PFT’s conference championship game picks

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Knotted up with three games to go, the PFT Postseason Picks challenge will definitely have a leader come Sunday night. We disagree on one of the two games to be played on Sunday.

For the picks in both of the Conference Championship games, keep reading. And then keep counting the hours and minutes until a pair of excellent games get started on Sunday afternoon.

Last week, MDS was 3-1, and I went 2-2. The difference? He believed in the Eagles. Even if he no longer does.

Jaguars at Patriots

MDS’s take: Last week everyone dismissed the Jaguars’ chances of winning in Pittsburgh, and this week everyone is dismissing the Jaguars’ chances of winning in New England. I think Jacksonville is a better team than people give it credit for, but the difference this week is that Bill Belichick and his staff will have a better game plan than Mike Tomlin and his staff had last week. The way to beat the Jaguars is to run the ball and stop the run, and I think the Patriots’ game plan will be heavily focused on that. Tom Brady had 53 passes last week. He won’t have anything close to that this week, as the Patriots will win the game on the ground and head to yet another Super Bowl.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 30, Jaguars 20.

Florio’s take: The Jaguars have the defense to slow down the Patriots, with a strong rush coming up the middle and man-to-man coverage behind it. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is the X-factor, but the Broncos beat the Patriots two years ago in this round, and Gronk had eight catches for 144 yards and a touchdown. Offensively, however, the Jaguars may not be able to match the Patriots. Coach Bill Belichick will implement a game plan aimed at taking away running back Leonard Fournette, which will require quarterback Blake Bortles to make a big throw in a big spot, eventually. If he can’t, the Jaguars won’t win. (Of course, this analysis is premised on Tom Brady playing quarterback for the Patriots. If he can’t play due to that hand injury, or if he’s clearly impaired, the Jaguars could end up with the ticket to Minnesota.)

Florio’s pick: Patriots 24, Jaguars 16.


Vikings at Eagles

MDS’s take: The Vikings’ defense had a late-game letdown that nearly cost them the game against the Saints, and it all happened after safety Andrew Sendejo suffered a concussion. Sendejo appears ready to go for Sunday, which should boost a good Minnesota defense. On the other side of the ball, I think Case Keenum will keep playing good football as he has all year, and he’ll lead Minnesota to a Super Bowl on its home field.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 24, Eagles 20.

Florio’s take: Flip a coin, throw a dart, light a match. I’ve gone back and forth on this one all week. At the end of Friday’s PFT Live, I had to finally pick a winner. I blurted out the Eagles. It could be a mistake (hardly my first), but home-field advantage is the difference in this one. If the game were being played in Minnesota, the Vikings would win easily; in Philly, it’s going to be a close, grind-it-out game that eventually wears down Minnesota’s defense and offensive line, allowing the Eagles to make that one key play needed to win the game. The best hope for the Vikings? Come out of the gates hot, pressuring (and demoralizing) Eagles quarterback Nick Foles and establishing a double-digit lead, which the Vikings have down many times this year (10 games saw the Vikings build leads of 16 points or more). Quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins, Matthew Stafford, and Drew Brees were able to carve into those margins. Nick Foles wouldn’t be, if it comes to that. Based on 45 years of following the NFL closely (old), and witnessing the Vikings coming up short in a big spot again and again and again, the home team gets the edge — and the Eagles secure the right to lose in the Super Bowl. Unless they can get the Super Bowl moved to Philadelphia.

Florio’s pick: Eagles 16, Vikings 13.

107 responses to “PFT’s conference championship game picks

  1. The Pats and Jags won’t be 8 to 10 point spread. True that BB will have a plan to stop the running game but that doesn’t mean he will be successful. Let’s face it, the Jags won lots of games this year against teams dead set on stopping the running game, how did that work out?. I still think the Pats win but it will be a late FG to do it.

