Most people that watch the GREAT National Football League consider the Divisional Round of the Playoffs, the BEST Weekend of the season, and that belief held TRUE this season. Of the FOUR games this week, THREE of them were decided by LESS than a Touchdown, and the weekend ENDED with ONE of the GREATEST Football games in the past FEW Decades. We had EIGHT teams that were ALIVE to have a chance at LIFTING the Vince Lombardi trophy going into the weekend, but only FOUR remain and they are all just ONE win away from going to the Super Bowl.
The FIRST game of the weekend took place in the VERY COLD Philadelphia between the Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons. The Eagles had the BEST record in the Regular Season but were the UNDERDOGS against the DEFENDING NFC Champs going into this game. The Falcons NEVER got the offense ROLLING, proving that their offensive OUTBURST against the Los Angeles Rams during Wild Card weekend was just an ANOMALY. The Eagles offense was NOT great either but they made some BIG plays like STOPPING the Falcons in the Red Zone at the END of the game to WIN and get a chance to HOST the NFC Championship game.
— NFL (@NFL) January 14, 2018
The only BLOWOUT of the weekend came on Saturday Night when the Pats took on the Tennessee Titans in New England. The Titans were expected to be BLOWN OUT in this game by the Oddsmakers in Vegas and that is exactly what happened in this game. The Pats started out SLOW in this game, allowing the Titans to have a 7-0 lead towards the END of the First quarter, but they turned their cylinders ON and scored THIRTY FIVE straight points to EASILY advance to the AFC Championship game.
The Pats will HOST the AFC Championship game on Sunday in which will be their SEVENTH straight in the AFC Championship game. The last time the Pats were NOT in the Championship game was because they LOST in the divisional round to my BELOVED New York Jets and quarterback Mark Sanchez. IF you were drafted by the Pats in the 2011 Draft or LATER, you have NEVER played a game during Wild Card weekend, and ALWAYS played in the AFC Championship game. That is just MIND BOGGLING to me.
— NFL (@NFL) January 14, 2018
It was a FOREGONE conclusion for a COUPLE of months in the AFC that the Pats and the Steelers would play in the AFC Championship game. With the Pats HOLDING UP their end of the STICK on Saturday Night, the Steelers needed to BEAT the Jacksonville Jaguars in Pittsburgh earlier today to make that CONCLUSION a REALITY. The Jags have had a GREAT season and NO ONE expected them to get this far in the Playoffs, BUT most people thought that their season would END today.
The Jags got off the GREAT start and took a BIG lead against the Steelers and never gave it up. Everytime the Steelers would make a RUN to keep the game CLOSE, the Jags would pull away and EXTEND their lead. This game was HIGH SCORING as the Jags WON 45-42. This game was arguably the BIGGEST WIN in the Franchise History of the Jags, while today was a BIG disappointment for the Steelers. The team that has the BEST Wide Receiver, the BEST Running back in the NFL is not even going to play during Championship weekend.
— NFL (@NFL) January 14, 2018
The Jags-Steelers was a GREAT game to start off the day, but the game was looking forward to all week STARTED after that game ENDED, and that game did not DISAPPOINT. As soon as the Saints BEAT the Carolina Panthers in New Orleans last Sunday, we were all WAITING for them to make the trip NORTH to Minnesota to play the Vikings today. The Saints led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees had a chance to get ONE step closer to WINNING the SECOND Super Bowl under their CURRENT Regime. The Vikings wanted to get ONE step closer to being the FIRST team in the Super Bowl era that would have a “HOME” Super Bowl.
The Vikings jumped out to an EARLY 17-0 lead and with how GREAT their defense was in the Regular Season, everyone had COUNTED OUT the Saints, but Brees had not. The Saints marched ALL THE WAY back and took a 21-20 lead in the FOURTH Quarter and it seemed as if the Saints would march on to Philadelphia for the NFC Championship game, but the Vikings for had other ideas.
Quarterback Case Keenum led the Vikings to a late Field Goal that gave them the 23-21 lead INSIDE the TWO Minute Warning. The Vikings have had MULTIPLE heartbreaks in the Playoffs due to MISSED Field Goals in the last TWENTY years, but Kicker Kai Forbath made SURE that he did NOT add any MISERY of the Vikings fans.
The Vikings had left A LOT of time on the clock for Brees and he made them PAY for it. Brees led the Saints right DOWN the field and they had a LATE Field Goal of their own to give them the 24-23 lead with just SECONDS left on the Clock. The Saints once again BELIEVED that they would be heading to Philadelphia next week.
It looked like the Playoff MISERY for the Vikings was continue today as they had to go FORTY yards in TWENTY FIVE seconds to have ANOTHER chance of kicking a Field Goal to WIN the game and go to Philadelphia. The Vikings did NOT start that drive as they would have liked and with just TEN seconds left on the clock, the Vikings were still TWENTY yards out of Field Goal range, so it seemed this game was OVER, but then a MIRACLE happened for the Vikings.
— NFL (@NFL) January 15, 2018
That play was ONE of the BEST plays I have ever seen and it was the FIRST “WALK OFF” Touchdown in the Fourth Quarter in NFL Playoff History. The Vikings were RIDING high thanks to that play and so did their fans who went crazy while watching that play UNFOLD at home.
CUZZO ALMOST KILLED HIS DOG pic.twitter.com/fuLZcSvwxW
— Laces Out (@LacesOutShow) January 15, 2018
After all that CRAZINESS we are now left with the Jags at the Pats AND the Vikings at the Eagles in the TWO Championship games next weekend. IF we get even HALF of the GREAT football next week that we got this weekend, then we are very LUCKY.
I will have my picks for next week’s action releasing on Friday so be on the look out for that.