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BY DEBORAH GLICK | As many of you know, besides being your local assemblymember, I am also a huge fan of the National Football League. Although, I am foremost a New York Giants fan (unlike a nameless New Jersey governor who roots for the Cowboys!), I love to watch well-played games, and there are no better games to watch as the season winds down, and the weather gets colder, than playoff football. The esteemed editor of The Villager, sister publication of Downtown Express, asked me if I would share my thoughts on the upcoming matches this weekend, and I am happy to oblige.
The playoffs have been winnowed down to four teams who will play this coming weekend. Out of those games, the winning teams will face off in the Super Bowl.
Football is all about the matchups between the strengths and weaknesses of teams. The key factors are the quarterback’s ability to determine what type of defense the other team is setting up and the ability of the offense to provide the quarterback with enough time to either pass the ball or set up a running play. All four teams playing this weekend are excellent, and have excelled at doing exactly that all year. Now they must play each other.
There were a few surprises in last week’s games, most notably the Indianapolis Colts beating the Denver Broncos, giving them the unenviable opportunity to face the New England Patriots. The Colts have a great young quarterback in Andrew Luck, but the team has several key injuries, and the Patriots have a quarterback, Tom Brady, who has the best postseason record and the home field advantage. The Patriots almost always find a way to win and their coach also has the best winning record in the postseason, so I think the Patriots will win.
The second matchup pits the Super Bowl winners from last year, the Seattle Seahawks, against the Green Bay Packers. The Seahawks have an overwhelming defense and a great young quarterback, Russell Wilson, who can run as well as pass accurately. The team is young and fast and on a hot streak and will challenge the Packers’ offensive juggernaut.
The Seahawks will be playing at home, where they have a notorious home field advantage, playing in a stadium that is known to be deafening for opposing teams. Adding to the Packers’ woes, their quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, has a serious calf injury, and although his season’s performance has been fabulous, he is playing injured and will not be at his best.
The Packers have a strong defensive squad. But the Seahawks have both a strong running game, as well as a Q.B., Wilson, who is healthy and terrific in every aspect of the game. If you can catch only one game, this is the game to watch. Seattle is the favorite, but I imagine that Green Bay will give them a serious run for their money.