Now I know what you're thinking about this time of year, Who can possibly beat New England, in the playoffs with home field advantage throughout? Well the only teams who have proven so multiple times are the Broncos, Ravens, and of course the Giants (on the big stage twice as you probably know). So this year, who can beat the Patriots with the unstoppable and constantly changing offense that they have? Well, my answer to you is none other than the Steel City natives themselves, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers have by far the most explosive offense on the AFC, and could really be the only team (besides the Patriots) who could beat the Falcons in a shootout (the Falcons have by far the best and most explosive in the league, and have really just outscored all their opponents this season, hard not to see them in my Super Bowl picture).
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Offense isn't the only thing Pittsburgh has under its belt, their defense has been great in the playoffs against a young Dolphin team, with 3 turnovers in their wild card win (2 fumbles and an INT) and going into the Chiefs' house this week the winner of the turnover battle will ultimately be the winner of that game. The Steelers are also red-hot right now, with an eight game win streak including their victory over the Dolphins last week, making their momentum an even bigger threat to deal with. Although the Steelers may have the upper hand, it's still no match for Tom Brady and the team under him in playoff mode, we haven't seen a team like this ever, a team so unstoppable in the playoffs that they are compared to the Alabama Football of the NFL in that you know they're always good, and always one of the best teams if not the best.
Happy New Year everyone, welcome to 2017, however it may not look like a new year in college football, the same matchup as last year in the National Championship, Alabama and Clemson, round 2. Alabama beats Washington in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, 24-7, in the past two years in semi-final games only allowing 7 points. The offense had a rough time all game, but that seemed to be because of Lane Kiffin's play calling, maybe he should go ahead and leave Alabama early so they don't waste so much time on offense. What really led the Tide to the end zone this game was their defense setting up drives, and the good old-fashioned, Alabama ground-n-pound football, wit Bo Scarbrough in the backfield. This was a much lower scoring game than a lot of people thought, and of course the defense was heavily involved on both teams. No doubt though Washington looked like they deserved the playoff spot they received, and was the most well-put-together offense Alabama has faced all year. Onto the next game, the matchup experts thought would be the closest semi-final we've ever had, really wasn't that exciting. A 31-0 Clemson blowout over the Buckeyes sent a message to the College Football Committee, "You made the right choice with Clemson, not so much with OSU." This game actually reminded a lot of people about, wait for it, last year's playoff picture. It's actually funny how this almost worked out exactly the same- in the 2015-16 season, Clemson was ranked #1, 14-0, and won over a battle-tested Sooners team 37-17. Alabama, ranked #2 with one loss, took on Michigan State, and shut them out 38-0 in the semi-final, then went to beat Clemson in a shootout, 45-40. This year looks very similar, just flip 'Bama and Clemson; Alabama is the #1 team in the country, on a big 26-game win streak and are 14-0, winning their playoff game against a fairly matched up Washington team 24-7-- Clemson at #2, 13-1, have shut out Ohio State 31-0. Could this be the year for Clemson to beat Alabama, or will the Tide Roll Clemson once again in the National Championship Game? This will make for one great matchup, and a great possible trilogy between the teams.
This week, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee met to put four teams in the playoffs for the third year. Once again, Alabama was in the playoff, the only team to have made the Playoff each year and twice as the number 1 seed. Two teams also returned to the playoffs at the 2 and 3 seeds, Clemson and Ohio State. Clemson looks to get revenge on Alabama for last year's performance in the National Championship, and Ohio State looks to win their second College Football Playoff National Title, and maybe some more bragging rights on the Crimson Tide. The new kids on the block are Washington, which was a highly disputed choice amongst the Playoff Committee. Putting them in over two B1G teams, one being the Conference Champion Penn State, the other Michigan; Washington has a lot to prove going up against Alabama in the first round of the playoff, since many College Football experts, like myself, have called for Penn State to be in the playoff. After all, the playoff committee's job is to put the four best teams in the playoff, factoring in Conference Championships, the records, the wins, the losses, strength of schedule, when they lost, and current ranking. Washington got in the playoff most likely because they dominated their Conference Championship game over Colorado, and Penn State dominated really the second half of their game. In both games, the Conference Champs only let the other team score three points, just Penn State scored enough to come back and win the game, while Washington extended their lead, again and again. In my opinion, the team that Penn State should be in for is either Clemson or Ohio State. Clemson and PSU lost to the same Pittsburgh team, just when Penn State played Pitt, the Panthers were 2-0, and when Clemson played Pitt they were a weak 5-4. On the other hand with Ohio State, OSU beat Michigan, who beat PSU early in the season. PSU beat OSU later in the season, by a field goal, unranked, while OSU was #2. Regardless, the Committee had a reason to put these teams in the playoff and thought these four teams were the best in the nation. Should suit up for one interesting playoff season.