Archive for January, 2011
Running back Rashard Mendenhall and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger kept on opening the Jets defense, finding open spaces in the right, the left and straight through the middle as they opened up a 24-3 margin in the second half, that was simply too much of a deficit for the spirited Jets to close down in the second half. At the end, despite a decent game from Mark Sanchez and Co, the Steelers defense held back the Jets for a 24-19 win that will take them straight into the Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers in two more weeks.
The Pittsburgh Steelers had the key to stop on their feet that team that was working its way into the Super Bowl by winning games against the odds. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was an utter disappointment in this game. Well, not exactly. I mean, if you look into his passer’s rating you will notice that he had an awful game. At 35.5, that is his second worst postseason game. Still, it seems that Big Ben is quite a master of winning it ugly. When he won Super Bowl XL five year ago against the Seattle Seahawks he had a 22.6 passer rating. And in 2004 when he defeated the Jets for the AFC divisional round he had a 57.8. But perhaps, he completed passes and pushed off defenders when the team needed him most because for the third time in six season the Steelers are going to the Super Bowl.
That was it for the trash-talking New York Jets. It seems that head coach Rex Ryan and quarterback Mark Sanchez and Co. had left all they had on their previous game against the New England Patriots. This time around there was no trash talking from Jets during the week and there was very little to be seen from the team that managed to leave behind Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in back to back games. For context, that’s that 10th time since 2001 that a team have played both quarterbacks in back to back games. Only the Tennessee Titans had defeated them both.
Sanchez completed 22 of 33 for 233 yards and two touchdown passes with no interceptions. With a 102.2 passer rating, he certainly outplayed Ben Roethlisberger. Still, Big Ben went 10 of 19 for 133 yards, no touchdowns and 2 interceptions, and somehow managed to guide his offensive to a win. Perhaps the key was to be found in the great performance of Mendenhall. The running back completed 92 of his 121 yards in the first half, for 27 carriages and 1 touchdown.
Rex Ryan had been bragging all the postseason about his solid defense. And that’s when the Steelers turned things around. The Steelers usually relay on their air raids to keep on moving the chains. This time around, Big Ben took a step down and let his men do most of the work over the land. His offensive linemen kept on opening spaces for the runners to break into the Jets D like it had swinging doors.
Despite the effort, and working their way back into the game in the second half, it was just too little and too late for the Jets to really had a chance to get back in the game. The early hole was too deep, even after a 4-yard TD pass to Jerricho Cotchery made it 24-19 with 3:06 remaining. The Steelers kept it smart, moving the ball with each opportunity, and the Jets never got the ball back.
The Green Bay Packers can start packing their bags for Texas to play for the Vince Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl XLV. With an impressive 21-14 win over the Chicago Bears on the road, the Packers have now linked three consecutive wins on the road to make it into the biggest sports betting event of the season. Only three other teams have managed to win three playoffs road games to make it into the Super Bowl. Two out of those three have returned home with the trophy: the 2007 New York Giants and the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers. The 1985 Patriots won the three road games but lost the Super Bowl.
Aaron Rodgers didn’t have his best game ever. As a matter of fact, a quick look at his numbers would make you think he was somewhat of a disappointment. With a 55.4 passer rating, Rodgers was far away from what he has been showing since mid-December during the last two win-or-go-home games of the regular season. But despite his numbers, he was they key-player behind the Packers win over the Bears. The first-year rookie ran for a score and perhaps made his best play of the game in quite an unusual fashion for a quarterback: he completed a touchdown saving tackle that could quite easily have changed the outcome of the game.
The Bears, on the other hand, had to deal with a whole lot of issues on their offensive end. Jay Cutler, the starting quarterback, had been playing way under par before he had to leave the game during the third quarter because of some sort of knee injury. Let it be stated that no one is sure when or how he got injured. As if that was not enough, the Bears’ coach Lovie Smith reaction to the reporters’ questions concerning the nature and the details of Cutlers injury certainly didn’t help to clear up the situation.
Cutler was replaced by the Chicago Bears primary back-up Todd Collins. He was no good. For a moment it really seemed as if the Packers would be able to put on at least a 3-touchdown advantage over the Bears. Things got so bad on Chicago’s side that they had to play their odds and use a third quarterback on the game. Little-known Caleb Hanie came in and was the man in charge of giving the Bears their only hope.
Hanie had a chance to tie the game after the Bears’ defense finally got their act together. Unfortunately he threw a ball straight into the Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji who ran for 18 yards and into the end zone to give the Packers a 21-17 lead. But Hanie had a few more tricks under his sleeve.
He then completed a 35-yard touchdown pass to Earl Bennet to get the Bears to a 7-point deficit with little under five minutes to play. The Bears recovered the ball, but their last chance to tie the game was frustrated when the rookie quarterback threw his second interception on a fourth down on the Packers 29 yard line.
Aaron Rodgers went 17 of 30 for 244 yards no touchdown passes, two interceptions and a touchdown rush. Not his best numbers, that’s for sure, but heck, the talented quarterback is guiding his team into Super Bowl on February 6.