  2. Patriots 24 Jaguars 21 Brady doesn’t throw as much as the last game for sure, but the run game should be able to pick up the slack even if his hand is more messed up than advertised. Plus I am willing to bet they are going to try and limit Fournette as much as possible to make Bortles throw more. Although, Bortles has actually improved, so this won’t be an easy one, but I still go with the Pats. Vikings 17 Eagles 13 I expect this game to be a defensive slugfest but I’ll go with the Vikings however it wouldn’t shock me to see the Eagles win either.

  3. Only someone who’s still a true Vikings fan at heart would pick against them publicly like this. Good to know we still have you on board, Florio. #SKOL #VikeGang #BringItHome
    #BringItMotherEphingHome

  4. These playoffs have been unpredictable, I see the Jags beating the Patriots and the Eagles beating the Vikings to set up a Blake Bortles vs Nick Foles in the Superbowl, who would have thunk it???? If someone had bet on these two teams making it the Super Bowl, that person will be a rich man come Monday Morning!!

  5. I hear Vikes are using video footage of Barr’s dirty hit to promote Sunday’s game. You’d think they would have learned something about curses and karma over the past 50+ years of never winning a championship. I guess not.

  6. If Brady either doesn’t play, or has issues playing with that hand, the Jags win easily. If Brady plays like his self, I see it Pats 21 Jags 14

    For my Vikes against the Eagles. It’s going to come down to who runs the ball better. I’m not making a prediction because it’s honestly to close to call.

    #Skol
    #BringItHome

  7. Jaguars are a team given to inconsistency. They played well last week. They may play well this week. Most expect that. However, they have also played poorly against teams NE beat easily.
    NE, on the other hand, has consistently played well.

    I see the consistency factor as a significant predictor.

  8. Anyone who has been watching the Vikings for 45 years would never publicly pick them to win a big playoff game. I determined eight years ago that the Vikings will never return to the Super Bowl so it would be foolish for me to think they’re going to win this week no matter what the numbers say or how the matchup looks on paper. Objectively, I think the Vikings should win, but I can’t allow myself to believe it will really happen.

    Still, this team does seem different…

  9. Vikes and Pats…Big secret: Philly has a crappy 3rd down D.

    Other secret: Jags may be better than Tenn covering RBs and TEs, but it’s not by much.

    Vikes vs Pats in SB 52.

  10. Pats lost to the Chiefs, Panthers and Dolphins. Two of those were in Foxboro. They are not a lock, but I just can’t see a logical way that Blake Bortles can lead the Jags to a win. Maybe the Jags defense scores enough to win.

  11. Here’s where the Eagles have the edge: BOTH lines. They can roll with 7-8 DL and keep the front four fresh. The Vikes still have issues with their offensive line. Over on the other side, the Vikes, except for Linval Joseph, have the same smallish line and LBs that Atlanta had. You’re both having a laugh–as they say over here in England if you think that the Vikes will roll to a double digit lead in Philly. Keenum has had a great year–but–this is the playoffs–IN Philly–where Pederson has the Eagles 14-2 in games that matter and 14-3 if you want to count the last regular season game this year in which they didn’t need.

  12. I’ve had a not so secret side crush on the Jags for years, but I am afraid your compelling story must end here. Brady, Belichick, and the Patriots now exist for a singular purpose: to see Goodell booed out of as many Super Bowls as possible. We are on to Foxboro.

  13. The Jaguars have the better team?

    Even though they lost to the lowly Jets, lowly 49ers, lowly Cardinals, and twice to the lowly (yes lowly) Titans, while playing a last place schedule.

