With the winter teams getting a night off last night really most of sports radio yesterday was focused on the Patriots playoff picture. Who are the going to face? Which match-up favors the Pats? Who don’t you want to see in two weeks? Etc.
Well, we know this for sure. They are only going to get one of three opponents. We can rule out the #3 seeded Texans. For now. If somehow Cincinnati, who backed into the playoffs, can knock off the Texans, you know you’re playing the Bengals. If the Texans pull it out, you’re getting the winner of the Broncos vs. Steelers game.
So Cincinnati, Denver, or Pittsburgh…
Are we all in agreement that we don’t want to face Pittsburgh? I know their defense scares me out of those three teams. Sure there was that old mystique of Belichick never losing twice to the same team in a season, some would argue that the Pats beat themselves when they faced the Steelers in the regular season, but the bottom line is they scare me. So again, given my choice, I choose not to play Pittsburgh.
The Bengals are an interesting match-up. They had some really good wins this season but couldn’t beat the class in their division. They lost to the Ravens and Steelers in all four games. So does that mean they can’t play against the really good teams in the AFC? I don’t think it means that. Their defense is actually pretty good and could give the Patriots problems. But could their rookie quarterback play well against the Pats defensive scheme that Beichick draws up? Um, probably. I think I could start for a team and look good against the Pats defense. So would I like the Bengals over the Steelers, sure, but you know what? I would rather face the third opponent.
The Broncos. If by some Jesus miracle the Texans can win and the inferior Broncos can knock off the Steelers, the Broncos would come to Foxboro. I think everyone would be psyched for this one. Not that it’s a guaranteed win, but just like the Pats really beat themselves against Pittsburgh, the Broncos beat themselves against the Pats. Stupid turnovers were paramount to Denver losing that game. But given how the team played after that game, it makes me think that the Pats would have their number in a playoff game.
So I ask you guys. Who do you want to face?