My Review of QUEEN and Adam Lambert at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena on July 21, 2017

by

Terri Bey

QUEEN sings the classic anthem, “We Will Rock You,” and rock Cleveland they did, at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on July 21, 2017. Two of the remaining and surviving members of QUEEN, along with 2012 “American Idol” runner up Adam Lambert, and their backing band put on a brilliant show, full of QUEEN hits and a couple of surprises. The concert included a fantastic array of strobe lights, and computer graphics. The stage was also shaped like a guitar.  When. I saw them three years ago in Chicago, I didn’t think they could top themselves, but they did.

Overall, QUEEN and Adam Lambert were incredible. Musically,  the entire band was tight. Lambert is a wonderful frontman. Is he Freddie Mercury? No. Lambert even admitted it. He joked  about wearing a “gay suit.” Adam talked about how he was a fan, and all this was a tribute to Freddie. However,  Lambert is excellent for his role. What I liked, was at the end of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” he and Freddie Mercury, who was on the screen, traded lines, with the brilliant Mercury singing the final line. I loved Lambert’s costume changes. He interacts with Brian May and Roger Taylor beautifully.

Freddie Mercury was featured, of course. They showed him on screen singing the “Daaaayyyyoo,” and like Pavlov’s dogs,  we all gave him was he wanted. It was awesome. He got the biggest cheers, of course. What a frontman and lead singer. What command he had of an audience.  Freddie Mercury was the best ever

The entire band was very energetic onstage. They got the crowd going. Brian May is a living legend. What a great guitarist. May is also a really good showman, as well.  I loved his guitar solo. I loved how he still plays that solo to “Stone Cold Crazy” so well.  Of course, he sang, “Love of My Life,” as only he can, with Freddie Mercury on screen singing the last lines.

Roger Taylor had his drum battle. That was really good. Taylor is an underrated drummer, in my opinion. He was excellent, last night. Taylor has an excellent singing voice, and sang “I’m In Love With My Car,” and a brilliant version of “Under Pressure,” with Adam.

There was some really awesome special effects. In the beginning of the show, the screens show “Frank” the robot, which is on the cover of the band’s “News of the World” album” appearing to lift up the screens on the stage, revealing the band. During “Bicycle Race,” Adam Lambert has a pink bicycle with flowers, and on the screens above the stage, there are outlines of women bicycling. During “Killer Queen,” Adam Lambert is sitting on the robot’s head, which comes from under the stage. I don’t want to spoil the entire concert for anyone who has yet to see the show, so I will just say that the special effects are just phenomenal, as well as the music.

In closing, this was brilliant concert.  I highly recommend going to see QUEEN and Adam Lambert. I have seen a ton of concerts, and a ton of acts, and this is the best act going today.

Set list

We Will Rock You (Intro)
Hammer to Fall
Stone Cold Crazy
Another One Bites the Dust
Fast Bottomed Birls
Killer Queen
Two Fux
Don’t Stop Me Now
Bicycle Race
I’m In Love With My car
Get Down Make Love
I Want It All
Love of My Life – Brian
Somebody to Love
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Roger Drum Solo
Under Pressure
I Want to Break Free
You Take My Breath Away (Intro)

Who Wants to Live Forever
Brian’s Guitar Solo
Radio Ga Ga
Bohemian Rhapsody
Encore
We Will Rock  You
We are the Champions
God Save the Queen

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Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson Need to be Remembered

by

Terri Bey

Anyone reading this blog already knows this story by now.  On June 12, 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman were murdered by the alleged perpetrator, former Buffalo Bill RB O.J. Simpson, Nicole’s ex-husband. Now, before I continue, I am using the term “alleged,” because of obvious legal reasons, as Simpson was acquitted by the jury in October of 1995.  I don’t agree with the verdict, not at all. I just don’t want to get into legal trouble.  As I said, after a circus of a trial, the jury did bring back a rather stunning verdict of acquittal.

