The League

Michael Kun

Michael Kun

Co-author of The Football Uncyclopedia. He is also the author of six other books and is a practicing attorney.

Ravens-Steelers destined for drama


Let's say for the sake of argument that you could only pick one playoff game to watch this weekend. Maybe you have to work this weekend. Maybe your spouse or significant other has given you an ultimatum. Maybe you can only afford the electricity to turn your TV set on for one game.

If you could only watch one of the four playoff games, which would it be?

Each of the games is intriguing. And each could be a very close, exciting game. And six of the eight teams are legitimately great teams. (I'm excluding you, Bears and Seahawks.)

But only one game virtually guarantees that it will be a close, exciting game. And only one game virtually guarantees that we will still be glued to the TV in the final minutes.

No, it's not the Patriots-Jets game. Oh, sure, we'll all be watching it. And, yes, there are some intriguing side issues. Sure, either team can win it. But the last time they got together, the Patriots blew out the Jets by more than 40 points on a Monday night. So we might see a great game. We might also see another Patriots blowout. (A Jets blowout seems highly unlikely.) The game could be over by halftime. So if you had to choose only one playoff game to watch, it's not the Patriots-Jets.

It's also not the Bears-Seahawks game. Yes, it's worth watching. And, yes, the possibility of the what-are-we-even-doing-here Seahawks winning another playoff game makes it especially intriguing. But it won't necessarily be quality football. The Seahawks and Bears are two error-prone teams. They're both lucky to be where they are. It could be a good, fun game between teams, the winner of which is still unlikely to make it to the Super Bowl. It could be an ugly game. So, forced to choose one game, you'd have to pass on Bears-Seahawks.

It's also not the Falcons-Packers game, although that could be a great one. (And I'm already on record as having predicted a Super Bowl run for the Falcons.) Those are two excellent teams, with the Packers in particular seeming to come together at just the right time. It should be a great game. Should. And if you chose that as the one playoff game to watch, you'd get little argument from me. Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Clay Matthews and Roddy White alone make it worth watching.

But the one game that is almost a dead solid lock to be great, the one game that is almost certain to be close, is the Steelers-Ravens matchup. You might not have a strong feeling about who's going to win, but you know it won't be over until the final seconds. When was the last time those two teams played anything other than a great game when they matched up? Their games against each other almost always end up coming down to the final seconds. Their matchups routinely end up being decided by a field goal -- or less. Go ahead and check their history if you don't remember. And knowing that they play each other so close means that virtually every possession, every first down, every field goal attempt from the opening kickoff on has meaning. Barring some unusual event -- an injury or a winter storm -- this is going to be a close game. You know it. I know it. They know it. It's virtually guaranteed.

So, if you had to pick one game, that's the one you pick.

Not that any of us will be watching just one.

By Michael Kun  |  January 11, 2011; 7:51 PM ET  | Category:  Atlanta Falcons , Baltimore Ravens , Green Bay Packers , Michael Kun , Pittsburgh Steelers , Playoffs Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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