by Kent Sterling
These games are so massive that we solicited predictions from media members, athletes, celebrities, and members of our own staff for their calls on what they believe will happen in Chicago and Pittsburgh on what will be incredible cold days – in Chicago the high will reach 20, and in Pittsburgh it will be 16.
The prognosticator coming the closest will receive recognition and a donation of a value to be determined to the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund in their name.
Feel free to add your predictions in the comments section.
Bundle up the kids and tape a pint of peppermint schnapps to your back, it’s going to be a long day. Here are the predictions in no particular order:
Ken Dilger – Super Bowl Champ/Former Colts Tight End – GB over the Bears: This game will come down to which Qb makes the fewest mistakes. I like Rodgers over Cutler based on experience.
Pitt over NY: How can you go against the Steelers at home in the playoffs. Look for the Pitt “D” to have a big day.
Paul Kuharsky, ESPN – Packers big, Steelers narrowly.
Bob Kravitz – Indianapolis Star Sports Columnist – Packers-Chicago – Liking the Bears. I remember when everybody talked about how overwhelming Peyton and the Colts were…until they got to New England and got shut down. The Bears won’t give up big plays like the Falcons. If there’s wind (and we’re talking Chicago here), that’s another strike against Aaron Rodgers and the passing game. If Jay Cutler doesn’t go Jay Cutler and throw idiotic interceptions in the red zone, I’m liking the Bears. And really, do you ever want to bet against Tim Jennings?
In the AFC, Jets – Because if the Steelers win, it will make my wife and my wife’s family very upset, and a happy wife means a happy Bob. I see Roethlisberger trying to make plays with six guys on him and making ill-advised throws that get intercepted. If you like watching teams run, I suggest you dive into your collection of America’s Next Top Model.
Chris Hagan, FOX-59 Indianapolis – Packers over Bears. Chicago could have kept their division rivals out of the playoffs by beating them on the final day of the regular season. Come Sunday, they’ll wish they had. Red hot Pack rolls again. Steelers over Jets. Still not sold on either of these teams. How did they get here anyway? I’ll take the home town squad in a low scoring, ugly affair.
Adam Ahlfeld – Former IU Guard - Steelers 28 Jets 17 - The stout Jets defense is caught off guard when Pittsburgh runs the Wildcat package with former Hoosier Antwaan Randle El at quarterback and gets a late touchdown drive to seal the win.
Packers 21 Bears 13
Aaron Rodgers throws for 2 touchdowns while Jay Cutler throws 2 interceptions as the Bears will be haunted by letting the Packers into the playoffs late in the regular season.
Susan Olsen – “Cindy” from “The Brady Bunch” – I hate sports, what am I doing on this list???
Dan Dakich – ESPN Analyst/1070 The Fan Host – da Bears…win one for Jim Dooley Abe Gibron and Neil Armstrong. JETS…I wanna hear more from Rex..btw..how did Susan Olsen get on this list?
Justin Albers – Indiana Daily Student - Packers 20, Bears 17 - The Bears have proven people wrong all year, but their run ends here. Aaron Rodgers will continue to put up solid numbers and Jay Cutler will make a costly mistake late.
Steelers 27, Jets 20 - Whoever scores first should be in a good position to win the game. With Big Ben on their sideline, I’ll take the Steelers to finally quiet Rex Ryan and the Jets.
Steve Simpson – WIBC Morning Host – Packers 31 – Bears 20; Simply put, I don’t trust Cutler. Given the choice, I’ll take Rodgers any day. Steelers 23-20 over the Jets – The Jets “Super Bowl” was last week, but even so, they’ll beat the spread but it won’t be enough.
Blaine Bishop – Former DB for Titans and Cathedral High School (Indianapolis) – pack and jets.
Gerry Dick – Inside Indiana Business – Aaron Rogers contiinues to elevate his game and Packers get it done on the road, 23-20; Steeler D too much for for young Sanchez, Iron City headed to another Super Bowl, 24-10.
Dan Roan – WGN TV Sports Anchor – Bears actually get some pressure on Rodgers and win a nailbiter, 17-13… Steelers D owns the AFC game and they beat the Jets, 21-10.
Amber Stearns – WIBC First Day Host and News Anchor – In a nail-biting all-out street brawl, the Pack will prevail over da Bears 24-21. While I hope the Steelers teach the Jets a tough lesson about experience, it’s a coin toss in my book. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the game go into OT.
Andy Furman – Real Talk 1160, Cincinnati (7a-9a) – Green Bay over Bears; but the surface in Soldier Field will be a factor for Aaron Rodgers…Green Bay will make Matt Forte’s day difficult…GB 17, Chicago 7…Jets have already beaten Indy and NE on the road…why stop…personnel is better than beaten-up Steelers…as long as Mark Sanchez doesn’t have to play from behind Jets will be in catbird seat..Jets 21, Steelers 17.
