It's The Sports Guru back with more picks and analysis as we get closer and closer to the NFL Divisional Round games this weekend.
This card is my pick for the game between the Denver Broncos and the Pittsburgh Steelers, being played in Denver at 4:40pm ET on Sunday.
Pittsburgh can consider itself very lucky to be here after Cincinnati imploded and basically handed the Steelers the game last week at the last minute. Two personal foul penalties brought Pittsburgh within range of an easy, last-minute field goal and the kicker converted to give them the win. It was a shocking game but the result is all that matters, and the Steelers are on to the next round.
The big question in this one is the health of Pittsburgh's players. And it's pretty serious, as their two most important players are a doubt for this one. QB Ben Roethlisberger is fighting a painful shoulder injury and is in a race to play. Antonio Brown, the league's best WR (yup, I said it) is under the NFL's concussion protocol and is also a doubt for this one. It's too early to know if either will suit up, but their status is going to define this game.
The Broncos have home field advantage throughout the playoffs as they stole the #1 seed from New England in the last game of the season. Home field advantage is huge in the playoffs, especially for a team like Denver who is used to playing in their high altitude home stadium, where visiting teams tend to struggle. Denver welcomes back Peyton Manning in this one after he made a brief return in Week 17, but the question on everyone's mind is: is Peyton really the best option they have? Denver did a great job under backup Brock Osweiler and some say he should remain the starter.
But I say give the ball to one of the best of all time, and Peyton is getting the start indeed. Denver's defense is the best in the league and has been all season, and with Peyton back at the helm, they're tough to beat.
This one is tough to call so early in the week due to the questionable status of Roethlisberger and Brown for Pittsburgh. But I'm going to make my pick as if they'll be ready to play, because I know they'll do everything in their power to be on the field. It's going to be a really tight game and is the one I'm most looking forward to. But if you've been reading my cards to this point, you know that Pittsburgh is my Super Bowl pick, which means there's only one way I can call this one:
Pittsburgh 19, Denver 13.
Here goes nothin'. I'm just not sure about this one.
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