Listened to Phil Simms talk with Mike Francesa in the final segment of the NFL Now. Weird how Simms talked most of the ‘double dip’ about how good the Packers were, then came out with his prediction that the Steelers would win 23-16.
Simms noted how the Packers RBs are perhaps their only possible glaring weakness. This we have known all year, and it was one of the reasons why the Packers’ chances were discounted for winning a title. They had all of those injuries, dug a hole for themselves, and then Rodgers got the concussion. To come through all of that and still make the playoffs is incredible. Let’s remember, they needed a little help.. in the form of the Giants blowing that 31-10 lead to the Eagles at home. If the Giants win that game (and the final one vs the Skins, which they did) the Packers are not even in the playoffs! Incredible!
For the Steelers, the weakness is their beat up and injured OL.
Simms noted that the Steelers are not a great pass rushing team but they make it very hard on you to score TDs in the red zone.
Simms was convinced it was going to be a low scoring game.
Final thoughts from Wonder are the opposite. “Everyone in Vegas thinks this is going to be a low scoring game with the Steelers, but I think it is going to be a wide open high scoring game that is won by the Packers. The Steelers OL are all hurt, they are all banged up, they won’t be able to run the ball despite what everyone is saying,” says Wonder. When I concurred with him and noted that the Jets (weaker DLmen) weren’t able to capitalize on the Steeler’s deficiency at OL, but that the Packers will be able to have much greater success, Wonder agreed completely. He sees the Steelers slinging the ball all over the field, because they won’t be able to run the ball. So the score will go over, and Pittsburgh will have some turnovers because Big Ben will be pressured and will throw some picks.
We’ll see whether that insight was helpful in giving us a better idea to how the game unfolds, but regardless of how it does, we all hope for a competitive and entertaining final game of the 2010 season.