I wouldn't yet say I'm panicking or even worried, but at this point I'd describe myself as uneasy.
I didn't put too much stock in Tom Brady missing Wednesday's press conference but when he appeared on the injury report with a right hand injury, it raised an eyebrow. But when the reports came out later in the night that he'd jammed his hand during a hand-off and that X-rays didn't reveal any further damage, I settled down. When he appeared at practice today, even with a glove over his injured hand, I was even more relieved.
But when he missed today's press conference, it started to give me pause. And when he was listed as not participating in practice, it rankled me further. I don't believe he'll miss the AFC Championship Game but it's hard to think he'll be at or near 100 percent going into it. And with a weak offensive line against a strong defensive line, there's going to be little room for error for him in the pocket. For the Patriots to win, they'll need to keep Brady clean, hope Dion Lewis can tote the ball up to 20 times, and rely on quick passes to the running backs and tight ends.
Running backs catch 20+ passes this week. Pats just need to keep the offense moving and putting points up while not making any mistakes that give Jacksonville short field or even worse points from defense.
Blake Bortles and company need to outscore the number one offense in the NFL this season while playing against what for the last three months has statistically been the best defense in the NFL on the road.
If they do then kudos to them. They beat the #1 and #2 teams in the AFC and they deserve to be in the Super Bowl as strange as it sounds.
I really, REALLY don't understand the number of people overlooking Jacksonville. Yes, I know Bortles isn't elite by any means, but he's good enough, they have a terrific back and their defense is relentless. They absolutely have a chance to win Sunday, healthy Brady or not.
That said, I *do* think the Patriots win, but I expect a total dogfight. Something like Pats 27 Jacksonville 21.
On the NFC side, I think the Vikings are playing with house money. Minnesota 30 Philly 20
Post by cabbageboy on Jan 19, 2018 18:10:01 GMT -5
Jacksonville'd D is okay but it's not exactly like they are that amazing against elite QBs. Sure, they held a boring Bills offense to 3 points, but Roethlisberger lit them up for 42 points last week. Jimmy Garoppolo torched them as well when the Jags lost to the Niners. These guys were swept by the Tennessee team that the Patriots destroyed last week. I'm amused that anyone thinks this will be close. NE 31, Jacksonville 14.
I'll go with Minnesota in the NFC title game. Something like 17-10.
If Vikings get to the Super Bowl, they're in the visiting locker room
Actually....this is false. They would technically be the "visiting team" but the NFL has already informed the Vikings that if they were to make the Super Bowl that they would be able to use their practice facility, home locker room, and sideline.
The AFC are the designated home team, meaning that they can opt to wear their road white jerseys. This is more likely if the Vikings make the Super Bowl.
AFC Championship: Unlike the suddenly incompetent Mike Tomlin, Belichick will have his players ready to play, whether Brady is playing or not. Just being prepared for what the Jags throw at them will be more than enough. Unless the Jags D-Line harass whichever QB is under center Super Bowl 42-style, the Patriots will win handily. New England 24, Jacksonville 12
NFC Championship: Just because the Vikings are playing with house money doesn't mean necessarily they'll just waltz into Philly and win. But it'd be nice if they did and won the whole thing. Both teams are going to rely on their D to win it for them, but Foles can take more advantage of Minny's weaknesses on D than Keenum can expose on the Eagles side. Look for Jake Elliott in the dying moments to add to his legend. Philadelphia 20, Minnesota 17
1. The last time the road team won an AFC Championship game when it was the early game- 2005-06 (Steelers at Denver). Since then, only twice has the road team won the first game and both were in the NFC (2010-11 Packers, 2012-13 49ers)
2. Only once in the 50+ year Super Bowl era has a defending SB champion lost a conference championship game at home, 1990-91 Giants over 49ers
Last Edit: Jan 20, 2018 21:58:27 GMT -5 by Unocal 76
Here’s who I believe will be representing their respective conferences in Super Bowl LII:
- New England 27, Jacksonville 17: Tom Brady’s hand injury gave Patriots fans a scare and gave the media a storyline for Conference Championship week. But all indications are that Brady is good to go Sunday. I don’t know how much, or if at all, the hand injury will affect his play, but as good as the Jaguars defense is, they’re going to have to force a few Patriots errors to give their offense ideal scoring opportunities. People knocking the Jaguars aren’t paying enough attention to what this team is capable of, as they have the kind of defense that could give Brady and the New England offense fits. But the Jacksonville offense might not be able to put enough of a dent on the scoreboard unless their defense sets them up.
- Minnesota 26, Philadelphia 12: I’ve been doubting Case Keenum and the Vikings for the better part of the season. It’s time for me to admit i’m Wrong and admit that Keenum is more than capable enough under center to get the job done for Minnesota. On the other side of this matchup, despite his solid performance against Atlanta, I have questions as to whether Nick Foles can do the same. The Vikings might be the most well-rounded team left in the playoffs and I believe their defense will feast on Foles.
Post by Push Val Venis was wrong on Jan 21, 2018 11:22:43 GMT -5
Vikings fan here... I won't even be mad if the Eagles win. I'm happy to see two teams that aren't all about 1 or 2 rockstars. They don't have butthole coaches or other wacky hijinks. The teams are Teams. It's kinda nice.
Also two "cursed" franchises that both have done a great job of slowly putting an elite team together. Both franchises have put themselves into a position to be "Great" for quite a few years.
Also spills over the the Jags. I hope the Jags win.
It's quickly morphed into 3 Cool Teams that deserve it vs The NFL Assholes