Eddie White – Co-Host of Kravitz & Eddie – 1070 The Fan/Current Director of Corporate and Community Relations, Indiana Pacers – Chicago over Packers – 21-20. Da Bears are at Da Home. It’s that close. I picked GB to go to SB “before” the season but I just like CHICAGO at Solider Field!
Steelers over Jets – 27-10. The “best” player in football is Troy Polamalu. When he plays that team is THE BEST in football. If he gets hurt or does not play then the Jets fly to Dallas for the SB. If NOT, Steeler Nation continues a quest for a 7th ring!!!!!
Candy Clark – Hot blonde from “American Graffiti” – no interest in this!
Brad Holtz – 92.3 WTTS Host and Program Director - Packers 27, Bears 23. Despite the Bears’ late season success, let’s face it – they’ve only beat the Seahawks thus far in the playoff. And I just don’t trust Cutler. The Packers have the momentum and I think it’s Aaron Rodger’s time.
Steelers 21, Jets 10. It’s been a great run for New York, but I think the luck runs out in Pittsburgh. When it comes down to it, I’ll take Big Ben and his two rings (plus the home team advantage) over the inexperience of Mark Sanchez.
Eric Yutzy – WTHR Sports – I think Chicago gets past Green Bay in spite of Jay Cutler, not because of him. That defense will win the turnover battle.
In the AFC, I like the Jets to win 3 straight road games to get to the Superbowl..plus it sets up a great storyline of Rex Ryan taking on the Bears, maybe beating them with the defense he learned from his father Buddy Ryan.
Ryan Sterling – Guard, Loyola Ramblers/Excellent Son – Packers 24 - Bears 20 – The Packer offense is more balanced during in the postseason than it ever was in the regular season and this will be the difference in the game. In the end the Bears will regret not knocking out the Packers in the last game of the regular season.
Steelers 27-Jets 17 – There is no one to stop the Steelers offense; they have the most well balanced offense of any team left and can beat you with both their offense and their defense. The Jets struggle to move the ball until the end of the game and the Steelers walk into the Superbowl.
Ed Wenck – WIBC Afternoon Host – This weekend’s NFC/AFC Championship games can be summed up simply: all green, all road teams. Sorry, Coach Lovie – the Pack is too hot right now; sorry, Big Ben, Rex has his Jets believin’. Packers by 6, Jets by Mrs. Ryan’s sexy pinky toe.
Abdul-Hakim Shabazz – WXNT Morning Host – I’m horrible at this but I will say Bears and Pittsburgh. Bears because I am from Chicago and really like them. Steelers because I don’t care.
Cheryl Raye-Stout – WBEZ Sports, and Chicago Sports Media Icon – This is the game some Bears fans and Packers fans have been waiting for all the lifes..and the winner is the Bears 14 Packers 10. Meanwhile in that “other” game..Big Bad Ben..beats the Jets 17-14..Rex will go toe to toe with the Mrs. for the winter.
Jeff Showalter – kentsterling.com – Packers 17 Bears 13–Jay Cutler will morph back into the real Jay Cutler sometime in the 4th quarter and throw an interception or two and the Packers hold on.
Steelers 24 Jets 20–I hate the Steelers and that alone is enough of a reason why they will win. Plus they have the best QB left in the playoffs. Big Ben will lead them to a 4th quarter TD and Sanchez will get Polamolu’d late. Steelers hold on.
Wayne Perkey – WHAS, Louisville Radfio Icon – I am a Peyton Manning/Colts fan, and since they are gone, I don’t really have an emotional investment – But, here goes:
Think Da Bears have found their rhythm – Chicago!
Steelers are just too tough – Pittsburgh.
Jersey Johnny – 1070 The Fan Host of THE Jersey Johnny Show – You have to like how the Jets and Packers have gone on the road and won. Both playing with alot of confidence. Think that the Jets fall behind early, Sanchez reverts back to a second year guy still finding his way. Rex pipes down ’till next season.
This has been set up nicely for the Bears, but Cutler gets pressured, throws the ball to the wrong team. Bear’s fans will continue talking about ’85 like it was yesterday and think that somebody really cares…
Tim Ring – Fox Sports Net/Actor “Reggie’s Prayer” – Packers. I just trust Rodgers over Cutler at this point and the Packers won’t let Devin Hester beat them. If they do, well shame on them.
Steelers. The Jets don’t know it but they mentally climbed their mountain top last week. Steelers take advantage of home field and advance.
Having said that, I hope I’m wrong on both counts.
Joe Hughes – Forward, Xavier University/Owner of His Own Gorilla Suit – Da Bears are going down at Soldier Field, can’t handle Rogers and the Pack attack who will win the Superbowl. Unfortunately my Colts lost and I’m glad the Patriots and Tom Brady lost (3 playoffs games in a row) so I don’t care who wins the AFC. I don’t like the Steelers or the Jets but I think the Steelers D is too much for the Jets.
