Eric Williams Sees Nerves and Weather As Championship Game Factors - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/20/06

Eric Williams Sees Nerves and Weather As Championship Game Factors

Seattle marches into the NFC Championship game for the first time since 1983, when they were still in the AFC. Questions remain about whether running back Shaun Alexander can play Sunday against Carolina, after suffering a concussion last week against Washington. But, Eric Williams says don't put a lot stock in seeing Alexander's name on the injury report.

"Whatever they say on the questionable, probable, you got to understand, that is gamemanship," said Williams.  "Now, there are certain rules with the NFL, that you have to list players according to where they actually are, but there's marketing, and there's reality, and the reality is, Shaun Alexander is going to play. I don't have a doubt in my mind."

Williams thinks Carolina has the better defense, but a healthy Alexander and mother nature may prove too much.

"I think the Seahawks are going to have a better running game then Carolina," Williams said, "but in Seattle, it rains, and they're used to it. People don't tan, they rust. Everybody is used to the rain and Seattle is going to take advantage of it."

The Steelers have impressed Williams with two playoff road wins,  but a trip to mile high for the AFC Championship Game may be their final stop.

"Pittsburgh has the better "D"," Williams said.  "But I'm going to put the edge with Denver, because of the altitude, being at home and those fans are wild."

For many of these players, Sundays games are the biggest they will ever play in, and how they handle it will be key.

"It's almost like, it's a mini Super Bowl," Williams said.  "The fans are nuts, there's a lot of marbles, so whatever game you had, you've got to take it to another level, if you can."

Kevin Berns reporting.
kberns@kltv.com  

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