What is so unfortunate about the entire thing is that Ronald Goldman, and Nicole Simpson, the VICTIMS, got the shaft. They really did.  I heard very little about Ronald, in particular. I wish prosecutor Marcia Clark had talked about him a bit more.  The prosecution didn’t do as well a job, as I thought they should have, but that isn’t what this is about. In my opinion, the case was lost, when the decision was made to move the case to downtown Los Angeles.  Who cared about all the media outlets? This was about getting justice for the victims. The trial should have been kept in Brentwood, where the crime happened, so Simpson would have been tried in front of a “jury of his peers.”

Anyway, we need to remember Ron and Nicole on this, the 23rd year of their passing to remind people, that there were two human beings killed. We need to remember that two beautiful, young people, with their lives ahead of them, were snuffed out.  This was about what the trial should have been. This trial should NOT have been about “racist and corrupt cops,” or the corruption in the L.A. District Attorney’s Office.  I am NOT saying that those issues do NOT exist, but the trial was not the time to bring them up.  Two people got killed, and one of them, was a domestic violence victim.  THAT is what the trial was about.

As for that jury, I wish there would have been ONE person with some integrity to stand up, and not be blinded by O.J. Simpson’s charm and celebrity. I wish that person would have been like Henry Fonda’s  “Juror #8,” in “12 Angry Men,” except unlike the Fonda character, whose lone vote changes a sure guilty verdict to a not guilty verdict, this person would have changed the “not guilty” verdict to “guilty.” I wish that person would have stood their ground, no matter how long it took.

Ronald and Nicole are real the victims here, not a once privileged NFL star. Please remember Ron and Nicole. If you see or know someone in an abusive relationship, please get them help.

 

 

 

 

 

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How I Lost at Patriotism – And How We All Lose

This is an outstanding article. Sadly, NFL QB Colin Kaepernick is paying the price for “patriotism.”

The Angry Staff Officer

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine!

  • America: a Poem for July 4th (1911)

A few years ago, I traveled back to my Ohio hometown for Memorial Day weekend. It’s a small community, nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains in the eastern part of the state, and has seen some better times. The death of steel has hit the community hard – really hard. Fifteen to twenty percent unemployment is the norm. Every presidential candidate since Clinton has come through campaigning on the promise of bringing back the steel jobs – and none of them ever have.

But I wasn’t there to talk economics, I was there specifically to talk at the community’s memorial day event, which I was…

View original post 1,299 more words

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Summing Up Super Bowl LI Week: The Game and the Hall of Fame

Summing Up Super Bowl LI Week: The Game and the Hall of Fame

by

Terri Bey

Well, my NFL readers, we are officially in the NFL Off-Season, and suffering NFL withdrawal.  The 2016-17 NFL season is over, and Super Bowl LI is in the books. Unless you have been under a rock, the New England Patriots channeled their inner Strike The Gold, and came out of the clouds from a 25 point deficit in the 3rd quarter to beat the Atlanta Falcons in the first over-time period in Super Bowl history, by a score of 34-28. I compared the Patriots to Strike The Gold, because he was the type of horse that would drop back by double digit lengths, and lose touch from the leaders, and then make his run, as he did in the 1991 Kentucky Derby, which he won.  https://youtu.be/ATgn_HEGVq0 This was one of the most exciting Super Bowls, I have seen in years.  Adding to the excitement, was the announcement of the 2017 Class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There was also controversy over that, as well.  I will be covering all this in this blog, so please enjoy.

Let’s start with the Super Bowl.  Again, congratulations to QB Tom Brady for his 5th Super Bowl win, and his 4th SB MVP win. Congratulations to the entire Patriots organization for their 5th Lombardi. I know there is a ton of disappointment, but I want to congratulate the Falcons Organization for a fantastic year.  I know many folks see this as a “choke job” by Atlanta. I want to emphasize the positive, and state that the Patriots showed the heart of a champion,and WON the Super Bowl. This was an example of never giving up, and always being persistent.  The Patriots offense, even with their early miscues, and only scoring 3 points at the half, were wearing down that Falcons defense. That was key, because, by the 3rd quarter, and especially by the 4th quarter, viewers could see that the Falcons defenders were just exhausted, by the time Tom Brady and the Patriots were making their offensive comeback.

