5) Cheerleaders have game too — Terry Bradshaw felt it necessary (for some unknowably stupid reason) to call out Pittsburgh’s head coach. He said Mike Tomlin was little more than a “cheerleader” on the sidelines for this club. Maybe Bradshaw is smarter than the average yokel. Maybe he knew the Steelers’ players would get mad, maybe that’s what he wanted to do. Whatever, he got them all worked up and for this club that’s a good thing. Tomlin’s team might well be the club to keep your eye on for yet another Black and Gold drive to the big game.
4) Oakland is gonna be OK — The Raiders might not win it all, but they are not going to bust out in the first round, and they will likely make it miserable for more than one team before they go. This breakout season was led by Derek Carr’s MVP-caliber year. No one doubts that. And asking a rookie third-stringer in Connor Cook to step in now is a bar too high. Still this club has talent in other spots and will find a way to not go quietly.
3) Dak Prescott + pressure = pressure — The rookie QB has been masterful this season. The playoffs are a different animal. The pressure to win it all right now is far, far greater in Dallas than anywhere else in the league. One or two missteps that threaten the Cowboys run to the big game in their own state will cause a furor among the fan base. This is not to say Prescott will be benched, it is to say if he thinks he has a handle on the intensity, he is mistaken. The light shining on him now is 100 times more intense than he has ever known before. Dak will not be a starting QB at the Super Bowl in Houston.
2) New England will not win it all — Yes the ‘experts’ all pick the Patriots, heck those ‘experts’ are pretty much all Patriots fans (or at least Tom Brady). There is no doubt that the Pats have done something over the past 15-plus seasons that might not ever be duplicated in NFL history again and that they are not finished yet. Still they have enough concerns that the target they wear will be big and bright. They might not even make it to Houston. Even with home field and a depleted AFC playoff corps (Houston, Miami, Oakland all have QB issues) the Steelers and Chiefs stand ready to take the conference crown with them.
1) RiseUp ’bout to really RiseUp! — The Falcons are ready to show the nation what this club is truly made of. There are those who truly can’t grasp what is taking place with this team. They see a dangerous offense, a young defense and a club they expect will fold early. Those fans and ‘experts’ have no clue what is about to hit them. All aboard the bandwagon! We got a parade to plan!