Ebs’ Hot Takes: New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers

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FROM THE PRESS BOX – As we enter the final week of the regular season, it’s time to look at the state of the NFL yet again.

Yup, an NFL-exclusive edition of Ebs’ Hot Takes.

Enjoy.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots won’t make it out of the divisional round. I know I stated this last week, but even after the New England Patriots’ win over the Buffalo Bills last weekend, I still don’t see them going anywhere this postseason.

I don’t care that the Patriots won the AFC East once again. Or that they burn me prediction after prediction.

Heck, the Bills were two dropped passes and a fumble away from beating the Patriots in their own house. Something is different with this team.

Tom Brady may have thrown for 4,000 yards again this season, but he looks off. Rob Gronkowski is slow. The defense has flaws.

The one thing going for New England is Bill Belichick.

But there are just two many good contenders that could face the Patriots before the AFC Championship this year.

The Los Angeles Chargers are one of the best teams in the AFC, the Baltimore Ravens have one of the best defenses in the league and the Houston Texans are dynamic on offense and defense.

Are we seeing the end of an era?

The Chicago Bears are the team to watch in the NFC. Sure, the New Orleans Saints are the favorite out of the NFC and maybe even the Super Bowl, but watch out for the Chicago Bears.

Between that stellar defense led by Khalil Mack and the dynamic Bears offense, they’re going to be a tough out this winter.

The real question is whether or not second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky can carry the load in the postseason.

He’ll have some help because of his two-headed running attack led by Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen and a loaded passing attack.

The Saints will still probably make it out of the NFC, but watch the Bears make a run to the conference championship game.

Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers will make the postseason and even make a run at conference title. Who would have thought that the Pittsburgh Steelers’ postseason hopes would come down to whether or not the Cleveland Browns can beat the Ravens on the road with nothing but pride on the line.

The Ravens will be facing a tough defense this weekend and a fiery quarterback. If the Browns can pull off the upset, opening the window for the Steelers.

Despite their 8-6-1 record, the Steelers still have the talent to make a run at the Lombardi Trophy. Ben Roethlisberger still has some juice left in the tank with a handful of weapons at his disposal.

Oh, and the defense seems to be coming along too.

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About the Author ()

DJ Eberle: The youngest of our team, DJ is also the largest. Offensive Tackle Large. In fact, this Albany native used OT for Western New England University - until he graduated in May of 2014. Like Junoir Blaber, he's a regular on Rugby Wrap Up - his dad played rugby with The Matts. His cross to bear, however, is his love for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. As for baseball and basketball, it's the Yanks and Atlanta Hawks. Follow him on Twitter: @ByDJEberle.

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