NFL Final Four
January 19, 2017
Those who say you have to have a great quarterback to make the Super Bowl are saying their “I told you so’s” this week. Look at the four quarterbacks playing this Sunday in the Conference Finals. Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, and Matt Ryan. Three future hall of famers along with one potential hall of famer (Ryan). Championship Sunday is coming up and the matchups are Green Bay at Atlanta and Pittsburgh at New England. Thanks to the before-mentioned quarterbacks, it could be epic.
As a quartet, the four combined for 135 touchdown passes during the regular season while throwing just 29 interceptions. In the NFC matchup, the only thing I see stopping Atlanta and Green Bay’s offenses is the goal line. I believe both teams will score over 30 points.
Falcons’ Matt Ryan
I am basing this on the eye test from what I have seen of late and on some recent numbers. Since November 20, Ryan and Rodgers have combined for a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 41-to-3. Both teams have averaged 33 points a game since that November date. And some of that productivity was in bad weather. Sunday’s game will be in a dome so weather will not be a factor.
I am going with Atlanta based on the fact that they have a better defense and are at home. Still, it is hard to go against Rodgers. Dallas fans can relate as they remember Rodgers heroic pass late Sunday night to set up the Packers game-winning field goal.
Patriots’ Tom Brady (not feeling deflated at all)
The AFC matchup marks the first time in 12 years that Brady will square off against Roethlisberger. Big Ben and the Steelers won that battle before going on to win the Super Bowl. Both are playing better now than ever. It is so hard to go against New England when they are at home. But Roethlisberger has more weapons at his disposal. He has the best runningback on the field in Le’Veon Bell and the best receiver on the field in Antonio Brown.
Unless Brady plays out of his mind, I like Pittsburgh. I am basing this on the fact that Bell is averaging over 150 rushing yards a game over his last five outings. He will keep Brady of the field with his productivity. And, hey, the Steelers are 2-0 in conference championship games under head coach Mike Tomlin.
Chargers Are Moving
I was vacationing in San Diego last week when it was announced the Chargers were moving to Los Angeles. Trust me, San Diegans are not happy. Now there are two teams in LA. A city that could not support one team a few decades ago. And neither current franchise is that good.
Did you know that from Dec. 1 through the end of the regular season, the two NFL franchises now in Los Angeles, the Rams and the Chargers, went 0-10.
How upset is the community you ask? Former fans left thousands of Chargers items and gear at the stadium parking lot.
Then there is this. A group of moving companies in San Diego have banded together in protest of the Chargers move north to Los Angeles.
At least two dozen moving companies from the San Diego area have vowed not to assist the team relocation from San Diego to LA. The group, which also got eight L.A. moving companies to join the boycott, announced that it is “totally fine” moving team owner Dean Spanos out of San Diego.
Even the franchise’s new head coach Anthony Lynn is confused about the move. During the now-Los Angeles Chargers’ news conference that introduced Lynn as the team’s new head coach, Lynn flubbed his opening line and called them by their old San Diego name.
I guess it is understandable that Lynn botched the name of his employer. The Chargers did spend 50 years in San Diego.