One has to give credit to the Patriots defense for making critical plays, as well. The strip sack by Donta Hightower, and the sack by Trey Flowers were crucial. Yes, some will blame Kyle Shanahan, then offensive coordinator for Atlanta, but the Patriots defenders had to make the plays. Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia really layed the hammer down when needed.  Yes, the Falcons made crucial errors, and the Patriots took advantage of them. That is how it goes.

Of course, one of the best parts of Super Bowl weekend, was seeing Commissioner Roger Goodell handing Patriots Owner Robert Kraft the Lombardi. That was so sweet. Many folks up in New England, and those who hate the Commissioner, Patriots fan or not, were waiting TWO YEARS , since the start of that ridiculous nonsense, called Deflategate, for Roger Goodell to FINALLY get his comeuppance, after his witch hunt of Tom Brady and the Patriots started , right after the 2014-15 AFC Championship Game.  Of course, the folks in Indiana must have had their hearts broken, when they saw their hero, Goodell, hand over that trophy to Kraft, and even WORSE , the next day, when Goodell had to hand over the SB MVP Trophy to Tom Brady.

My last words on Super Bowl LI are that we saw a Patriots team that would not give up. We saw a hard working team left for dead, overcome a 25 point deficit. Tom Brady showed everyone, even the doubters, and the haters, why he was, and is the greatest QB ever, by leading that team to victory. Brady is the best, and there is no doubt about it.

Now, I will comment about the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class. I think it is a good class.  The members are: QB Kurt Warner, RB Ladainian Tomlinson, RB Terrell Davis, Kicker Morten Andersen, Dallas Cowboys Owner  Jerry  Jones, DE  Jason Taylor, and Safety Kenny Easley.  I find it interesting that they put two running backs in the Hall of Fame, but that is just my view. I don’t have any issue with any of these players, as members of the Hall of Fame.The only slight complaint is that I would have maybe substituted Taylor with Safety Ty Law.  However, I hope Ty Law gets in next year.

However, that isn’t what the big deal is, concerning this year’s Hall of Fame Class.  It is who DID NOT get in.  Yes, wide receiver Terrell Owens did not get in again. I have heard all the stories, and I am not even a huge fan of Terrell Owens. However, I do feel that he is being kept out, because of a popularity contest. What I mean, is that some of the writers, who vote on the Hall of Fame, do not like him, because of his antics. The narrative is that, “He was not a good teammate.” “He destroyed locker rooms.”  I think this whole thing is ridiculous.  Owens’ numbers on the FIELD speak for themselves. Enough of these voters being the “moral police.”  The Hall of Fame voters just let Marvin Harrison in, and Harrison ALLEGEDLY was involved in a shooting. ( http://www.gq.com/story/marvin-harrison) Ray Lewis is up, next year, and most NFL fans know about his past. Randy Moss also has similar issues, as Owens,concerning getting along with teams. I just think there is a ton of hypocrisy, when it comes to these Hall of Fame votes.

Well, that is about it.  I hope that everyone will enjoy the offseason. I hope that the offseason will be uneventful, unless Commissioner Roger Goodell invents another scandal.  Enjoy the Draft, and I will be back with my NFL blogs, come September.  Take care.

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SUPERBOWL LI PREDICTION:Which Team’s Super Bowl Dream will be “Gone with the Wind?”

by

Terri Bey

“Fiddle, dee, dee.” “War, War, War,” complains Scarlett O’Hara in the classic film and book, “Gone With The Wind,” while surrounded by the Tarleton Twins, who just adore her. Now, tomorrow’s Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons won’t be a “war,” per se,  but I expect a great game, between these two teams. Both teams made it to the big dance, and I congratulate them. I wish both teams luck. We will have to see whether the Patriots will send a message to the Falcons, that  “tomorrow, will have to be another day”, or whether the Falcons will capture their first Super Bowl, and will tell the world that they’ll “never go hungry again.”

Now, that I have that out of the way, here is my analysis and prediction for Super Bowl XL. I hope you enjoy this blog, and feedback is welcome.