    Good luck with that

  14. Major advantage playing at home for the Eagles. Why? On a fast track I give the Vikings defense an edge with their overall speed from sideline to sideline. In this respect, re-sodding the middle third of the field at the Linc is not going to help the Vikings much. The Eagles’ D-line is going to be a load for the Vikings’ O-line on that slop field and combined with a rabid, vocal, well-lubed Philly crowd making it difficult for the offense to communicate, this might turn the tide in favor of the Eagles. The Vikings D-line is also special, but will have a lot of their strengths negated on a grass field against an Philly offensive line that is likely better than the Vikings’. I still can’t see why the Vikings are favored in this game. Just because Foles is the Eagles’ QB?? The Eagles are way more than their quarterback.

  15. The Jaguars have not seen a defense like the playoffs Patriots and honestly I don’t see how Blake Bortles moves the ball against them. A shutout is very possible in this game. The Patriots win comfortably 45-6.

  16. I just hope that the Vikings do not choke away a win, stabbing their fans in the heart once again. It’s one thing to lose a game, it’s another to lose in the last minute (as the Saints well know). I still think the Vikes will win, but there is a history here.

  17. “If someone had bet on these two teams making it the Super Bowl, that person will be a rich man come Monday Morning!!”

    Oh yeah. I had a friend who before the 2001 season placed longshot $50 bets on the Pats to win the AFCC and to win the Super Bowl. Those tickets paid off 19k each.

  18. tylawspick6 says:
    January 19, 2018 at 11:02 am
    Vikes and Pats…Big secret: Philly has a crappy 3rd down D.

    Other secret: Jags may be better than Tenn covering RBs and TEs, but it’s not by much.

    Vikes vs Pats in SB 52.

    ———————————————————————-

    Being ranked as the third best team in the league on 3rd down is now considered crappy?

  19. Man The Saints were gonna be in the Super Bowl if that safety makes a basic tackle. The Vikes did nothing special at the end to advance and the Eagles stumbled past Atlanta. Wow. Funny how the ball bounces.

  20. Being a Vikes fan, I’m nervous… very nervous. We have lost in dramatic fashion time and again in big games. Barring a miracle last week, it would have happened again. That said, I’m just glad this is a game that is up for grabs. Most number 1 seeds at home are strongly favored. That just isn’t the case this year. Should be a great game! SKOL

  21. Maybe I’ll end up eating a big helping of crow but…..
    Everyone seems to have forgotten the 10-3 Jags Bills snoozer of a Wild card game.
    I think the Pitt game has distorted fan perceptions.
    The Jags lost to the Jets, Texans (traded to Clv) and the 49ers who are all picking in the top ten of the draft.

    This isn’t the 85 bears or the Legion of Boom. I feel that the Jags are really going to struggle to score.

  22. I’ve watched my Eagles do the following in NFCCGs:

    1 – Help Tampa Bay into their first Super Bowl
    2 – Help Carolina into their first Super Bowl
    3 – Help Arizona into their first Super Bowl

    So why would I be shocked to see them help fans see a team play a Super Bowl on their home field for the first time?

    If Wentz was playing the Eagles would win this game. Sadly, he isn’t so this game is an even match for the Eagles at home. It will come down to turnovers and who can take advantage. Does Case or Nick make fewer mistakes?

  23. Vikings have had a lot of success pressuring immobile QB’s.The sack numbers have been down the last 5 weeks. I cant imagine Zimm not stacking the box and sending blitz after blitz. The DE’s need to step up, if they have a big game Philly isn’t beating the Vikings.

    Pats will destroy the Jags, game will be over by the 3rd quarter.

  24. Someone who actually watches football and has a clue.

    Vikings-24 Eagles-17
    __________________________________________________________________________________________

    MDS’s take: The Vikings’ defense had a late-game letdown that nearly cost them the game against the Saints, and it all happened after safety Andrew Sendejo suffered a concussion.

  25. zoxitic says:
    January 19, 2018 at 10:51 am
    Patriots have the better history

    Jaguars have the better team

    Jaguars 31
    Patriots 29

    ———

    Better team? You mean the team that lost twice the the Titans team the Pats pummeled last week? That team?

