Here we are, NFL Conference Championship weekend. It’s been a long and arduous road for the four teams remaining. For a lowly NFL blogger like me though it has also been a long season. Only two more weeks until the sweet release of a two week break before the off season. For now though we have an amazing divisional weekend. Three Elite level defenses and the Greatest QB of all time in Tom Brady. It’s time to fly.
Who would have expected this? A Jaguars team led by a dominant defense and great running game against the empire that is the Patriots for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. While people laugh at the notion of Blake Bortles beating Tom Brady they forget football is a team game. Bortles and Brady don’t step onto the field at the same time. No the Patriots will go up against one of the best defenses we have seen in the past ten years in the NFL. They have the recipe to beat the Patriots, two shut down corners in Aj Bouye and Jalen Ramsey and a terrifying pass rush lead by Calais Campbell (my pick for DPOY) and Malik Jackson, a man part of the Broncos defense that terrorized Brady on their way to the Super Bowl. While the general football public will tell you you’re a fool if you pick the Jaguars turns out you aren’t. Look at this team compared to the Broncos who beat a banged-up Patriots team who did they have at QB? A Peyton Manning who could barely throw the ball 10 yards, essentially the equivalent to Blake Bortles I would argue Bortles right now is better than last season Manning.
The recipe is to beating Brady is to sack him and with the word on the street being that the Pats will be without their backup RT and playing with a third stringer. As far as Bortles goes I’m putting my faith in him, and the fact the Patriots defense is just as bad as the Steelers. Will I regret this pick? Probably, but what fun is life without risk?
Jaguars 24 Patriots 17
Why in the world would you count out the Eagles? That is my question to you. Nick Foles? Doug Pederson put a game plan together last week that made him look like a genius. Other than Nick Foles, where is the weakness in this team? They have a killer wide receiving core Jay Ajayi dominated last week and LeGarrette Blount showed his playoff brilliance. Look at a dominant defense perhaps only outclassed by the one on the other side of the field in the Vikings. On the other side of the ball you have the Vikings coming off one of the greatest playoff victories in history.
If you don’t respect Case Keenum by now, then you obviously don’t watch football. Yes, some of his throws look like interceptions waiting to happen but then they drop right into the bread basket and that is Keenum’s signature throw. The key for the Eagles to win this game is to tire out the Vikings defense who rotate the least of any defense in the league. If the Eagles can hit Case Keenum they give themselves a better chance to win this game, that isn’t impossible. The Saints late in the game found ways to get to Keenum even though the Vikings line has been one of the best in the league this year. For the Vikings the key on offense will be the run game. Tevin Coleman tore apart the Philadelphia defense early in the divisional round on the ground. By no means am I counting out Philly, but Minnesota was my Super Bowl pick, I’m not picking against them. In another game with late fireworks Vikings win.