THE ATLANTA FALCONS

The Atlanta Falcons come to the Super Bowl with an 11-5 regular season record.  They have the NFL’s #1 ranked offense. QB Matt Ryan is likely going to be awarded the NFL’s MVP,  due to his fantastic year.  He threw for 4944 passing yards, and had a 69.9 completion percentage.  He threw 38 TDs and 7 INTs.  The Falcons have many weapons on offense, such as wide receivers Julio Jones, and Mohamed Sanu.  They have RB Devonta Freeman, and others.  This is a very potent offense.  Their defense is very fast.  They have an excellent coaching staff in head coach Dan Quinn, and outgoing offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

HOW THEY WIN

This is not Dan Quinn’s first rodeo, as this is his third Super Bowl appearance.  He was at this event twice with the Seahawks as their defensive coordinator.  He will have this team prepared. Matt Ryan must be careful with the ball.  Falcons must not turn the ball over, as the Patriots are the best at capitalizing on opponents’ mistakes.  The Falcons defense has to mix up zone coverage and man coverage, to try to confuse Tom Brady. The Falcons must hit Tom Brady.  The Falcons offensive line must protect Matt Ryan.  I realize that the team is “not worried” about Center Alex Mack’s ankle, but we will have to see what happens, when the bullets start flying, so to speak.

THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

The New England Patriots come to the Super Bowl with a 14-2 regular season record. This team boasts the NFL’s #2 ranked offense and the #1 ranked scoring defense. This is the team’s ninth Super Bowl appearance. If that is not a sign of continued excellence, I don’t know what is.  Legendary Patriots QB Tom Brady is in his 7th Super Bowl, and should he win, he would have 5 Super Bowls. Hall of Famer Charles Haley is the only other NFL player with 5 Super Bowl rings. Brady is an MVP candidate, and in the 12 games he played, after coming off his unwarranted suspension, he went on a tear. He threw 28 TDs and 2 INTs, making it the lowest TD to INT ratio in history. Brady threw for 3554 yards, and had a 67.4 completion rating. This is absolute amazing to see a top quarterback do, especially at age 39.

The team features their legendary coach Bill Belichick, and a pretty potent offense. This is a very adaptable offense.  They have wide receivers, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, and newly acquired Michael Floyd.  LeGarrette Blount, and Dion Lewis are the two main running backs. Blount has power and Lewis is very shifty and speedy. Tight End Michael Bennett has been working through injuries, but he has come through on critical situations.  The defense is  very opportunistic. They do a lot of gang tackling.  Donte Hightower, Alan Branch and Rob Ninkovich have been very crucial to stopping the run. Super Bowl 49 star, Malcolm Butler has blossomed into a top CB. The “Rutgers Trio,” Logan Ryan, Devin McCourty, and Duron Harmon , make their impact in the secondary, as well. As a fellow Rutgers graduate, they make me proud.

HOW THEY WIN

Coach Belichick has SIX Super Bowl rings, four as head coach of the New England Patriots, and two as defensive coordinator of the New York Giants, so he knows what he is doing. Now, how does he break the tie with the late, great Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Chuck Noll, who also has four rings as head coach?  The Patriots defense must confuse Matt Ryan. They have to get him off his spot. They have to hit Ryan. Don’t obsess too much over Julio Jones. Don’t put all your energy into covering Jones, or Ryan will just use his other weapons to beat you.  On offense, the offense line MUST PROTECT BRADY.  That is paramount.  Against this defense,  if I were Josh McDaniels, I would run the ball. Tom Brady will get his TDs, but I think that running the ball will work. It also keeps the Atlanta offense off the field. Scoring early would be a good idea.

WHO WINS AND WHY?

I realize that I am bucking many experts, on ESPN and NFL Network, and elsewhere, who say that Atlanta will win. I can understand why. The Falcons have a high-powered offense.  Matt Ryan is the hot, young QB. Many doubt the Patriots defense.  Many folks still on the “Pats can’t win without star TE Rob Gronkowksi.” bandwagon. Many folks were pushing an anti-Patriots and anti-Brady agendas, so that was their reasons for picking the Falcons. I get it.  I totally understand why all these folks are picking the Falcons.

