After the Minnesota Vikings’ miraculous win last night, the Vikings must come to South Philly to battle the birds for the NFC crown. Many Eagles fans wanted to face the Vikings instead of the New Orleans Saints, but regardless let’s see how the Vikes match up with the Eagles, position by position:
Championship week is here!!! The week were we get to see the best of each conference battle it out for a bid the play in Super Bowl LII. Here are my picks for the week:
Jacksonville Jaguars @ New England Patriots (-7.5)
No one expected that the Jaguars were going to win last week, especially by a score of 45-42, but here they are. It seems that the Steelers were just so focused on the Patriots rematch they forgot they had to play a game against a dangerous team.
Now if the Jaguars want to have any chance to upset the Patriots the defense needs to play better. They are such a talented group, and they will need to play their best game of the year to have a chance in this one. I’m talking like they need at least one defensive touchdown and multiple turnovers to give Blake Bortles favorable field position.
For the Patriots their job is pretty simple. Shut down the run game, and force Blake Bortles to beat you. I don’t know what happened to the Steelers last week, but it is not going to happen to the Patriots. Matt Patrica’s unit, which had a dreadful start to the season, has grown to be one of the better units in the league. They aren’t tops in the NFL in many categories, but they play great “bend, don’t break” defense. The Jaguars may drive down the field, but it is going to be hard for them to punch it in inside the 20.
I would love to see the Jags win, but I’m going to guess that their offense comes back to Earth and the defense can’t hold off Brady forever.
Pick: Patriots (-7.5)
Minnesota Vikings (-3) @ Philadelphia Eagles
Two teams that have been #1 and #2 in the NFC standings for most of the season will finally collide in the NFC Championship game. This is going to be a great game.
Both of these teams are very similar. They both exceed expectations this year, each team features a great defense and a back up quarterback. The biggest deciding factor for me in this game is the home field advantage of the Eagles. After their win last week the Eagles are now 14-3 at home over the last two year, good enough for best in the NFL. Also the Eagles defense has been crazy good at home, allowing just 13.0 points per game on the season, and only 7.25 points over the last four home games.
The biggest match up to watch in this game is the Eagles front four against the Vikings offensive line. The jumbled offensive line of the Vikings has played well at times, but largely they have been average at best. The Eagles led the NFL in pressures during the season, and getting to Case Keenum has to be a priority to them.
Pick: Eagles (+3)
Last Week: 2-2
Well, last week was crazy, every underdog covered, but now let’s focus on a packed weekend of playoff football. Here are my picks for the week:
Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are getting severely disrespect with this line. They are the first #1 seed since realignment to be an underdog in their first playoff game, and it isn’t warranted. Despite losing their franchise quarterback for the season, the Eagles were at the top of the NFC for a majority of the season. That doesn’t happen because of one guy. The Eagles are going to pull this one out, and host the NFC Championship game at home.
Pick: Eagles (+2.5)
Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots (-14)
A line of 14 just seems to big for a playoff game. If any team deserves that line it is of course the New England Patriots, but I feel the Titans are going to put up more of a fight than that. The Titans certainly surprised me with their comeback win last week, and while they are not going to beat the Pats in Foxborough, one can dream.
Pick: Titans (+14)
New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings (-4.5)
This is the most interesting game of the weekend for sure. Both of these teams are pretty evenly matched, but in opposite ways. The strength for the Saints is their potent offense and killer duo of running backs, while for the Vikings they rely on their stout number one ranked defense. However in most of these match ups I give the edge to the team with the better defense, especially if they are at home.
Pick: Vikings (-4.5)
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-7)
I just can’t see the Steelers losing twice to the same team at Heinz Field in a season. Blake Bortles just isn’t good enough to keep up with all of the weapons on the Steeler’s offense, and the defense can only do so much. The Steelers looking ahead to the Patriots does concern me however.
Pick: Steelers (-7)
Last Week: 1-3
Wild Card Weekend is upon us and it is filled with mediocre playoff match ups for us to watch. So here we go with the picks for the week:
The NFL Playoff picture is now set in stone after a grueling season. Many new faces are in the playoffs, along with some old friends, but who will walk away with the grand prize? Tom Brady again? Probably…..