Villanova got back at Syracuse and gives the Orange its 2nd straight loss. Last time they meet the Syracuse Orange (18-2, 5-2 in the Big East) held Villanova to a 8-of-28 on three-pointers for an overwhelming 18 point win at the Carrier Dome. On this last game, it was time for payback. Guards Maalik Wayns and Corey Fisher worked together for a combined 6 out of 7 shooting from outside the arc in the first half to give Villanova a 40-29 margin on the first half. That was enough to survive Syracuse’s effusive comeback in the last minutes and win the game 83 to 72.
Maalik Wayns scored 21 points, completed 1 rebound, 2 assists and 2 steals to lead Villanova into securing its 8 win in the last 11 games against Syracuse. The Orange had depended mostly on a zone defense to secure a very good record so far this season, keeping teams to a low 28 percent conversion rate from the three point range. Still, it was up to Jay Wright, Nova’s head coach, to guide the Wildcats into braking past the zone-system and clear up an ample margin so early in the game.
Corey Fisher was another key-player for the Wildcats. He scored 16 points, recorded seven assists and four turnovers. Corey Stokes had also 16 points and Antonio Pena 10 and Villanova gave the Syracuse Orange their second consecutive lost, after recording 18 consecutive wins from the very beginning of the season. Villanova scored all but two of its 24 attempts.
For the Syracuse Orange Rick Jackson had 16 points and 15 rebounds, to complete his 13th double-double, and Brandon Triche completed 14 points. This was the second straight game for each squad against a top-10 team. Villanova lost 61-59 at No. 8 Connecticut on Monday, when the Orange lost 74-66 at Pittsburgh after falling behind 19-0.
After missing the loss to Pittsburgh due to a head injury, Syracuse’s Kris Joseph led all scorers with 23 points, 16 in the second half. Villanova made a season-best 11 3-pointers in the win, shooting 45.8 percent (11 for 24) from 3-point range.
Syracuse will now play Seton Hall on Tuesday. They will then hit the road to play Marquette on Saturday. The Villanova Wildcats are 17-2 and 5-1 in the Big East for the season, holding on to quite a good record so far this season. Villanova sits second in the Big East Standings followed closely by Syracuse. The Big East is lead by Pittsburgh, which holds an impeccable 7-0 record on conference play and 19-1 overall record. Syracuse is third in the AP top 25. The Ranking is lead by the Ohio State Buckeyes with an 18-0 season and then followed by the Kansas Jayhawks. The guys from Kansas are 17-0.
Stick around for more coverage on NCAA Basketball. We’ve got all your wagering needs covered. Whether you want to bet on parleys, straight bets, full games or half times, Betias.com is your best choice.
Things got down and personal between the Jets and the Patriots during the week leading to their Divisional Round game in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Patriots where a -9 point favorite on the spread against the Jets, so when in the first two quarters of the game, Pats quarterback Tom Brady was sacked 4 times, things certainly seemed to have gone south for the team with the best record in the regular season. The Jets, with a second year quarterback and a team with a big mouth and somewhat of a tumultuous attitude has managed to outplay the Patriots on the road to claim a 28-21 win on Sunday for their second consecutive trip to the AFC Championship game.
In a few simple words, the New York Jets defense quite simply managed to make the New England Patriots look like a very unbalanced and poor performing team. For a couple of quarterback the Jets managed to make Bill Belichick’s team look its worse. The team that went 14-2 during the regular season and won each and every one of their 8 regular season home games was nowhere to be seen.
The young Mark Sanchez keeps on proving that he can perform at his best when his team needs him most. He has now outplayed the Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning during the Wild Card Round and on Sunday he certainly outperformed Tom Brady of the Patriots. It’s been a while since the Jets’ have had the support of a talented quarterback as Mark Sanchez. As a matter of fact, in only his second year as a pro he already holds the record as the second best Jets for passer rating.
Sanchez had a great game completing 16 of his 25 passes for 194 yards for 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. On the other hand, the great Tom Brady went for 29 of 45 for an overwhelming 299 yards yet, the player who went for 335 passes in the regular season (setting a league record while at it) was picked once early in the game and sacked 5 times. His two touchdown-passes where not enough to secure the Patriots its first win in the postseason in the last two years.
Looking for a key to the Pats upset. Well, let’s just stick to the numbers. The Pats are certainly struggling right in the middle. The New York Jets were able to gain 66 yards on 17 rushes right up the middle. The Jet’s offensive was as sharp as it gets during this weekend. Sanchez connected touchdown passes with LaDainian Tomilson, Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes.
All thought towards the end the Patriots but on an effective offense in an attempto to shorten the distances, Deion Branch went on for a touchdown late in the game, after a 13 yard-pass from Tom Brady. Brach made it 28-21 as he tried to close the gap, but time ran out for the Patriots.
The New York Jets will now face the Pittsburgh Steelers at Pittsburgh on Sunday January 23rd. The Jets will try to take another win like they did on December 19 on the road when they defeated Big Ben and the Steelers 22-17. As of press time the Steelers are a -3 point favorite on the spread.