1) CIN-PIT. Simms will be there. If the Bengals somehow win in Pittsburgh, they will solidify their chances in the wild card. Cinc has a lot of good young players. Deep on DL, solid on OL. They can be good for the next 3-4 years. Dalton, Simpson and Green have all done well as young players, but surprising how they are winning. Bengals coaches treating Dalton like a #1 pick in the entire draft. A lot of bad years have enabled a lot of high draft picks that have restocked the team. Pittsburgh has not looked like a suspect 8-3 team. Steelers have fought through a lot of injuries (OL, LB) this year and they are rounding into form w players like Woodley (best pass rusher) coming back. Polamalu is playing “exceptionally” well the past few weeks. Roethlisberger overcomes so many things, and he is the difference.
2) NYG-GB. Francesa notes that the Giants are banged up. Boley and Bradshaw are gametime decisions. Yes, says Simms, it is a ‘circle the wagons’ game for the Giants. Simms expects them to play well vs the Packers. The Giants defense must be on edge after the poor performance last week. He doesn’t know if the Giants will win it, but they will have a shot somewhere in Q4. The GB defense plays a reckless style, they get turnovers in the secondary, and if they give up the big play, Aaron Rodgers is back on the field for them.
Simms also previewed the NYG-GB matchup on Showtime (minute 2:09):
“The Giants have to win (games in general) because of their pass rush. They are not getting it done. You look at Green Bay, I think the defensive stats lie a little bit because when they need to make a stop, they seem to get it done. Their defense is aggressive. It matches their offense. I think that is (one of the reasons) why they are 11-0.” Simms takes the Packers.
Separately, Collinsworth is hoping that Tuck may have gotten a little bit healthier last week + Packers Guard Josh Sitton out today = Giants upset.
3) DEN plays a grind-it-out game, stingy defense. Then you make a mistake and they take advantage. They have two top end pass rushers (DE Elvis Dumervil and rookie LB Von Miller). Francesa notes that Tebow runs it more in Q4, AFTER the opposition is tired.
UltimateNYG here. Wonder remarked before the Saints game that he felt that the Giants would have a better chance at the upset vs the Packers at home than vs the Saints in the road dome. We have learned over the years to never underestimate the Giants vs the undefeated teams. I was there when the gmen beat the undefeated 1998 Broncos. And of course, none of us will ever forget ’18 wins and 1 Giant loss.’ I am not going to go predicting an upset, but let’s all have our antennae up- the Giants are 6.5 point dogs, a line that begs you to take the 11-0 powerhouse. And when they beg you to take one team, it means go the other way. Be careful out there, sports fans, as bad as the Giants were on Monday night, the bookies are baiting you to take the Packers. Whether it is a back door cover or a kookie upset, do not be surprised to see the Giants in this game. No predictions here. The Giants could also get blown out and that would not surprise me either. But maybe, just maybe, the Packers had a mini-bye after Turkey Day and will show up a little flat. And maybe, just maybe, the Giants offense protects the ball. The Giants will need a perfect game for a win; we’ll look for a competitive game this afternoon.