  26. finzfan49 says:
    January 19, 2018 at 10:50 am
    The Pats and Jags won’t be 8 to 10 point spread. True that BB will have a plan to stop the running game but that doesn’t mean he will be successful. Let’s face it, the Jags won lots of games this year against teams dead set on stopping the running game, how did that work out?. I still think the Pats win but it will be a late FG to do it.

    ____________________

    They were 10-6 with the weakest strength of schedule in the league. They were swept by the Titans and blown out in one of those games. They were blown out by the 49ers. They just recently gave up 42 points and 500+ yards (most of which came in the final 30 minutes) to Pitt. They are playing the #1 offense in the league and a top 5 scoring defense.

    10-6 in the AFC South… Oh and they managed to play Houston 2 times without seeing Watson once…

  27. Vikings are favored in this game. Keenan has played better than Foles this season w without a doubt. But the Vikings are far from unbeatable, and their defense left the field losing. Not only is home field advantage huge in this game, there are some important aspects to consider here:

    9 of the Vikings wins this season came in the comfort of a dome.

    Their other 4 wins, which were outdoors came against teams with losing records – Redskins, Browns, Bears, Packers (No Rodgers). The other 2 games played outdoors were losses to winni g teams – Steelers and Panthers.

    The Eagles are more dominant at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball (Yes I know the Vikings LB and secondary are more talented).

    Case Keenum is playing QB

    DON’T START CELEBRATING YET MINNESOTA!!!

  28. If its Vikes Vs Pats it would be one of the teams with the worst SB history vs a team with one of the best. Thats a good story line. Vikings could end up in the pit of misery again. Would be a good game, whoever wins.

    If its Pats vs Eagles, I’ll root for the Pats
    If its Vikes vs Jags, I’ll root for the Vikes
    If its Jags vs Eagles, I don’t know that I’d watch. I am completely Meh on both teams.

  29. henry53 says:
    January 19, 2018 at 11:32 am

    “Everyone is talking Pats O vs. Jags D. I think the underrated Pats D is going to play a huge part in this one.”
    .
    Spot on dude!

    ———————-

    YOu can say that Jax and their players want respect, well, I got news for everyone: The ridiculously maligned Pats D, will be frothing at the mouth, disrespected for so long and even into this game here.

    James Harrison is going to morph into Forrest Whitaker’s character in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

    Apparently, they need to pitch a shutout to be noticed.

  30. I’m the first to admit, I’m a Jags Homer but I do think the Jags are going to win…I was 95% confident we were going to beat the Steelers, I am 60% confident on this game…

    I say 23-17.

  31. pallidrone says:
    January 19, 2018 at 11:22 am

    tylawspick6 says:
    January 19, 2018 at 11:02 am
    Vikes and Pats…Big secret: Philly has a crappy 3rd down D.

    Other secret: Jags may be better than Tenn covering RBs and TEs, but it’s not by much.

    Vikes vs Pats in SB 52.

    ———————————————————————-

    Being ranked as the third best team in the league on 3rd down is now considered crappy?

    ———————–

    Crappier, yes. Since Wentz went down and they downgraded to Foles, it’s affected their D in a negative way. Yes.

    Do you watch these games?

    This is like ignoring Jax allowing 40+ points to Pitt or even SF with Garoppolo, and acting like their “ranking” means something at this point in the year.

    Yes. Philly’s 3rd down D has suffered in recent weeks, and if Keenum does not turn it over, which I believe he will not, these two elements will decide the game, favoring Minny.

  32. “Jags v Vikings in the Super Bowl.

    Book it.”

    Lolz whenever someone on this site uses the phrase “book it” they are invariably wrong.

  33. When good teams lose, they fix what they did wrong and win the next week. That doesn’t usually work in the playoffs because you don’t play the next week if you lose. I think that second-half collapse last week will actually help the Vikings because they escaped with a win after making a lot of mistakes. They got the mistakes out of their system and managed to still advance. The Eagles played about as well as they can to win last week. If the team that makes the fewest mistakes is going to win, there’s reason to have hope that it will be the Vikings.

