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4 Reasons to Look For an Upset

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4 Reasons to Look For an Upset

Postby Bennett4prez » Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:19 am

Well, the playoffs start tonight, and while most of the games are assumed to be blowouts (only the Patriots are favored by less than a touchdown), there is optimism for all of the underdogs.

Game One: New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers.
Favored: Steelers by 9.

Why the underdog could win: This game should be a cakewalk for the Steelers. But, here are a few stats to look for. First, if there was a game Big Ben struggled in, it was Week 14 against the Jets. Roethlisberger threw two interceptions and posted a 33.7 passer rating. If rookie sensation Jonathon Vilma can lead the Jets defense in stop Duce and the Bus, look for the Jets to win.

Why they could lose: The Jets haven't posted more than 10 points against the Steelers since the 1980's. !+) OUCH. Don't forget, the Steelers ARE the NFL-best regular season team, posting a 15-1 record behind Ben Roethlisberger.

Game Two: St. Louis Rams at Atlanta Falcons
Favored: Atlanta by 7.

Why the underdog could win: The Rams have two things to be proud of after an 8-8 season. First, their WR duo, Bruce and Holt. Bruce and Holt put up outstanding numbers, averaging 166.5 yards per game. But for the duo, it gets better. In their first meeting against the Falcons, the two of them combined for nearly 225 yards. The Rams second asset is their ability to sack the quarterback. Quite a useful tool when playing Michael Vick. The DL, lead by DTs Jimmy Kennedy and Ryan Pickett, had a NFL-best 48 sacks this season. If they can control Vick, the game is all but theirs.

Why they could lose: The Rams defense averaged 3 sacks per game, a very impressive number. But, luck simply isn't a factor against the Michael Vick and the Atlanta Falcons. In the first meeting this year (Week 2) the Rams mustered up 1 sack, for a loss of 5 yards.

Game Three: Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles
Favored: Eagles by 8.5

Why the underdog could win: After another Moss-related controversy, the pressure is off the Vikings for a second week in a row. But, the Vikings turned over a new leaf. In Brett Favre's domain, the Vikings defense posted not just good numbers, AMAZING numbers. They held Ahman Green to under 100 yards rushing and their agressive defense forced 3 interceptions (4, but one was ruled incomplete). The T.O.-less Eagles have lost 3 consecutive games without him (13-1 with him in the lineup).

Why they could lose: Since the 12-team expansion, eight number six seeds have won their first game. All of them lost their second. Oh, and it can't help having Mike Tice as your head coach, even if Ted Cotrell is your defensive coordinator.

Game Four: Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots
Favored: Patriots by 2.

Why the underdog could win: Three letters: MVP. Peyton Manning can make anyone's secondary look foolish, let alone an injury-plagued one. Combine Richard Setmour being questionable, and the Colts appear to be in store for a nothing romping. Troy Brown does not have the athletic ability to stop Brandon Stokely in the slot, and the Patriots offense might not be able to keep up in a what could be a shootout.

Why they could lose: Contrary to a lot of bashing about the Patriots old "dirty" usage of the illegal contact rule, they have played quite nicely this year en route to a 14-2 season. Last year, the Patriots had 14 illegal contact/defensive holding calls. This year, a combined 16. And, if the Patriots CAN stop Manning and co., they should win. The Colts defense is anything but scary for a mastermind like Weis.

This is Bennett4prez, signing off.
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Postby joshyboy72 » Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:30 am

Nice post, B4P. I agree with all your analysis, every game has a big upset possibility, but the Steelers will just stomp all over the Jets in that game. One thing you forgot to mention in the Rams-Falcons game is how Bulger does so well under pressure, so Atlanta's huge pass rush might not help them as much as it normally does. But that's just what I think...great way to get your 1000th. ;-D
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Postby goleafsgo96 » Sat Jan 15, 2005 1:05 pm

Nice post, i dont know if you did it to start a debate or if you actullay beleive this is an upset week, but i personally feel that after the Steelers win, the underdog will win the 3 remaining games. We'll se tho.
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Postby VHawk15 » Sat Jan 15, 2005 1:36 pm

Nice post, Bennett. I say two underdogs win. The conference championship games:

Colts at Steelers
Vikings at Falcons
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Postby Azrael » Sat Jan 15, 2005 10:06 pm

Steelers offense and special teams were horrendous. Steelers basically conceded atleast 27 points in one fashion or another. No excuse for special teams and defensive TD; Bettis fumble would have been atleast 3 points and Ben should have easily hit Randle El for a TD when he choked one to Tongue which went back for the TD.
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Postby Bennett4prez » Sun Jan 16, 2005 1:08 am

So far, 0-2 :-t
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Postby moochman » Sun Jan 16, 2005 10:58 am

Nice analysis, B4P. The one thing I look to see in the Colt/Pats game is not so much if they can stop Manning. My concern would be wether the Pats D can stop Edge when the Colts need some tough yards. I thing the Pats D has been in a state of decline over the last third of the season, and they haven't been shutting down running games like they used to.
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Postby Canadian Seahawk » Sun Jan 16, 2005 11:13 am

Bennett4Prez wrote:So far, 0-2 :-t


Jets had it though!!!
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