I think they are wrong.  It is my experience that a team with a high-powered offense, like the Falcons does not win the Super Bowl. If you look back at many of these teams, like the 2007 Patriots, the 2008 Cardinals, and as recently as last year’s Panthers, there seems to be a trend that doesn’t favor the Falcons, in my opinion. Those offenses went up against very good to excellent defenses. While I realize that the Patriots have the 2nd ranked offense, their defense should not be overlooked.  I also feel that Belichick’s experience, and the experience of Tom Brady and many of the Patriot players will play a part in this game.

I think the scoring will be kept in the 20s.  I think the Patriots has the better defense. I see them forcing Matt Ryan into mistakes. I see the Patriots running the ball, and I see Tom Brady picking apart that defense, especially in the red zone. I also see Tom Brady as the MVP of the game.

PATRIOTS 28  FALCONS 24

 

 

 

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NFL: The Aftermath of Championship Sunday, and an Early Look at the Super Bowl Teams

Well, outside of the Pro Bowl, which will be played Sunday, January 29, 2017, in Orlando, Fl, the 2016-17 NFL Season has one more game to play. The AFC and NFL Championship games have both been played, and we have our two teams for the grand finale, Super Bowl 51, which will be played in Houston, TX, on February 5, 2017. The game will be aired on FOX, and kickoff is at 6:30pm, ET.  The two teams, who will be playing for the right to be called Super Bowl Champion, are the 2016 AFC Champion and Four Time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, and the 2016 NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons, who are looking for their first Super Bowl in the history of the franchise.  I congratulate both of these teams, and I hope for a great game, regardless of outcome.

In this blog, I will  by reviewing the two Championship Games, which were played this past Sunday,  January 22, 2017. I will be discussing how the Patriots and Falcons defeated their respective opponents, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Green Bay Packers, respectively. I will also give my thoughts on the two defeated teams. I will also give my first impression of the two Super Bowl teams, as well.

I am going to start with the NFC Championship Game, between the Falcons and the Packers. Falcons QB and MVP candidate Matt Ryan played like an MVP, as he has had all season. I love this guy. I always disregarded the doubters, who thought Ryan could not be an elite QB. Ryan was throwing the ball to several different receivers. He was poised in the pocket, and was not afraid to run in for a TD, either. He has plenty of weapons. WR Julio Jones is outstanding. Jones can just jump up, and reach for that ball. WR Mohamed Sanu is also a beast. The Atlanta defense is so fast. They made many outstanding defensive plays, and got after Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, another MVP candidate.

As for the Packers, despite their 4-6 start, I think they deserve to be given a ton of credit for making it as far as they did. I know many folks feel that Aaron Rodgers gets fawned over by the media quite a bit, but he did help lead the team all the way to the NFC Championship.  I think all the injuries, illnesses, etc., just caught up to them in the NFC Championship Game. Even during the game, injuries popped up. Aaron Rodgers did not have one of his best games, either. However, you can not blame it all on him. The team made errors, like fumbling the ball, and not getting turnovers, when there were chances. It just wasn’t their day.

Packers’ Diagnosis: I think that the Packers need to reload. I know that this isn’t Ted Thompson’s style, but I don’t think it would hurt if the Packers looked at Free Agents, especially in the secondary. Their secondary was all banged up. I also feel that Aaron Rodgers has several good years left, as he is only 33 years old.

Now, I will discuss the AFC Championship Game, between the Patriots and the Steelers. There is an old expression, “Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly, expecting different results.” Well, every time the Pittsburgh Steelers play that Zone Coverage against Tom Brady of the Patriots, the Steelers get their butts kicked.  Well, I am sure you have watched the game, and you saw that the Steelers played ZONE DEFENSE against Tom Brady. I bet you know what happened. Yes. The Steelers got their butts kicked.  Did anyone from the Steelers defense put a HAND on WR Chris Hogan or WR Julian Edelman or WR Danny Amendola?  ANYONE?

Coach Mike Tomlin and Defensive Coordinator Keith Butler, defense is supposed to be your strong suit. You all made no half-time adjustments. You just had that team allowing Tom Brady and the gang march up and down the field at will. No wonder your star QB Ben Roethlisberger is thinking about retiring. Your defense is horrendous.