  34. “Hoyer is the 2nd best QB left in the playoffs”

    That’s some funny trolling there dude made me laugh.

    Hoyer the Destroyer yeah baby !!!!!

    Lolz I think the game against the Jags might be a wee bit harder to win with Hoyer back there than Brady. But I would trust Bill and Josh to have a game plan to maximize Hoyer’s skills better than his other coaches have done for him.

  35. If the Vikings gameplan like the Seahawks, Rams and Giants did rather than how the Falcons did they score enough points to beat the Eagles. There’s some really good analysis out there suggesting the Falcons totally bombed with their gameplan.

  36. I’ve seen almost all of the big games the Vikings have lost (4 SB, Hail Mary, Gary Anderson; missed out on Favre). Last week was their chance to lose.

  37. Can’t wait to see Patriots’ fans knocked off their high horses come Monday. Belichick just doesn’t have the time to spy on the Jags after wasting all his resources gathering intel on the Steelers and arguing with the doctors about Brady’s broken hand.

  38. Jaguars will win this game because they shut down the passing attack of Tom Brady and pressure him up the middle all day. Jaguars 16, Patriots 14

    Philadelphia will have a few costly turn overs and lose the game in the 4th quarter as they drive to tie, but a Harrison Smith interception (Vikings 3rd of the game) seals the win, Vikings 20, Eagles 13

  39. If Jags D can get in Brady’s face and rattle him, then Jags win.
    If it’s a battle of the coaches, then it’s the Pats.

    If the refs show their typical bias towards Brady, then it’s the Pats.

  40. I get it…Foles isn’t Wentz. But all the Eagles have done is win after Wentz went down…I’ll take them any day of the week.

  41. What’s with all the talk about how the vikings have built big leads? Does it really matter, if they can’t sustain those leads? Eagles have a point differential of +9.8. Vikings is +7.9.

  42. Pats / Eagles Super Bowl. However the X factor is if Bortles can take New England’s defense by surprise with scrambles. It’s the Jags only chance.

  43. Vikes Eagles game is gonna be a slugfest. Too close to call though the home crowd advantage could help spark the home team to squeak out the win.

    Pats & Jags will be no less brutal. Pats D has vastly improved from their early season suckiness so folks expecting the Jags gashing big gains on the ground might end up being surprised. Same might be said for anyone doubting Bortles making timely clutch plays to keep the chains moving. The Jag’s ability to score TDs rather than settle for FGs in the Redzone will decide the outcome of the game. My prediction is after a close first half the Pats make their typical 2nd half adjustments and pull away for a 2nd straight Super Bowl appearance and a remarkable 3rd invitation to the big dance in the past 4 years.

  44. “Patriots are 9-1 all time I’m the playoffs against AFC South teams with an average score of 31-16.”

    Belichick and Brady would be the first to tell you what happened in the past is meaningless to the current game. Prime example was the Jets a few years ago. Pats pounded the crap out of them late in the regular season, and the came into Foxboro in the playoffs and buried the Pats when the entire NFL world expected the Pats to put them away easily.

    I am hopeful and expect the Pats to win, but the Jags will come ready to play I think. Coughlin will be in the meeting rooms with pointers, and has good insight into the Pats. I certainly don’t think its a given the Pats will win.

  45. What’s with all the talk about how the vikings have built big leads? Does it really matter, if they can’t sustain those leads? Eagles have a point differential of +9.8. Vikings is +7.9.

    —————–

    Inflated stats. Most of that is from Wentz was playing. The Eagles got out to huge leads with him. Those days are over.

