NFL Conference Championship Picks
Jake Perper created Bearsbacker.com two and-a-half years ago and doesn’t regret it. He is a big Chicago sports fan, but the Bears are his passion. He also writes for NFLTouchdown.com, MVN.com, Bleacherreport.com and NFL.com/blogblitz. Jake is really passionate about his Bears, so if you need to know anything about the Bears don’t be afraid to ask him. Check out Bearsbacker.com, you won’t be disappointed. You can also follow Jake and Bears Backer on Facebook and on Twitter @BearsBacker.
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears
Sunday, 3PM ET
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
This will be the third match up this season between these NFC North rivals, but only the second meeting in the playoffs ever and the first since 1941. They split the season series. The Bears won at home and the Packers won at home. This will likely be a defensive battle with good quarterback play. I think the team who protects their quarterback better will win this one.
Aaron Rodgers has been great as of late and so has Jay Cutler. The Bears have a better running game with Matt Forte and Chester Taylor, but the Packers receiving core is better than the Bears. Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and Jordy Nelson have more upside than Johnny Knox, Earl Bennett and Devin Hester. These teams match up very well against each other. Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams are stars on the Packers defense. Brian Urlacher, Julius Peppers and Lance Briggs are stars on the Bears defense.
This game should be good, the same referee as the first match up at Soldier Field will ref this one, Terry McAualy. McAuely called 18 penalties against the Packers in that game, the Packers had more penalties than points in that game. Bears-Packers for a chance at the Super Bowl, I don’t think it gets much better than that. The team with the better quarterback play will win this one. I think Jay Cutler will surprise everyone and play his biggest game ever.
The Pick: Bears 23, Packers 17.
New York Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, 6:30 PM ET
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
The Jets won the regular season match up, but the Steelers were without TE Heath Miller and safety Troy Polamalu. The Steelers have “Big Ben” at quarterback and the Jets have Mark Sanchez, both quarterbacks are good, but Ben is just more experienced in the playoffs. I trust Ben in that match up.
Both teams have good running games and receivers. This game will come down to which defense will do more. Will Sanchez be able to fling the ball around against the Steelers defense? Will the Steelers be able to throw and run the ball against the Jets defense? Will Darrelle Revis shut down Steelers WR Mike Wallace?
A lot of questions come to mind in this match up, but I think the Steelers having the game at home will give them a boost. The Steelers are a more experienced team in the playoffs, but the Jets did just knock of the Colts and Patriots. This should be a good game that will come down to the wire. I like the home team in this one. Big Ben will make one more play than the Snachez in the end.
The Pick: Steelers 24, Jets 20.