the conference championships and the Super Bowl has thrown off my rhythm. The Philadelphia sports pages are dominated with the Eagles' off-season moves, the Phillies reporting to spring training, and the Flyers and Sixers jockeying for playoff position. I've been too busy to get a read on who feels good and who's still injured, and even if I had the time, I'm not sure I want to wade into the circus that is media coverage of a game that has a two-week lead-in. (Questions like "Ben, what did you have for breakfast," I'm just not holding my breath waiting for the answer.)
Add to the fact that it's the Super Bowl, which means anything can happen, and you really got me as to what is going to happen. Defensive struggle? Shootout? Is it experience or the hot hand? Who steps up and who chokes? You got me.
Still, over the course of these playoffs, I went exactly 5-5. So I have to make a pick, if only to break the tie. So here goes: Packers 35, Steelers 27. Some random thoughts:
* I was actually surprised when the line came out and the Packers were favored. All along, the look-ahead bet was AFC giving four against NFC. I guess that was assuming the Patriots were the AFC representative?
* Still, I think, after some early-in-the-game jitters, Aaron Rodgers picks up where he left off three weeks ago in Atlanta, and just starts throwing seeds all over the place. I think there's going to be a fair amount of big plays and not a whole lot of field goal or even red zone situations.
* On the other side of the ball, I think this is where the Ben Roethlisberger show finally comes to an end. Not that 27 points is a bad day at the office against a championship-caliber defense. But there's too much pass rush and too much athleticism in the secondary to keep up with.
* The Steelers will actually have a shot at the end for the tie with a TD and 2-point conversion, but a pick by Charles Woodson will cement the win for the Pack. President Obama, Mr. Woodson and his associates will in fact see you in the White House, and he will deliver said picked ball to you with his signature on it and a note: "You can come watch us play in Green Bay any time you want, Mr. President."