Also, a message from Colts nation to Rex Ryan: “Obesity is not the answer.”
Billy Reed – Sports Illustrated – Packers over the Bears by 10, Steelers over the Jets by seven for a Super Bowl that historians and traditionalists — like myself — will really love.
Mark Boyle – Indiana Pacers Play-by-Play - Packers over the Bears. No team with Jay Cutler will ever win anything. Plus, I have $1 riding on the Packers.
J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets over the Steelers. If there is a God – and I know that’s a topic that intelligent people could bat around (and have) for decades – how could he possibly reward a social miscreant like Slothlisberger with another ring? Plus, I have $1 riding on the Jets.
Eva Pilgrim – FOX 59 Reporter, and clearly a sports fan – Packers over Bears in Chicago… the rise of a new era of Green Bay football. Steelers over the Jets at home… sending Fireman Ed back to NYC quiet.
Michael Grady – Host/Executive Producer, 1070 The Fan – Packers over Bears 20-10. The story of this game will not be Rodgers and the Packers offense…it’ll be the defense. Cutler has been solid, but Matthews and Hawk will finally force him into the mistakes we’ve all been waiting for. In the AFC, Steelers 17-Jets 13. The Jets will regret not using a little trash talk to get them pumped up for this one. This will be one of the most physical conference championship games we’ve ever seen…but in the end, Roethlisberger will make the plays to pull out the W.
Mark Patrick – WNDE Host of MPOS (3p-7p) – I like the Jets because they’re on what I call, the “Clear Head Roll.” They aren’t smart, they’re not thinking and just playing. And playing at a very high level. In the NFC, I like the Packers because Aaron Rodgers is not going to make the critical mistake down the stretch that Jay Cutler will.
Ben Botts – Point Guard IPFW – Packers vs. Bears - Won’t find a bigger Jay Cutler hater than me, Go Packers. Jets vs. Steelers - Being a pro wrestling fan, Bart Scott won me over with his WWE style interview last week. I’ve got the Jets in a close one.
George Ofman – Sports Host, WGN Radio – I like the Bears 27-20. I think the defense will find a way to keep Rodgers at bay while Cutler will throw a pair of TD passes. I like the Steelers 24-20 over the Jets. Rothlisberger is very big in very big games.
Kyle “The Truth” Miller – kentsterling.com – Packers @ Chicago; Winner: Packers – Aaron Rodgers is ready to capture not just his first NFC Championship, but a Super Bowl Trophy. What would be more fitting then in Favre’s last season, Rodgers winning the Super Bowl when the Vikings had such high expectations. The Packers are tough, and when Rodgers is healthy the team is drastically better. Jets @ Pittsburgh; Winner: Pittsburgh – I want the Jets to win, but Pittsburgh’s defense is too tough. With Troy Polamalu back, roaming in the secondary and occasionally in the opponents backfield, the Pittsburgh defense will be too much for Mark Sanchez.
Jake Query – Radio Host/Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network – Packers – I predicted Green Bay would go to Dallas 2 months ago and I’ll stick by it. In a matchup of 2 oustading defenses, you jave to go with the Quarterback least likely to make misatkes. Aaron Rodgers has been that guy for a month. And Jay Cutler, for good reason, hails from a town that is named for a mythical figure that delivers gifts.
Steelers – In the AFC, I’ll go with Pittsburgh. I applaud Rex Ryan’s bravado and his ability to take heat away from his players and into himself. But Pittsburgh has a better D-Line, a more pounding runner, and while Mark Sanchez doesn’t lose games for you, he hasn’t shown to consistently win them for you either. Ben Roethlisberger has.
Mark Montieth – Former Indiana Pacers Beat Writer/Current Host of “One on One” on 1070 – The Fan (Indianapolis) - Packers 27, Bears 21, for the simple reason that I grew up a Packers fan. Steelers 20, Jets 14 because Sanchez isn’t ready to take a team to the Super Bowl.
Greg Rakestraw – Hometown Sports/Horizon League Game of the Week Play-by-Play – Packers – 24-17 over the Bears. Close game, Packers win on a decisive drive late in the game. Both QBs play well on a freezing day on a bad field. Packers just a little bit better across the board. In the AFC, Steelers 24-Jets 13 – Impossible to beat Manning, Brady, and Roethlisberger in 3 straight weeks on the road. The universe would implode.
Mitch Meredith – Athletic Trainer/Longtime Caller – Packers vs. Bears - The weather in Chicago will not be a factor in this one, the linebacking core of Green Bay is scary. A.J. Hawk, Clay Mathews, and company will move on to Dallas.
Jets vs. Steelers - Its not at all about Mark Sanchez, the D-Line of the Jets have pressured both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in the last two consecutive weeks. It would not surprise me if Ben Roethlisburger gets “knocked” out of the game. Rex Ryan will be eating tacos pregame in Dallas!!