After a strange and controversial NFL season, the post-season has been both riviting and full of drama – this time on the field. Our own Brett Vega looks at this week’s matchups.
I’m still not over processing the end of the Vikings and Saints game. It was the best five minutes of football this season by a mile.
I had Atlanta at the one yard line in Philly and 25 seconds on the clock in Minnesota to go perfect for the week. Instead I went 2-2 moving me to 5-3 overall in the playoffs.
How about that Jags upset though? Tomlin did what he usually does in the playoffs and out managed himself at the end of a close game. No need to onside kick when they did with two timeouts, followed by not kicking a field goal and leaving yourself 26 seconds and a chance for a Hail Mary. Terrible coaching as expected.
Atlanta was the better team on the field and just came up short. They literally let it slip through their hands. Not to take away from how well that Philly defense played, or how well Nick Foles managed that game. New England put the hurt on that ridiculous playoff team quarterbacked by Marcus Mariota. We’re all grateful that we didn’t get to see Philip Rivers or Joe Flacco in the postseason so we could see Tyrod Taylor and Mariota play such exciting football. On to the matchups!
JAGUARS VS PATRIOTS
There is only one man in the NFL who is undefeated against Bill Belichick in Super Bowls: Tom Coughlin.
Coughlin just so happens to be in Jacksonville. I’m fully aware that this Patriots team is much better than they were at the beginning of the year. I’m also aware that Belichick is the best playoff coach of all time. And I don’t care, this Jags defense is something special. Pittsburgh’s offense put up a bunch of points on a lot of people these past few years so I’m going to forgive the 42 points allowed last week. All of the long touchdowns allowed were contested, and let’s be honest here, Hogan-Cooks-and Gronk are not Brown-Bryant-and JUJU. I was really amazed at how aggressive the Jags offense was after Fournette got injured. If they can keep up that tempo and just manage to hit Tom Brady a few times they will win this game convincingly. 21-13 JACKSONVILLE.
VIKINGS VS EAGLES
I’m having a really tough time with this one. Minnesota has not played well outdoors in cold climates the last two seasons. However if Jacksonville wins I can’t see the NFL not doing everything in their power to avoid Foles VS Bortles in Super Bowl LII. So I’ll break it into two separate opinions. If Jacksonville wins Minnesota should be able to do enough with ref assistance to win by 10+ points and avoid having Kai Forbath and Jake Elliott decide this game. If New England wins however I believe the refs will let this game play out the way it should. Hard hitting, low scoring, old school football. And Philly should force Keenum into a few turnovers where Elliot can drill a few short ones. Allowing for the Vikings fan base to watch as yet another missed kick costs them a shot at a Lombardi. If Jags win 27-10 VIKINGS, If Pats win 12-9 EAGLES.