  46. “I’m the first to admit, I’m a Jags Homer but I do think the Jags are going to win…I was 95% confident we were going to beat the Steelers, I am 60% confident on this game…”

    The difference is the Steelers just assumed they were going to blow out the Jags while I guarantee you Belichick, Brady and the rest are assuming nothing. They see the Jags as the excellent team they are preparing as hard as they can for the Jacksonville Jaguars, not for going to the Super Bowl.

  47. The Jaguars are so bad. I hate to say it, because I hate New England*, but they are going to get crushed. They put up 10 points against the Bills, whose defense is just alright even at their best. At their worst, they gave up 120+ points in 3 weeks earlier in the year.

    And, I’m supposed to believe the Jags defense that gave up almost 500 yards and 5 TDs to Roethlisberger is going to stop Brady*?

    If the Bills had a QB even remotely capable of throwing a football, the Jags would have been knocked out Wild Card weekend.

  48. The Vikings second half defensive collapse was ugly, but they also made huge plays at important times. They were also playing against Drew Brees and the #2 offense with an injured Sandejo (who calls many plays). Bear in mind the Saints scored their first points with 1:18 remaining in the 3rd, so it was nearly a 3 quarter shutout. Saints capitalized after Sandejo was out. Vikings will be danged sure to have a better contingency plan if he leaves the game this week.

    Don’t use last weeks defensive performance as a gauge against Nick Foles and the Eagles.

  49. NFC game will be much much greater than the Super Bowl itself…

    Both Eagles and Vikings won last week because both their opponents mistakes in the final seconds… I bring this up only to shed light on truth that neither team dominated in their last game to be thought of as unbeatable…that makes the NFC ame even more desirable..

    Both teams play well and it comes down to execution… Home field advantage… Eagles Win

    Pats Win… Congrats on getting their though, Jags!

  50. I think the Jags/Pats game comes down to which Blake Bortles shows up. If he can play mistake free football the Jags have a pretty good shot, if not, they get slaughtered. I think the Vikings take the Eagles…I just don’t think Foles will get it done against the Vikings D. But, as they say, that’s why they play the game.

  51. Fake Brady Hand Injury cant believe anyone buys into that CRAP. They are just setting refs up to protect Tammy even more than usual.

    Prediction :

    Referees 30 Jags 17

  52. If the Vikings get a big lead, just don’t let up. Keep the foot on the gas. If the Eagles have a big lead it might be a long day for the purple. The Eagles aren’t as good without Wentz. That’s just a fact and the weather will be fine. Field conditions are a concern. Especially new turf. That will be torn to pieces. I’m hoping for the Vikings to steal the win on the road by running to the outside often making the Eagles cover the perimeter and get tired.

  53. @ tylawspick6 says:
    January 19, 2018 at 11:52 am

    James Harrison is going to morph into Forrest Whitaker’s character in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
    —–

    Yes a well rested, angry, and motivated Harrison who is going full throttle is a scary thought.
    Since you are on a Fast Times at Ridgemont High mode, would Bill Belichik be Mr. Hand?

  54. This goes for both NFC teams: If you end up needing your QB to win the game for you, you won’t win. The team with the lead going into the final possession of the game will almost certainly win it. These are two very good defenses and I don’t see either one blowing a lead for their squad.

  55. I can’t wait until the best Dline in the league BURY Case Keenum and that weak OLine. All the talk about the vaunted Vikes defense..blah blah blah. You haven’t played this caliber of a defense on the road, in their house.

    2 days Vikes fans…2 days

  56. If Brady’s healthy, come on, the Pats will cover the spread.

    The Eagles will have home field advantage, have a good o-line and a strong front 7. However, this crap about the weather and field minimizing the Vikings strengths is being slung by folks that don’t know the team composition – the LBs and D line are not undersized and rely on strength as well as quickness, the CBS are big and the safeties hit like bulls. On offfense, Keenum has started in the system 14 weeks and can throw downfield as well as in the short game.

    The Eagles can overpower the Vikes O-line, and if they do that and run effectively on offense, they win. That has nothing to do with the field, the weather or noise in an outdoor stadium. Should be close, but in the end I hope Philly fans leave the stadium frustrated enough to assault a herd of horses.

