Four Down Territory: Championship Weekend

Another weekend of the boring football has passed and we’re down to the final two. Super Bowl LI will see the Falcons of Atlanta square off against the Patriots of New England.

Be afraid, Roger, be very afraid.

Let’s start the drive.

1st Down: Boy was I wrong about Pittsburgh. Last week I said they’d walk into New England and send the Patriots packing.

My bad.

Brady and friends dominated the Steelers thanks to the performance of Chris Hogan. No, he’s not related to the leader of the NWO (still the best heel turn in history) but he did put up a herculean effort. As a matter of fact, he put up close to an identical stat line to Julio Jones. How do the Patriots keep churning out Super Bowl appearances with no talent at WR?

A mystery we may never solve.

2nd Down: Speaking of Pittsburgh let’s dive into the drama that seems to be settling in the Steel City. Big Ben is contemplating retirement, AB is turning into a headache, and Bell is entering free agency. Will the big three break up before the show even gets started?

It’s possible.

Ben isn’t going anywhere. If he walks away he’ll leave $18.2 million on the table in 2017 and $23.2 million in 2018 and 2019. No one, and I repeat, no is going to walk away from that much green. Also, if Ben retires the Steelers may be able to find a way to recoup funds that Ben has already received.

In other words, part one of the big three is staying put. That might not be the case for the other two, though.

Antonio Brown has caught a lot of flak this playoff season and rightfully so. I mean, having a Facebook Live session in the locker room after a game isn’t cool, at all. On top of that there are reports surfacing saying that Brown pouted after a touchdown during the Patriots game because it went to someone else other than him.

I don’t know about you but that sounds like Diva Receiving 101.

Brown becomes a free agent in 2019 so the Steelers could play this out and hope Brown matures. They could also trade him while his value is high. I’m going to say that since Ben is on the wrong side of 30 that the Steelers won’t tear this team down just yet. Brown stays for at least one more year.

Le’Veon Bell is the wild card out of the three. Set to be an unrestricted free agent, Bell is about to get paid. He’s top 3 at his position and since the shelf life of running backs are short don’t be shocked if he breaks the bank. Bell’s injury history will, and should, make the Steelers wince before handing a huge contract and that’s the only leverage they have.

My prediction? Bell leaves and goes to a team that’s willing to pay top dollar for a running back.

3rd Down: Well, well well, how bout those Falcons? All year the birds in Atlanta weren’t taken as seriously as they should have. Whenever they did something great it was always hedged with, “it’s the regular season and Matt Ryan shines there” or “let’s see what happens when they play real competition.” Well, not only did they beat real competition, the demolished it. I don’t want to hear how these aren’t the same old Hawks and how Aaron Rodgers didn’t have any help. The Falcons are legit and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Move over, Flacco. We now debate if Ryan is elite.

4th Down: Prediction time. The Super Bowl is two weeks away so I reserve the right to change it as time progresses. As of right now I’m picking the Patriots to win. I bet against Brady last week and missed but I won’t do it twice. Belichick is a genius and if anyone can find a way to slow down the Falcons, it’s him. The final: 30–27.

Extra Tidbits: The team that has worn white jerseys has won 11 of the past 12 Super Bowls (the Packers being the only team to win without white). The Patriots will be wearing white unis this year while the Falcons will rock red. Bet Accordingly.

Bill is so used to winning that he looks bored receiving trophies. Wild.

Tweet Me: @mattgarrett41

As always, thanks for reading.

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