I ran out of time yesterday to fill out the second two games, so here you go:
Miami Dolphins @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Miami started the year going 1-4 with their lone win over the lowly Browns. Coincidentally, a win against the Steelers started a six game winning streak. A loss against the Ravens broke up that streak, which heralded three wins in a row leaving the Dolphins at ten wins. What’s more remarkable is that the Dolphins lost their starting quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, towards the end of the season and were still able to look competitive.
Pittsburgh started the season off with a 4-1 record. An injury to Ben Roethlisberger in the Miami game prompted a four game skid bringing their recrod to 4-5. When Roethlisberger returned, they were able to win their remaining games to go 11-5. It’s evident that when Big Ben is healthy, the Steelers are capable of beating any team having gone 11-1 when Ben plays the majority of a game. Not to be forgotten, LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown are amongst the NFL’s finest at their position and will bring their own set of problems to the Miami defense.
I really can’t foresee Miami winning this game unless they knock Ben Roethlisberger out again. I’m taking Pittsburgh over Miami, 31-10.
New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers
Where have we heard this story before? The New York Giants have an up and down season and end up taking a wildcard spot. It’s hard to write a narrative about the Giants without mentioning the Odell Beckham, Jr. (OBJ) drama to start the season. One of the league’s best receivers had a hard time keeping his emotions in check and it translated on the field. After an astonishing +200 yard game against the Baltimore Ravens, it seemed that those issues had been put to rest. Since that game, the Giants have gone 9-2 and were able to beat the Cowboys both times this year. It’s hard not to like a New York Giants team in the playoffs.
Green Bay has had a very interesting season. They spent the first seven weeks alternating wins and losses, they lost the next four games, and then won the rest to end the season 10-6. One very unique detail was their lack of running backs due to injury. The Packers went through six running backs, most succumbing to injury, before deciding to put relatively-unknown Ty Montgomery in the spot. Montgomery is listed as a wide receiver on the roster but played a fair amount of running back before..in high school. Montgomery ended up being the leading rusher with an impressive 5.9 yards per carry.
As I mentioned before, it’s tough to count out a New York Giants team sitting in the wildcard spot. Despite Green Bay winning earlier in the season, I’m taking the New York Giants over Green Bay, 28-21.