1. Steelers Vs. Jaguars Part II-Yes, it’s here. The rematch that will take place in the AFC Divisional Round. I know QB Ben Roethlisberger wanted this game, but to be honest so do I. That first game was a fluke, in my opinion. I feel that the Steelers underestimated the Jaguars and it blew up in their face in a 30-9 loss.
  2.  Was that a different Steelers team? In that first game, it truly was. RB Le’Veon Bell was still rusty, the offense couldn’t get into the end zone, and Big Ben was forcing passes, instead of completing them and as a result, 5 of them were intercepted and 2 for TDs. And of course, the defense acted like they couldn’t stop Rookie RB Leonard Fournette as he ran on them for 181 yards and 2 TDs. What a disgrace.
  3. Have the Steelers learned? I believe they did. They’ll never play that stupid twice. They were humbled because this wasn’t the 4-win Jaguars team that they were used to. That Jaguars team has improved with one of the best secondaries in the NFL and a running back in Fournette. They will beat any team that doesn’t punch them in the mouth first.
  4. The Steelers keys to victory-As I mentioned, punch them in the mouth with TDs early and often and the pass rush needs to make QB Blake Bortles as miserable as possible. Don’t give him a chance to pass or run. Big Ben, Bell, Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Shuster and Martavis Bryant need to be on top of their game and the Steelers will win 30-17. The AFC Championship is on the line, baby. Time to get it done.
  5. Is Blake Bortles a Bad QB? I’m not getting into that. He led his team to the playoffs and got the win vs. Buffalo, just like Tim Tebow did against the Steelers in 2011 with an 8-8 record. In the playoffs, stats don’t matter, only opportunity. But just as he New England Patriots manhandled Tebow and the Denver Broncos the next week in that 2011 postseason, the Steelers need to do the same thing against Bortles and the Jags on Sunday.
  6. On Bortles Comparing himself to LeBron James-Oh, please.
  7. Steelers Injury Report-We know that Brown (calf) if expected to play after returning to practice, but now the concerns are CB Artie Burns (knee) DE Stepheon Tuitt (Elbow) and DT Javon Hargrave (back) The latter 3 didn’t practice, but are still expected to play Sunday. It’s for the AFC Championship, baby.
  8. Bell’s comments on contract-Apparently Bell still can’t keep his mouth closed. He states that if he gets Franchised Tagged ($14 million in 2018) again, he’ll either sit out the season, or retire. Zip it kid. Keep the nonsense talk to yourself. It’s for the AFC Championship, baby.

09.The other Divisional Round Matchups-Yes, it’s true, there are other games. The other AFC game is the Tennessee Titans vs. the Patriots and in the NFC, Atlanta vs. Philadelphia and Minnesota vs. New Orleans. The NFL’s Elite Eight.

10. Can the Titans beat the Patriots? Only if they play the Pats like they beat the KC Chiefs in the Wild Card Round. QB Marcus Mariotta was masterful in leading his team back, but he cannot fall behind QB Tom Brady and the Patriots 21-3. If he does, the game’s over. They must keep pace, sack Brady like crazy and score TDs. If they can do that, the Titans pull off the miracle, 24-20.

11. Eagles vs. Falcons-It’s a shame that QB Carson Wentz is hurt. He would really tip the scales in this game. Although Nick Foles is decent, he’s still not Wentz which will give the defending NFC Champs the edge. QB Matt Ryan and company still has it, and they will prove it in a 27-17 win vs. Philly.

12. Saints vs. Vikings-Great season by the Vikings, who earned their 1st round bye, but Drew Brees and the Saints have been there, done that and now they’re back. They beat a good Carolina Panthers team, and they’re not done. 27-10 Saints.

13. Jon Gruden returns to Oakland-I still say this is a mistake. As always, the Raiders are caught up in the hype and this will either bite them or Gruden in the rear end. This is about bringing a Showpiece to Las Vegas. Yes, the Raiders have talent, but what can Gruden do that Jack Del Rio wasn’t able to do? Owner Mark Davis is off his rocker.

14. CFB National Championship-I really thought that this was the Georgia Bulldogs year, and I still feel they should’ve beat the Alabama Crimson Tide, but they got conservative when they should’ve kept going. The end result? Alabama wins another championship.

15. Alabama’s Legacy– They’re the best, period. They have won 5 titles since 2009 and they probably not done because of the depth of their team. Despite how they made this year’s playoff because of politics, Alabama has truly earned their place among the best in College Football history.

16. Is Nick Saban the best? Yep, he sure is. He’s won 6 (one with LSU) National titles and he made a bold move in this year’s game when he switched QBs at halftime. Starting QB Jalen Hurts was struggling, and Saban switched him with freshman Tua Tagovalioa and now the Crimson Tide has another Championship. It is what it is.


17. NBA-As the season continues, here are the top teams in their respective conferences: In the East, Boston still leads, but Toronto and Cleveland are right behind them. And in the West, it’s Golden State followed by Houston and San Antonio.
18. The NBA’s Worst? In the East, it’s Atlanta followed by Orlando and Chicago. In the West, it’s a 3-way tie between Sacramento, the LA Lakers and Memphis.
19. Pitt’s Ryan Luther will miss the rest of the season-Luther learned this prior to Pitt’s loss to Duke Wednesday. He has been wearing a boot for the past 3 games and it was revealed that he has a stress fracture in that foot. Luther was averaging 12.7 points and 10.1 rebounds for the Panthers and his presence did make a difference. Sad news.

20. Pirates trade of Cole nixed, again-Last week, it was to the NY Yankees, this week it was to the Houston Astros, the World Series Champs. Pittsburgh’s CBS sports was so sure that it was done, that they were the first to report it. Funny thing is, ESPN did not. Probably because they knew the truth. The Pirates are still a joke. They can’t even trade right.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com
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