As for the Patriots, they were outstanding, on all three phases of the game. Tom Brady, who is going to a 7th Super Bowl, which is a record for a QB, was surgical. My favorite play was the flea flicker, that Chris Hogan caught. The other play I loved, was RB LeGarrette Blount’s run with all those Steelers draped over him. The Patriots defense did a fantastic job containing that high-powered Steelers offense. Yes, I realize that Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell aggravated a groin injury during the first quarter, but Ben Roethisberger had plenty of other wide receivers, including WR Antonio Brown.  Unfortunately, for the Steelers  offense, a few of the Steelers wide receivers dropped balls. Steelers Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley did not call a good offensive game, either.

Steelers’ Diagnosis: As previously mentioned, Ben Roethlisberger has recently mentioned retirement, and many in the sports media are going nuts. I am sure Steeler fans are wondering, as well.  I think this is once again, Ben being Ben. Of course, Ben has suffered a ton of injuries over the last 13 years in the league. He has a wife and 3 kids, so that plays a part, as far as how much punishment he wants his body to take.  One would have to be under a rock, if you didn’t know that there has been some behind the scenes drama, concerning the Pittsburgh Steelers lately. Much of it surrounds Antonio Brown, their extremely talented wide receiver. I LOVE Antonio Brown. That being said, Antonio Brown needs to grow up. His antics on Facebook, and pouting on the field, because he didn’t catch the TD has to stop. The Steeler defense has to get better, especially in the secondary. That secondary is horrendous.

An Early Look at the Two Super Bowl Contenders:

At first glance, I see in the Atlanta Falcons, a high-flying offense, that QB Matt Ryan leads, along with Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who is expected to be the 49ers Head Coach next year. The Falcons defense, which is very quick, reminds me of past Seahawks defenses. That is no surprise, since former Seahawks Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn is now the Falcons’ head coach. This team will be a tough team to stop.

At first glance, I see in the New England Patriots, a very adaptable offense, but also an offense that can score a lot of points.  They are led by QB Tom Brady and Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels. The head coach is Bill Belichick. The Patriots have the #1 Scoring Defense. This will be interesting.  How will Belichick take away what the Falcons do best? Will this be a scoring battle between Brady and Ryan?  You will have to wait until my Super Bowl prediction on February 4th. Hope you enjoyed the blog. Feedback is welcome.

 

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My 2016-17 AFC/NFC Championship Game Predictions

by Terri Bey

Good Afternoon, readers. Tomorrow, January 22, 2017, is AFC/NFC Championship Day for the 2016-17 NFL  Season, for the American Football Conference, and the National Football Conference. The winner of each conference goes on to Super Bowl 51, in Houston, TX on February 5, 2017. Playing for the NFC Conference Game tomorrow, are the Atlanta Falcons, who host the red-hot Green Bay Packers. That game will be played at 3:05PM, EST. At 6:40PM,EST, in the AFC Conference Game, the Pittsburgh Steelers go into Foxboro, MA, and face the New England Patriots. Both of these games feature four outstanding teams, with four outstanding quarterbacks. Even though, there have been some rough games played during these playoffs, I am expecting these final four teams to put on two outstanding and entertaining games for the NFL audience.

In this blog, I am going make my predictions for tomorrow’s games.  I hope you enjoy this blog. Let me know. Feedback is welcome. So, let’s get started.  I will start with the NFC Conference Game, between the Atlanta Falcons and the Green Bay Packers. I am being facetious here, but is there going to be ANY defense in this game? The Falcons have the likely NFL MVP Matt Ryan, and his high-flying offense, including WR Julio Jones.  The Packers have a RED HOT Aaron Rodgers throwing to an injury depleted receiving core, and his Packers are on an eight game winning streak. I mean, they are pulling people off the street to play wide receiver. OK, it is not THAT drastic, but WR Jordy Nelson is battling a serious rib injury, Davante Adams is injured. Nelson and Aaron Rodgers are battling illnesses as well. The team’s defense is a bend, but don’t break kind of defense. They have to be a bit more aggressive, and need to dial up a bit more blitzes to get after Matt Ryan.

