I’m sticking by the prediction I made Monday: Packers 27, Steelers 21, Aaron Rodgers for MVP. The biggest factor? Pittsburgh’s pass defense is overrated. It ranked 12th this season, but the overall D ranked 2nd, thanks in large part to the run D.
Well, guess what? The Packers have little interest in running the football. Rodgers will throw over 40 times today and test the Steelers secondary. Although Troy Polamalu is an all-time great, he’s NOT the best defensive player in the league this year, despite what the voting may say. I think Rodgers will have success throwing on Polamalu and co. Big Ben and his offense won’t be able to keep up with its hobbled offensive line.
As for the lay of the local sporting land, here’s a look at a bunch of links from this week that I want you to read:
• Someone asked yesterday if Port Chester’s win over Greeley Thursday means the Rams have returned as a postseason threat. Well, after yesterday’s close victory over Clarkstown South, I would say yes. That was the focus of today’s Sunday boys basketball notebook.
I talked to Craig Holcomb and his star, Anthony Ordonez, about Port Chester’s run. It started around the time the calendar flipped, but there was a major mishap along the way. That was an 80-50 home thrashing at the hands of Byram Hills on Jan. 19. It prompted a team meeting where Holcomb told his player they weren’t playing with urgency. Since then, the Rams have won four straight, including a win on the road at Greeley, which hadn’t lost a league game.
• The notebook also had an item on Tuckahoe. Coach Al Visconti said last year’s team was “the best 3-16 team on the planet,” and it has done nothing to discredit him in 2010-11. The Tigers beat Saunders Saturday to improve to 13-1 and appear like a serious favorite to win the Class C gold ball.
• Also, an interesting quote in my game story from Valhalla’s Dave Greiner. After watching his team scorched in the first half by Blind Brook, Greiner said the following: “Everybody can say what they want about us two teams coming up to (Class) B, but they’re going to be a 2-seed, maybe a 1-seed,” Greiner said. “They’re not a fluke.” I wholeheartedly agree.
Class C co-state player of the year: Dillon Mitchell, Bronxville (right)
Class D state player of the year: Jarett Sommer, Tuckahoe
Class C coach of the year: Jeff Napolitano, Bronxville
Class D coach of the year: John D’Arco, Tuckahoe
Co-12th Man of the Year: Brian McPartland, Brewster
My story focused on Mitchell, who stepped in at QB and produced highlight after highlight for the Broncos: He was all-section, MVP of the state title game and now the state coaches’ state player of the year.
• And last but not least, Stepinac safety Jeff Clack (left) has become the third Crusader to accept a scholarship. He gave an oral commitment on Friday to Division II Southern Connecticut and, according to coach Mike O’Donnell, will sign a letter of intent this week.
Clack led Stepinac in tackles during its run to the only perfect season in program history. He was named all-CHSFL and all-state in the postseason.