We had two games yesterday that started as blowouts, but ended up exciting. The first saw Aaron Rodgers pick up where he left off in Atlanta, which is on fire, but then something happened. The Packers were up 14 – 0 quickly and then seemed to lose their intensity. Of course it wasn’t just the Packers. The Bears defense did step up, but it seemed like the Packers got complacent. And then Jay Cutler went down and Todd Collins went in, but we never really saw Cutler get hurt and there he was on the sideline and not decapitated! The twitter world blew up, including many current NFL players, all questioning Cutler’s manhood to various degrees. I did a bit myself in the heat of the game, but it’s tough to really know. Would I like to see him carted off the field instead of standing around? Sure. But whatever. Todd Collins has already proven he is as mobile as a lighthouse and just as accurate, so Caleb Hanie should have been the 2nd string QB, but instead Bears fans had to endure 2 of the worst drives ever put together by modern man. But then the second coming of Johnny U takes the field, Caleb Hanie! But for some reason he comes in just seconds before the 3rd quarter is up, which makes it impossible for Collins to come in if Hanie is hurt. Poor decision, but in the end it didn’t matter. So back to the great Caleb Hanie. In reality he wasn’t that great, but he did light a fire under the offense and lead them on a game tying drive hat of course ended in an interception because this is Caleb Hanie we are talking about. It didn’t help that Mad Martz ran some dumbass reverse with Earl Bennett. Wasn’t Matt Forte tearing shizz up?
Matt Forte was the true star for the Bears. He had 90 yards receiving and 70 yards rushing. He has really put on a show to end the season and moved his draft stock up quite a bit. I’m guessing the whole Cutler debacle will blow over and with Knox and Cutler should be viable options next season. If Martz sticks around they should both have better numbers next season. But of course the real fantasy team is the Green bay Packers. Rodgers didn’t have a great game, but once again his legs helped garner him some fantasy points. Greg Jennings was once again his guy and he ended up with 8 receptions for 130 yards. And James Starks once again showed that he can do whatever Ryan Grant can do and he isn’t as old. Starks is going to be a hotly debated topic in the off season and right now I can’t say who the guy to own will be, but in dynasty leagues, it is Starks.
The Steelers took it to the Jets big time and got up 24-0. This time it was Roethlisberger and Mendenhall getting into the endzone with their legs instead of Rodgers and Starks. Mendenhall was a beast out there. He would not go down after first contact. And this is after it seemed like he slowed down, at least statistically, toward the end of the season. But just like in the first game the opposing team showed resilience and punched their way back into the game. A long TD to Santonio Holmes and a short one to Jericho, along with a safety, put them within striking distance, but the Steelers sealed it with a gutsy pass on 3rd and 6.
Rashard Mendenhall was the star of this game and showed why he was one of the elite backs this season. His 153 total yards and a TD was the difference in the game. Roethlisberger and in turn, Mike Wallace didn’t have a great game, but also have proven to be top 10 at their position and all three should continue to do so going into next season.
It truly is amazing that both these games ended up being as close as they were. These two games have set up what looks like one of the best matchups in Super Bowl history. Both teams are extremely balanced. It’s hard to say much is wrong with either team. Yes, they are weaker in some areas than others, but there are no huge holes to exploit. Both QBs are extremely good under pressure and both D’s are good at getting to the QB. With the addition of James Starks the Packers have beefed up their biggest weakness. Sadly, we will have plenty of time to talk about this matchup.
We get two weeks of Super Bowl hype which is probably the worst part of the whole season. I will not watch ESPN (not that I do) at all and I’ll probably just DVR the shows I want to see on NFLN. You can really only say so many things about one game without getting repetitive or stupid or most likely both. So the next two weeks I’ll try to look back at the fantasy season and forward toward next season. (please let there be a next season) I hope to get my first drafting tiers out soon. My plan is to have them available and hold off on my set in stone top 100. Last season I was a little too eager to get those out and they changed often. The tiers will always have an updated date on the side so you can tell how fresh they are.