It’s the Pack and the Stillers in the Super Bowl, dudes.
The Jets crashed and burned (You should believe me when I say that that pun was totally unintended. Weird.) and the Bears resembled a cast of men trying out for Friday Night Lights, which made it not all that difficult, honestly for the Steelers and Packers to win the NFC and AFC divisional titles respectively today. This is not to take away from respectable performances from both of these teams, no way. But it’s just a lot easier when your opponents – the people who have somehow risen to second place, which is to say right behind you – look just that bad.
Chicago suffered a string of quarterback injuries and overall lackluster performance from starter Jay Cutler and replacement Todd Collins, leaving them with their third pick, Caleb Hanie, who gave what was arguably the most exciting showing of the night, actually putting some points on the board.
Image courtesy ChicagoBears.com
Twitter went nuts on Cutler when he left the game in the third quarter and didn’t return. (“He’s dead to me,” one Bears fan said directly to me.) But his coaches and sports analysts in the know say that pulling him had nothing to do with his toughness. Linebacker Brian Urlacher, for one, wouldn’t hear it.
“I don’t give a shit about players around the league who are watching the game from home. It’s easy to talk shit about someone while you’re sitting on your couch watching the game. That’s all I’m saying. I don’t understand it. I don’t get it. Let them sprain their MCL – or do whatever he did to his knee – and let them get back in the game. Let’s see them do that, see how well they run the ball, or see how well they do at whatever position they play. I don’t agree with it. It’s easy to write that stuff on the Internet.”
Urlacher was responding to players like Maurice Jones-Drew from the Jaguars who tweeted:
Kerry Rhodes from the Arizona Cardinals:
Rhodes apologized later, saying, “I wanna apologize to cutler if he tore a ligament in his knee! Not good.” One will note that neither Rhodes’s nor Jones-Drew’s team was anywhere near the playoffs at the end.
In Pittsburgh, Sanchez could do nothing right in the first half and neither could his defense. Roethlisberger and his offensive line were on point, rendering a solid defense apparently, well, defenseless, in their wake. Even though the Steelers went scoreless in the second half and the Jets staged a comeback that made the game less than a depressing blowout, it wasn’t enough. The rivers flowed with wine and the Steelers emerged victorious.
Also Rex Ryan threw his headset on the ground unceremoniously, and a lot of guys slowly took in the knowledge that they’d be looking for work again very soon. As in now.
The Steelers-Packers Super Bowl matchup in Dallas should be fun to watch, at the very least. Who’s your pick?