Steelers won’t stopat just Indianapolis

Jan 17, 2006 4:17 AM

How about those Pittsburgh Steelers!

They kicked the living you know what out of the Colts with a swarming defense that was all over Peyton Manning, who looked frustrated. If you are a football fan, especially a Pittsburgh supporter, it was one rollercoaster of a game with more complexion changes than a 13 year old.

The Steelers looked like a cinch, but then Mr. Reliable Jerome Bettis fumbles at the 3 yard line with less than a minute left. If not for a super tackle by Ben Roethlisberger on the return, it would have gone for a game winning TD for the Colts. Then just when it looked like a field goal would send the game into overtime making Bettis the goat, Indy kicker Vanderjagt missed wide right. Game over, Vanderjagt becomes the goat and Bettis breathes a huge sigh of relief.

The real story was the horrible officiating. These guys couldn’t even make the correct call when reviewing it in slow motion. This game really wasn’t as close as the final score (21-18) indicated. If the Steelers get the correct call in the first half when the receiver was mugged, it would have led to another score. But overturning the interception was really a joke. These guys must have gone to the same school as the Del Mar stewards.

As for the Panthers-Bears game, the lack of offense for Chicago finally caught up in the final minutes.

Let’s take a look at next week’s conference championship games.

Sunday, Jan. 22

Steelers +3½ at Broncos (41): The game opened about what you see it now. I actually made the game Denver -2½, but I would never go higher then -3. If the Steelers are able to come up with another effort like the one at Indy, the Broncos will be in for the game of their life.

In last week’s victory over the Patriots, Denver was outplayed and outgained. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s your year and this could be the Broncos season. Still, you have to like the way the Steelers D is playing. These teams last met in 2003 when the Broncos won in Denver 17-14 as a 7-point favorite. I can’t see this game any different.

"Big Ben" is playing as good as ever and his passes are like ropes, right on target. If he continues, Pittsburgh will be on the way to another Super Bowl and that long awaited one for the thumb. STEELERS, UNDER.

Panthers +4½ at Seahawks (43½): If you include Carolina’s last regular season game, this will be its fourth straight road game. Being away from home must agree with the Panthers, who crushed the Falcons in Atlanta, blanked the Giants in New Jersey, and then put it to the tough-minded Bears in hostile Chi town.

The Seahawks sat back in their last game of the season, a loss at Green Bay. The rust showed a little in a very lucky 20-10 win over the Redskins. That game opened up Seattle -6 and was quickly bet down to -4½. I think the number is a very good bet. PANTHERS.

Last week: 1-3
Playoffs: 3-5