The Atlanta Defense has to make Aaron Rodgers uncomfortable in the pocket, enough, that Rodgers makes mistakes.  They can’t let Rodgers get out of the pocket. In the Divisional Round, they were extremely quick, and got to Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, who also is dangerous out of the pocket.  They will have to be quick, again.  On offense, Matt Ryan can not make mistakes. He has to get into a rhythm.

PREDICTION: I am expecting a high scoring game. I have gone back and forth, trying to decide a winner. Aaron Rodgers is red-hot, and has been, since he made his prediction that the team would “run the table,” when the team was 4-6. Matt Ryan, however, has finally blossomed into that great QB that I thought he could be.  I have nothing against either of these guys, and I know Rodgers is getting fawned over, but I think the Falcons will punch their ticket to Houston.

ATLANTA FALCONS 40 GREEN BAY 37

Now, to the AFC Championship Game, between the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers. I am going to confess, that I am a massive fan of BOTH teams. Long time Steelers and Patriots fan, but I will give you an honest assessment of both teams’ chances to win.  Moving right along, here.  The week leading up to this game started with a little drama.  Steelers WR Antonio Brown posted a 17 minute Facebook video, that took place backstage, after their victory over Kansas City. Included in the video was Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin giving a speech about the next opponent, the Patriots, and Tomlin referring to the Patriots as “assholes,” and “having a day and a half to prepare.”   The Steelers game was moved by the NFL, due to an ice storm in Kansas City, from 1:00pm, EST, to 8::40pm, EST, Sunday night.  The Patriots played at 8:15:pm, EST, on Saturday.

Anyway, like the media usually does, they blow it out of proportion. Antonio Brown apologized, and will likely be fined by the NFL. Of course, both teams had to comment on this non-story. I personally thought it was a whole bunch of nothing. Should Brown have done it? No.  Brown should have been listening to his head coach, and worried about his social media later. Will this affect him on the field? I doubt it.

On the Patriots side, Coach Belichick, and Tom Brady were all business at their Wednesday press conferences. Brady was particularly so serious, that an internet debate erupted as to whether he was ill. At his Friday presser, Brady seemed much more relaxed, but still focused. He brushed aside a reporter’s question about the current President, as well.

As for the game, I am going to start with the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger is a fantastic QB. However, there are times, where he can be a liability. It is when he hangs on to the ball so long, trying to make a play. When he makes a play happen, it is awesome. When he screws up, and throws a pick, it is horrendous. Yes, it is disastrous, when any QB throws a pick, but Roethlisberger can win you the game, but he can lose you the game. He has to be careful with the ball. He is way better at HOME, than he is on the ROAD.

Roethlisberger must get the ball to his playmakers, WR Antonio Brown and RB Le’Veon Bell. Brown has such quick speed, and is great with it, when he gets the ball. Bell is just so patient, while he waits for a hole to open up. Once he gets daylight, he is gone. WR Eli Rodgers and TE Jesse James must step up.

The defense must do what the Houston Texans did the week before. They must try to get Brady off his spot. James Harrison has to have a great day.

What do the Patriots have to do, in order to win?  The Pittsburgh Steelers have a good offensive line. The Patriots defensive line MUST penetrate, and stop Le’Veon Bell. They must stop Bell from making progress.  They must harass Roethlisberger. When they get to Roethlisberger, they have to pin his ARM DOWN.  They can not just grab him, and let his throwing arm dangle, or he will try to make a play.  CB Malcolm Butler will have his hands full with Antonio Brown.

The Patriots offensive line MUST PROTECT Brady. I was at the Patriots vs Texans Divisional Round Game, and that offensive line was being bullied around, and Brady was being hit and harassed. The play calling has to be more balanced, and the running backs need to have a big day, as well. The other WRs, like Danny Amendola, and Michael Floyd MUST STEP UP.

PREDICTION: I think this will be an exciting game. I think time of possession will be a main factor in this game, and we will see a close game, as well.  Much was made about Commissioner Roger Goodell’s avoidance of Gillette Stadium tomorrow. Well, after much consideration, I don’t think Commissioner Goodell is going to be able to hide from the inhabitants of Gillette Stadium, any longer.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 35  PITTSBURGH STEELERS 27

Feedback:  Alydace@yahoo.com  @GioPontiFan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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