Championship Sunday, we are here. In a few weeks, football will be over. It is a very sad thought and makes me wonder what my girlfriend will force me to do on Sundays. I would prefer to continue sitting on the couch and stuffing my face with whatever greasy food I choose for the day, but anyone with a girlfriend knows that will not continue. I digress, let’s jump into the games and I’ll give the hard hitting opinion you’re all dying to hear.
Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots (-7.5) 3:05 EST CBS
Ho hum, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are back in the AFC Championship game for the 7th straight year. They have seemingly one of the easiest roads to the Super Bowl. They rolled over a Titans team with zero identity and now face a Blake Bortles led Jacksonville Jaguars. If were being honest, this Jaguars team is not led by Blake Bortles. Although he has been very solid in the past few weeks, this team is led by Myles Jack, Jalen Ramsey, and AJ Bouye.
This defense is full of a bunch of bad mamma jammas. They are as badass as it gets. Jalen Ramsey has come into the league and shut out virtually every single premier receiver that lined up against him. Blake Bortles has played extremely solid the final quarter of the season and postseason. Once he realized the key was to managing the game, not committing turnovers, and letting that bad mamma jamma defense take control the Jaguars have found their rhythm. They handled a Steelers team that was obviously looking past the Jags with their off the field blabber mouthing about the Patriots. The only problem with this game is the Jaguars defense is facing a certain someone…
Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr.
Tom Brady is no stranger to big games. He has started 35 postseason games, over 2 seasons of high pressure games. He is playing in his 12th Conference Championship in 18 seasons. 2/3rds of his NFL careers have led to this. He has 5 Super Bowl rings. He has faced some of the best defenses in big games and conquered them ( see Super Bowl XLIX vs Seattle). I could go on and on about Tom, since I do have a man crush on him, but we can stop there.
A big factor will be his hand injury, is there really anything wrong? Personally, I do not think there is anything wrong. If this was serious, then I don’t think Bill Belicheck would allow it to get to the media.
Another big issue is how will the Jaguars guard Gronk. He is virtually unguardable and is a matchup nightmare. I think if he splits out wide, then you will see Jalen Ramsey treat him as a #1 receiver and lock him down. If he is connected to the line of scrimmage, then I think Myles Jack will be given that tough task.
When it comes down to it, I think Tom Brady will be too much for the Jaguars. I think Bill Belicheck is a mastermind and has a plan to dissect this defense. I am going with the Patriots and the points here.
Patriots 28 Jaguars 10
Minnesota Vikings (-3) at Philadelphia Eagles 6:40 EST FOX
How did we get here? That is the question most people will be asking, how are these the two best teams the NFC has to offer?
Well, I am not really sure but here we are. The worst part about this all is Carson Wentz. This Eagles team was on the path to take down the Patriots. They were on a one way trip to Minnesota. Their second year quarterback had turned into an MVP candidate and their defense was stifling. Unfortunately, things are not always as good as they seem.
I feel bad for Philadelphia, I truly do. I think they have one of the best fan bases in the country, the live and die with their sports teams. I personally think they get a bad rap for being scummy and angry people. Carson Wentz tearing his ACL when he did sucked ass. I know what it is like, I have been a lifelong Bulls fan. I remember Derrick Rose tearing his ACL vs the 76ers. It blows, but the Eagles have moved forward and are now one win away from Minneapolis.
I absolutely love the dog mask, I love that they were the #1 seed in the NFC and have embraced this underdog role.
The Vikings have also gone through a lot of injuries, though not as severe as their MVP caliber QB going down. They started the season with Sam Bradford at quarterback and their shiny new RB Dalvin Cook. Well, both of them got hurt and now they have Case Keenum running the show.
Let’s not overshadow their defense though, this defense is as stellar as the Jaguars. They may not have the swagger that Jacksonville has but they can do the damn thing. From Everson Griffen, to Anthony Barr, to Xavier Rhodes, to Harrison Smith, this defense is absolutely stacked.
These are two quarterbacks you can’t trust just yet, although Case has performed all year. It is just tough to see how they will perform in a high pressure, big game like this.
The one thing that the Vikings have against them, history. They have faltered in big games before see 1998 Vikings and 2015 Vikings. The good people of Minnesota have enough to deal with this time of year with the constant negative degree weather, so I think it is time a little sun shines down on those Yoopers.
I am taking the Vikings stellar defense to beat the Eagles and become the first team to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium.
Vikings 17 Eagles 7