John’s Well-Educated Guesses: Week 15

It’s always been my dream to start a blog series that would go until the end of the season.  This is one blog in that series, and I will answer for my predictions next week. 
Disclaimer: My takes are almost always correct.  So buckle up- buckaroo.

What a yucky game against the Dolphins.  Glad that’s over.  It’s weird because I still kind of expect us to win that game.  We got all the stops we needed and I figured we would pull off some magic at the end.  Why didn’t we go for it on that 4th and 10?  Why did we roll out half our defensive players?  Is anybody reading this??  Anyway, I say let’s throw it out.  We have a couple of those games a year when everything is just….off.  I’m just praying that this is not what it’s supposed to look like having a 40 year old QB. (Yikes)

Anyway, here we go.  Biggest game of the year.  Battle for the number 1 seed.  I’ve been hoping that Pittsburgh would have dropped a game or two along the way, but they have eeked out a few close ones.  They are the class of the AFC right now, so you gotta beat the best if you wanna be the best.  

Before last week I was not concerned about Pitt at all.  We work their bitch-ass every time we play.  Six out of the last Seven if I remember correctly.  They keep trotting out that same zone defense they have been running for years.  Brady always has the answers to that test.  

Their offense is seriously explosive.  Big Ben is no longer the iron-man he once was.  He can still evade pressure and make people miss, but he is not as good at it as he once was.  Antonio Brown is the best receiver in the league, but Malcolm Butler has normally been able to contain him.  The big X-Factor is Leveon Bell.  He was unable to play in the AFC Championship game last year, and I expect them to use him heavily.  He will get a lot of carries, but I also expect them to split him out wide.  Kenyon Drake ate our lunch last week doing the same thing.  

This year, the Steelers also vowed to play more man-to-man defense in order to finally top the Patriots.  I am still skeptical that they have the personnel to do that.  Brady is excellent at spreading them out and finding the weak link.  You either have to be 5 deep at CB or have a super-elite defensive line to beat him.  I don’t think the Steelers have that.

I’m already getting sweaty just typing this.  Sunday can’t come soon enough.

Prediction:  More picks for Brady – Last week I called out that Brady would be interception free.  I was wrong.  

Prediction:  Bell catches 7 passes – As I mentioned above, I think Bell will be used heavily in the passing game and they will split him out to get mismatches.  (This will also cause me to lose my fantasy football playoff game.)

Prediction:  Bell goes over 100 on the ground – Can you tell I think he is going to kill us?  Lets hope he pulls a Ladanian Tomlinson an sits on the sideline with a hood on….like the AFC Championship game last year.

Prediction:  31-28 Pittsburgh Wins – I know that this is sacrilegious, but the Patriots just don’t do themselves any favors at the end of the season.  We are a banged up football team, and last week’s disaster was really telling for me.  I am hoping I am wrong on this prediction.