Bad Calls

During the Kansas City Chiefs vs San Diego Chargers game last Sunday there were two calls that bothered me a great deal. The first call was late in the 4th quarter when the Chiefs place kicker Ryan Succop was lining up for a 41 yard field goal, but he missed it. The Chargers had 7 men on the line of scrimmage the new rule that was instituted this season make that illegal. That should have been a 5 yard penalty and Succop should have been allowed to kick a 36 yard field goal.

In the overtime period, the Chargers Eric Weddle tried to get a first down on a fake punt. Weddle made the first down but he fumbled the ball and the Chiefs returned the fumble for the apparent winning touchdown. However, the referee ruled that forward progress was stopped beyond the first down marker, and possession of the ball appeared irrelevant as the play was blown dead. The NFL announced that those mistakes were made, but that was of little concern to the Steelers who would have been in the playoffs if the Chiefs would have won.

The NFL Playoffs are starting this Saturday afternoon,and the officials assigned to the games can’t afford to make any mistakes that could hurt any of the playoff teams who are trying to advance to the Super Bowl.

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Steelers Review

The Steelers finished the 2013 season 8 and 8 and missed the playoffs due to a 0-4 start to the season. There are a few things they will have to be change to get back to the playoffs.

1. The offensive line has to get healthy. Injuries to Maurkice Pouncey and other starters caused the line not to get together until later on in the season. If the offensive line is healthy Le’Veon Bell will gain over 1,000 yards and Ben Roethlisberger will have the protection to throw the ball to his corps of receivers.

2. The Defense has to get younger and better. The Steelers have the oldest starting defense in the NFL, and some of the starters will not return. Brett Keisel, Ryan Clark, Ike Taylor, Lamar Woodley, and Troy Polamalu may not return due to contract issues or the Steelers going with younger starters. In Polamalu’s case he would have to return and take a lower salary.

3. Needs in the Draft. The Steelers needs a wide receiver to help out Antonio Brown, They need help in the cornerback, and a safety for help in the secondary. A linebacker to help out Jarvis Jones and blitz the quarterback. They could use depth in the offensive line or defensive line.

The NFL Playoffs

The NFL Playoffs start Saturday afternoon and this is what going to happen.

Colts Vs Chiefs
The Chiefs have a complete team, but Andrew Luck has the talent to overcome their defense to win a playoff game. Colts

Saints Vs Eagles
Drew Brees and the Saints are great in the Superdome, but they are different team outside. Chip Kelly has made the transition from college to the NFL. Nick Foles can throw the ball, and Leshawn McCoy can run the ball. The Eagles defense can stop Brees and the Saints lack of running game. Eagles

Bengals Vs Chargers
The Bengals have talent on both sides of the ball, and the Chargers will have a hard time winning in a cold weather stadium. Bengals

49ers Vs Packers
The 49ers have a great team on both sides of the ball. Even with an healthy Aaron Rodgers and Eddie Lacy the Packers will have a tough winning even with the game be played at Lambeau Field. 49ers

Week 17 Vs Browns

The Steelers played a workman like game as they defeated the Cleveland Browns 20 to 7. Le’veon Bell rushed for 90 yard and a touchdown. Bell passed Franco Harris for the Steelers rookie record of the most yards from scrimmage. Ben Roethlisberger had an okay game going 19 for 31 for 179 yards and a 9 yard touchdown pass to Jerricho Cotchery. The main story was the defense having 3 sacks and 1 interception. The defense held the Browns to 79 total yards rushing and Jason Campbell to 240 yards passing. Shawn Suisham made 2 field goals and 2 extra points to finish the regular season with 28 out of 30 of his field goals made and being 38 out of 38 in extra points. The Steelers finished 8 and 8 and with the Ravens and Dolphins losing today, they still had a chance to make the playoffs after the 1 O’clock games, but the Chiefs let victory sail wide right as the Chargers clinched the 6th and final playoff spot with an overtime win.

Week 16 Vs Packers

Le’veon Bell had his first 100 yard rushing game in his NFL career this afternoon. He went for 124 yards rushing and the winning touchdown to give the Steelers a 38 to 31 victory over the Green Bay Packers. Ben Roethlisberger had a good enough performance after throwing for 167 yards and 2 touchdowns. Antonio Brown had an outstanding day catching the football. Special Teams made big plays as well. Mat MacBriar’s 40 yard pass to David Paulson on a fake punt set up on touchdown, and the kickoff returns of Emmanuel Sanders gave them great field position The defense struggled at times, but made big plays in the 2nd half. Cortez Allen returned a 40 yard interception for a touchdown in the 3rd quarter. Late in the game Brett Keisel recovered a fumble that set up the winning touchdown by Bell. The Steelers are 7 and 8 and still could make the playoffs. They have to defeat the Cleveland Browns next Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field at 1:00 P.M. Then Baltimore, Miami, and San Diego have to lose their games.

NFL Week 17

Here are my NFL Week 17 Picks.
Carolina defeat Atlanta
Indianapolis defeat Jacksonville
Miami defeat New York Jets
Detroit defeat Minnesota
New England defeat Buffalo
New Orleans defeat Tampa Bay
New York Giants defeat Washington
Pittsburgh defeat Cleveland
Chicago defeat Green Bay
Cincinnati defeat Baltimore
Dallas defeat Philadelphia
Tennessee defeat Houston
Denver defeat Oakland
Kansas City defeat San Diego
Seattle defeat St. Louis
San Francisco defeat Arizona

The Challenge

The excitement of the NFL playoffs is building. As of week 16, only some of the teams that have clinched a spot are known. I have read that most of the experts are taking either the Denver Broncos or Seattle Seahawks to win the Super Bowl next February at MetLife Stadium. People forget about the New England Patriots with all of the injuries they have suffered. You can never count out a Bill Belichick team led by a great quarterback in Tom Brady. The Kansas City Chiefs have a great defense and running game, plus led by a proven head coach in Andy Reid, they could contended for a title. The New Orleans Saints have a tremendous offense led by Drew Brees, and improving defense. Young teams like the Carolina Panthers who have the potential to make a playoff run with an outstanding defense, great running game, and the evolution of Cam Newton as a quarterback. There are a lot of good teams that could make it to make the Super Bowl this season, but there has always been a team that has gotten hot late in the season to make the Super Bowl and win it. Which team will catch fire now and take that momentum all the way to MetLife Stadium?