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NFL PLAYOFFS: FOR WHOM DOES THE BELL TOLL IN STEEL TOWN?

NFL PLAYOFFS: FOR WHOM DOES THE BELL TOLL IN STEEL TOWN?

joe flacco

 

Everything fell together pretty nicely for Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers this season.  Despite a plethora of injuries on defense this team handled their business securing the AFC North division championship with a week 17 win over Cincinnati.  Their reward – a home game against division rival Baltimore who managed to back into the playoffs by beating a dysfunctional Cleveland Browns team in the final week of the season.  The teams who split their meetings this season will play for a third time, and even though it looks like both are both heading in opposite directions this game will be much closer than everyone thinks.

Pittsburgh boasts a two time Super Bowl winning QB who is a different player at home, the top RB in the league in LeVeon Bell and the top WR in the league in Antonio Brown.  The Steel Curtain defense is more of a shower curtain but they are playing inspired ball right now and are the benefactor of multiple long drives per game by the offense.  The O-line is finally coming together, and the special teams unit is one of the best in the league.

This is exactly why the Baltimore Ravens are primed for the upset.  The simple explanation is that this is the NFL and the outcomes in the most obvious games never seem turn out as expected.  The Ravens however are no strangers to big games and one can’t help but to notice that this could be the team of destiny in this year’s playoffs.  They blew games against Houston and San Diego and needed an epic fail from the Chargers against the Chiefs to get in.  John Harbaugh is right at home in these types of games and Joe Flacco and that offense can score from anywhere on the field.  Gary Kubiak’s zone blocking running game led by Justin Forsett is this team’s nova cane, as it took virtually all season to set in and now it looks unstoppable late in games.  The X factor is LeVeon Bell’s hyper extended knee and how it will hold up.  Even if he can go the game is going to be close, but Bell’s availability is severely in question and cutting effectively seems improbable.

Get used more shots of Mike Tomlin’s saucer plate eyes than you can handle… sorry Steeler fan this one is out of your control, and if Pittsburgh loses, the LeVeon Bell excuse is primed and ready to pile onto the media.  Baltimore who will challenge New England in the divisional round will give the Steelers fits this weekend.

By Des Boodram


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