Can you believe that the Pittsburgh Steelers actually have a shot at making the playoffs? Conversely, can you believe that the Green Bay Packers can make the playoffs? Believe it folks, because the Packers have an opportunity to pull off the improbable with Matt Flynn at the controls since Aaron Rodgers hit the deck. The Lions opened the door for the rest of the division after they choked against the Ravens last week. The Lions, with the loss, are now 3rd in the division needing to now win-out and the Packers and Bears each lose a game the remaining two weeks. The Steelers chances aren’t so easy, as they’ll need a multitude of scenarios to play out for them to sniff the playoffs. However, statistically they are still alive, and there have been crazier things happen in the past. They’ll need to defeat the Packers at Lambeau for any of this to be a possibility. It could be Steeler like football Sunday afternoon with snow and wind in the forecast.
As I mentioned 65% heading into week 16 and Christmas time at 65% heading into week 16 and Christmas time. Any time you have a season around 55% then that is a good profitable year, but 65% is great. I hope to bring that percentage up even more with only two weeks left to go in the NFL season. Of course ill have plays for the postseason as well. Before we get to that, let’s try and hit week 16 hard.
Steelers vs. Packers Betting Odds:
Pittsburgh Steelers +1(-110)
@Green Bay Packers -1(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Steelers vs. Packers Pick:
The weather will come into play in this game, it is almost a certainty. Weather models are predicting a couple inches over night and then 3-5 inches during the day in Green Bay. It appears like it’ll be a white Christmas in Green Bay, as well as a white out for this matchup. It may not match what happened in Philadelphia a couple weeks ago, but expect some snow to be falling. Both teams are cold weather teams and have battled the elements before, so it shouldn’t bother them too much. One mistake I see time and time again is when there is bad weather such as this everyone jumps on the under, while it may cash, the weather sometimes works in the opposite direction, like in the Lions/Eagles game. The slippery conditions make it hard on tacklers pursuing proper angles and changing direction on a dime. I played as a linebacker previously, and trust me, it is true. The total thus turns into a little bit of a wild card bet in games like this.
The Steelers aren’t exactly a run it down their throat kind of Steeler time from the past. The running game has actually been invisible, as they are 31st in the NFL in rushing. I think some people get a certain kind of perception that is the Steelers so they have to have a strong running game, but don’t be fooled, that isn’t the case this year. Last week they got a pretty good offensive effort from the team as a whole. Ben Roethlisberger was able to make a play here and there, the running game was average, and the defense held the Cincinnati offense in check. And that really is the formula for success for the Steelers this season. If the defense shows up, then it is almost a guarantee that Big Ben will make a big play. Roethlisberger should have no issues traversing these weather conditions in Green Bay; he’s been in these kinds of situations many times in the past.
The Steelers’ defense hasn’t been the vaunted steel curtain that made the Steelers a house hold name this season, but they have definitely been better than most teams in the NFL. They are getting old, yet, still putting forth a good effort most weeks. Troy Polamalu has lost a step, but I would still take him over a lot of safety’s in the league. The defense limited the Bengals’ offense last week to 20 points and kept AJ Green in check, a game in which I had posted at the blog here that we won. The Steelers are 11th in yards allowed per game, yielding 338 yards, which is good. They also give up a fairly decent 23.7 points a game.
I don’t see Roethlisberger having too much trouble with the weather, I think he’ll make some plays, but I don’t feel so confident in quarterback Matt Flynn for the Packers. He may for sure, I just as it is a sure bet with Roethlisberger. The Packer defense still has some issues to work out, as it has been a work in progress for them the last several years. Even going back to the season they won the Super Bowl, the defense wasn’t really there, it was all offense. Now that the offense isn’t as efficient with Aaron Rodgers playing a spectator role, it has been imperative that the defense takes on a bigger initiative. They are 26th in yards allowed per game and surrendering an average of 26 points per game. While fading the Packers at Lambeau seems like a silly idea, I think the Steelers will feel right at home in the snow. It should be a tight game, with Pittsburgh keeping their playoff hopes alive as Roethlisberger outdoes Matt Flynn in winter weather Sunday afternoon.
PICK: Steelers +1(-110)