  57. If Brady doesn’t play, fans everywhere will feel bad for him (yeah right) Jax pound Fournette right, Fournette left, and Belichick is left whining, as he usually does after a loss.

  58. The Giants seemed to move the ball at will vs the Eagles, but couldn’t win the games because of the defense. The Eagles are tough to beat deep, but the CBs tend to play off the receivers. Keep throwing those short quick hitters and it should generate enough offense to beat the Eagles.

  59. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    January 19, 2018 at 11:19 am
    The Jaguars have not seen a defense like the playoffs Patriots and honestly I don’t see how Blake Bortles moves the ball against them. A shutout is very possible in this game. The Patriots win comfortably 45-6.””

    What a shock this game will be for so many Pats fans… I can’t wait

  60. I want the Jags and Eagles to win. Tired of the patriots being in the super bowl every year. And the Vikings fans here deserve to not have their team in the super bowl.

    What will happen. The Patriots are going to win, but it’ll be close and lower scoring than we all think. 17-14 Patriots. Vikings and Eagles is going to be a battle of two great defenses. I wouldn’t surprise me if it went to overtime tied at 10. I could also see a big defensive play by either team deciding the game. Almost too close to call, but Vikings win it 14-10. Keenum gets some well deserved respect and Vikings fans will be on here Talking smack, as usual.

    That said, no team still in the play offs can beat New England.

  61. notwhoyouthinkitis says:
    January 19, 2018 at 1:54 pm
    The Jags have the defense to stop the Pats? The Steelers scored 42 on the Jags. 35 if you want to take away the last 3RD. And Antonio Brown had a field day.“””

    And what exactly does the Pittsburg game have to do with the Jags v Pats this weekend? Pats are going to have to line up and play… last week doesn’t matter. jags put 10 on buffalo then 45 on Piit… go figure.

  62. A two race is never really totally predictable but for all the talk about the Jags defense being so great it seems everyone has forgotten they gave up 42 points last week. Great defenses just dont do that ……..EVER!!!

  63. Vikes vs Eagles will come down to the QBs. Case can throw receivers open; Foles only throws to open receivers. Vikings will try to shut down Eagles run game, forcing Foles to pass (more than 10 yds); Eagles will try to shut down Vikes run game, and Case says “Fine, I can pass down field.” Case can escape pressure; Foles folds under pressure. Advantage: Vikings.

  64. Yes. Philly’s 3rd down D has suffered in recent weeks, and if Keenum does not turn it over, which I believe he will not, these two elements will decide the game, favoring Minny.

    Yet, Keenum did turn it over, in his last playoff game, and Foles did not. Actually, every RB on the Eagles roster last week had a fumble, and yet….the QB didn’t. Hmm. Quite the mystery there.

  65. xavier179 says:
    January 19, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    I know you are trying to make this competitive, but Vikings have a better pass defense then the Eagles, actually way better.

    Yup. I wish the Eagles could play in a division with studs like Brett Hundley and Mitch Trubisky to leave NO DOUBT who the better pass defense is. Did I mention that FLAT OUT STUD GAMER Matt Stafford? Can’t forget him.

  66. Any Eagles fans that think last weeks Defense results of the Vikings is what is going to happen this week is a mistake. The Vikings gave up 24 points…..to a Saints team who was #2 in offense. The Eagles do not have an offense like that without Wentz.

    Also all this talk about the Vikings giving up a lot of points on the road:

    They played the Panthers, who have a better offense than the Eagles without Wentz. Also the Vikings only lost by a touchdown. They played the Steelers, Case found out literally an hour before the game he was starting. Due to a last min named starting, limited playbook the offense could not get any drives going, and the defense tired out. They played the Redskins when they were healthy. The Redskins came off an emotional win against the Seahawks, were above .500 at the time and were healthy.

