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NFL Preview Week 13:
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03 December 2010

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco

Pittsburgh Steelers at the Baltimore Ravens
Broadcast:  8:20, NBC

Defense.  Both Pittsburgh and Baltimore exude hard-hitting, in the trenches, tough defense.  Baltimore won a Super Bowl on the haunches of its defensive play.  Pittsburgh has one of the best defensive coordinators in the league, Dick LeBeau, and the players to execute his schemes.  LeBeau has 36 years of coaching experience and is one of the great minds of the game. 
Baltimore has a history of tough, vicious defense, embodied in their starting linebacker, Ray Lewis.  Lewis is one of those players that changed the way the game is played because of his combination of speed and power.  Along with his intensity and experience, he serves as the defense’s leader, both on and off the field.  You can bet he’ll be up for this game, a showdown of two teams that could easily make it to the play-offs.

This Sunday, you have to go with the home team.  Pittsburgh’s starting quarterback, Ben Roethilsberger, is wearing a cast on his foot as he’ll have to play with a couple broken bones.  With limited mobility, he’ll be down a notch against an already tough defense.  It will be close, but the Ravens will probably pull this one out.


New York Jets at the New England Patriots
Broadcast:  Monday Night Football, 8:30 PM, ESPN

Tom BradyBoth the Jets and the Patriots are playing lights out football, boasting 9-2 records going into this game.  Because both teams are in the AFC East division, this game serves as a quasi play-off game for the lead in the division, and the inside track to the play-offs. 
New England has looked great as of late on the shoulders of their three-time Super Bowl winning quarterback, Tom Brady.  Last week against the Detroit lions, he threw for 341 yards and four touchdowns.  The Patriots have a host of players that aren’t your run-of-the-mill super star, household names.  Guys like Danny Woodhead (running back) and Rob Gronkowski (Tight End) are making real live contributions to a team that is coming together at the right time.  With arguably the best coach in the league in Bill Belichick, the Patriots look tough to beat.

In walks the New York Jets, a team that ranks 2nd overall in the NFL in rushing yards, and 4th overall in rushing defense.  Their young quarterback, Mark Sanchez, is having one of the best games of his career, and off-season acquisitions such as LaDanian Tomlinson (running back) and Santonio Holmes (wide receiver) are really paying off.  The Jets deserve some criticism though, as they needed overtime to win two of their games against teams that aren’t at the top of the NFL, the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions.  The Patriots lost to the Browns (in a shocker) but clobbered the Lions.  Many of their other wins have been in pretty close games.
This Sunday, the Patriots will roll.  They’re playing at home in Foxboro, and have plenty on the line to play for.  Belichick will have his team ready and Brady is peaking at the right time.  It won’t be a blow out, but the Patriots will end the game with a comfortable lead.

One Liner:  “Tom Brady needs to cut his freakin hair.” Referring to Tom Brady’s ridiculous golden locks.  He’s let them grow out like a ‘60s war protester and he’s setting a bad example for kids with dads like me who can’t stand dudes with long hair.  He is married to Victoria Secret model Gisile Bundchen, so what the hell do I know.  If you want to know how Brady gets his women, Saturday night live put on a pretty good skit, and you can watch it here.

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