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HEADLINE PLAY
     
Singled Out
By Dennis Ranahan

While tomorrow's National Football League championship games arguably involve the four best teams in the league this year, none are without their flaws.

One will overcome those flaws and two weeks from now they will be on the cusp of winning Super Bowl LI. Will that winning team be the one that overcame the most imposing obstacle or the team with the least debilitating challenge to conquer?

The two visiting teams on Sunday each had four game losing streaks and have won every game since they snapped those losing runs. The Steelers were favored at home over the team that ended the year with the best record in football, the Dallas Cowboys, and lost. Since that mid-November defeat Pittsburgh has won a league high nine games including a pair of postseason triumphs against the Miami Dolphins and at the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Green Bay Packers also stumbled through a four game losing streak while dropping decisions to the Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins, the final two setbacks while their defense was exploited for 89 points. But, since those 47-25 and 42-24 setbacks to Tennessee and Washington, the Packers have strung together eight straight victories including conquests of the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs.

Green Bay advanced to their 2010 Super Bowl win from a Wild Card playoff seed and with a win in Atlanta will have a chance to repeat that accomplishment.


HEADLINE PLAY ARCHIVES
Singled Out Headline Play Conference Championships
Long Division Headline Play Conference Championships
Top Flight Headline Play Conference Championships
Time Change Gameday Divisional Playoffs
High Hopes Headline Play Divisional Playoffs
Defend This Headline Play Divisional Playoffs
Thy Be Done Headline Play Divisional Playoffs
That Perfect Headline Play Divisional Playoffs
Show Time Headline Play Divisional Playoffs
Follow the Leader Headline Play Wild Card Weekend
Follow the Leader Gameday Wild Card Weekend
Black Out Headline Play Wild Card Weekend
Good Cause Headline Play Wild Card Weekend
Double Up Headline Play Wild Card Weekend
Black Bake Headline Play Wild Card Weekend
For All the Marbles Headline Play Week 17

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New England Patriots 14-3
New Orleans Saints 11-5
Dallas Cowboys 11-6
Atlanta Falcons 11-6
Green Bay Packers 11-6-1
Pittsburgh Steelers 11-6-1
PACKERS - FALCONS
Sunday, January 22 - 12:05 PM
AT

STEELERS - PATRIOTS
Sunday, January 22 - 3:40 PM
AT

New England Patriots 105
Atlanta Falcons 96
Pittsburgh Steelers 93
Green Bay Packers 84
San Francisco 49ers 0
Chicago Bears 0
The NFL

Too Good to Air

WINNING NOT REQUESTED

Looking for Laughs

Whatever Happened to Jimmy Kimmel

Spread Shift Catch
Adding Profits

Cause and effect.

It is not always what most people think. But it is consistent. On the other side of something happening, a cause can always be identified as if it was in the shine of a spotlight on an otherwise pitch black moonless night.

Often, affect hides the cause behind public sentiment.

Public opinion is swayed by bits and pieces of information that are assigned significance in an assortment of ways … none necessarily tethered to something that truly drives predictable results.

Going in, likely; coming out, certainty.

Even a contest yet to be decided that has a 99% probability of favoring one side in a two team race fails to offer an ironclad guarantee, but after a game is over one side is the 100% winner and the other a zero.

Certainty is only provided after a contest is decided.

The cause of something is most often tied to the need to perform at a higher level than recent outings. When a team in that sphere meets a team that has run a winning streak to it’s limits, an opportunity to cash a proposition most often comes with points on the spread.