    Besides those games the Vikings were fine on Defense on the road. The Eagles offense has scored two defensive touchdowns since 12/25/2017.

    That said, there is obviously a scenario where the Eagles win. Vikings turn the ball over, give short fields, and Eagles score and play great defense. But please get your facts straight before you say our defense sucks. I’ve seen many Eagles fans say it.

  67. Vikings-Eagles seems like a coin toss that will probably come down to a few lucky breaks/mistakes – that is, whoever makes a couple mistakes will lose.

    I’d like to see the Vikings get over the hump and back into the SB, but it seems like the little things are starting to add up against them – a couple star players with injury issues, playing on the road, emotional letdown after that last crazy ending… unless they come out really strong, I just feel like they’re working uphill a little, and that may be all the margin needed in this kind of game.

    Pats-Jags? With Brady’s hand, who knows. Pats should win but can be unexpectedly flat. Jags have the capacity to make just enough crazy things happen to win (see the just-barely-insurmountable job they did on Pittsburgh). Between Brady’s hand and never knowing which Jaguars team will show up on a given day, this one is murky.

  68. Defense wins championships. Offense wins games. This is true. Every championship is a game.

    For the first time, all four of the conference championship contestants are ranked in the Top 5 in defense. So every game is going to be a battle in the trenches. The winner will be whichever defense shuts down the opponent’s offense. Or whichever offense is able to score more points.

    That said, I really don’t see how the Eagles can outscore the Vikings. Nor do I see how the Jaguars can outscore the Patriots.

    Just looking at it offensively, one team has a quarterback who has been to seven and won five Super Bowls. He’s already seen everything, been through the fire. The other three have an untested veteran and two journeyman backups, none of whom have seen anything or been through the fire, that no one thought would make it this far.

    Each defense is capable of shutting down the opposing offense, so it’s going to come down to whichever offense is best able to improvise, adapt and overcome. Game planning and play calling are essential here. Offense is all about execution; defense is all about disruption.

    On that, I’ll have to take the Patriots and the Vikings as to who will meet in the Super Bowl. Then I’ll have to take the Patriots. Belichick, who is a mastermind, McDaniels and Patricia, who are brilliant, have come too far, and Brady is unflappable.

    But any team can beat any team on any game day. It is better for the NFL when a team that has never won a Super Bowl actually or finally wins one. But this season I wouldn’t bet against the experienced veterans. Patriots win it all. It will, however, be for the last time. Still, this time is for all time.

  69. I’ve seen the Vikings loose so many games they should have won easily. Any Vikings fan older than their 20’s would never think they will win. That’s why last week was such a surprise. Has the mojo switched to the other teams they play now!? Hope so. So maybe this one ends with Chris Long strip sacking Keenum and then getting up to celebrate not noticing the ball on the ground that’s picked up and ran in for a TD by Jet Mckinnon who missed the block that caused the fumble. Or perhaps the Vikings cruise to a 28-10 victory. If history has anything to do with it the Eagles will win on an inevitable Vikings collapse but this team just feels different. Why am I so invested in something I just watch! SMH. Go Vikings.

  70. Jacksonville will beat New England. If the Vikings make it to the Super Bowl they can consider it a gift from the Saints.

  71. Iggles take advantage of chilly weather and home field crowd. Vikings experience another Bill Buckner moment and lose a heartbreaker.

  72. jacksonville 6 pats 3 and eagles 7 minnesota 6 and in the super bowl, eagles 3 jacksonville 2 book it

  73. ^^^^ Unlike all the other geniuses up there, I’ll stand my prediction —

    “Iggles take advantage of chilly weather and home field crowd. Vikings experience another Bill Buckner moment and lose a heartbreaker”

    …… except the Vikes experienced a score of Bill Buckner moments in their big flop.

    For the rest of you trumpeting the Jags and Vikes, you’re out of your league.

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