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NFL Outlook- Divisional Playoffs

Takeaways from the NFL Divisional Playoffs

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What an exciting finish to a great slate of Divisional NFL Football. Here is a quick review of the four games form this weekend.

Pats trample Titans. The Patriots took care of business in the systematic way that they always do, beating the Titans with a score of 35-14. The storyline coming into the Patriots first playoff game was the internal turmoil of the Kraft-Belichick-Brady soap opera. ESPN reported that Belichick was angry at the owner, Robert Kraft for not allowing him to trade a 40 year old quarterback in Tom Brady. However, the Patriots did not let this storyline disrupt their play on the field, and it may have only given them more motivation to win, while their 18-year relationship still lasts.

Jags upset Steelers! We knew that the Jaguar’s defense was elite, but more importantly for the Jags, was the elite play of their quarterback Blake Bortles. Bortles is widely considered a mediocre quarterback at best, and he did just enough to earn a trip to the AFC Championship game, with his 214 yards, 1 touchdown, and most importantly, no turnovers. Although Bortles played good enough to win, it was the rushing attack of Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon that lead the Jag’s offense to 45 points. The rookie running back sensation in Fournette ran for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Steelers never did go away, but they never lead at any point during the game and lost by 3. The Jags now have to look forward to a monumental task in stopping Tom Brady from reaching his 8th Super Bowl appearance.

Eagles surprise Falcons! Never before has the number 1 overall seed in a Conference been the underdog at home against the sixth seed, and for good reason. The Eagles did not appreciate being the first #1 seed to be an underdog and they took it very seriously on the field. The story of the game was not high-flying offense, but rather strong, unrelenting defense. The Eagle defeated the Falcons by a score of 15-10, which was by far the lowest scoring match of the weekend. Everyone was curious if the play of backup quarterback Nick Foles would be good enough to win a playoff game, and that is the reason that many people, including myself, thought that the Eagles were going to lose. Although Nick Foles threw 0 touchdowns, he also threw 0 picks and 246 yards. He just has to play conservative and allow his defense to do the work for him, with playmakers like Cox, Graham, Kendricks, and Jenkins. The matchup vs the Vikings will be a battle of the defenses and will hopefully result in an old-fashion style of NFL football.

Vikings stun Saints! Dang!!!!! This was one of the best playoff games of all time and was such a treat to end the weekend of divisional football. As a Vikings fan, it was the craziest game of my life! At halftime, the Vikings led by a score of 17-0, and gave Saints quarterback Drew Brees his worst QBR ever, which was zero, in the first quarter. In the second half the Saints mounted a huge comeback and with 25 seconds on the clock, they kicked the ball off to the Vikings with a 24-23 lead. Then the miracle happened. On a 3rd and 10 with enough time for one more play on the clock, Case Keenum threw up a 50-50 ball to wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who then avoided a missed tackle and took the ball all the way to the house for 61 yards and the game-winning touchdown with no time left on the clock. The Vikings need to take this opportunity and go beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl. In my first article, I picked the Vikings as my Darkhorse Superbowl pick, and it turns out that they have a very convincing argument to win it all. Skol Vikings!

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