And that’s why we have the playoffs, folks.
Sunday brought us excitement, intensity, and edge-of-your-seat action. It reminded us why football is great. And it got us even more hyped for the Super Bowl. Unless you’re a Steelers fan.
This surprised, like, everybody.
A big thanks to the Jaguars for keeping things interesting. What a shocker. With a healthy roster, the Steelers were a big-time favorite over Jacksonville. But from the opening play, we saw Pittsburgh’s defense collapse and a pumped-up Jaguars team take control.
Jacksonville stayed confident throughout the game, perhaps because of their win against the Steelers in Pittsburgh earlier this season, answering every move by their opponents and containing Le’Veon Bell. They just couldn’t be stopped. The total score of the game, 45-42, was the fourth-highest in playoff history.
(Fun fact: The Jaguars are the only team in NFL history to beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh twice in a season.)
Quarterback Blake Bortles didn’t screw up, played efficiently, and made some good decisions in the fourth quarter to clinch the win. The Jags seem to have a strategy of relying on their excellent defense and praying Bortles makes a few solid plays, so we’ll see if that works for them next week against Tom Brady. They’ll have to put constant pressure on him to pull off a win.
The good news is, there are things like this happening in the world…
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 14, 2018
We still haven’t seen the Jags play the Patriots this season, and while we don’t have the utmost confidence in their ability to take down the defending Super Bowl champs (and neither does Vegas), we’d love to see some crazy stuff happen.
This will be the Jaguars’ first appearance in the AFC Championship since 1999.
Do we need to mention the Patriots-Titans game? Sorry, Tennessee fans, it was fun while it lasted. Blame it on the refs if it makes you feel better…
And sorry, but yeah, the Patriots looked great. You wouldn’t know it, but Brady is now the oldest quarterback in the NFL to ever win a playoff game.
So what happened with our friends over in the NFC?
They’re calling it a “miracle.” A “magic moment.” An “instant classic.” And “the stuff of Minnesota legend.”
That touchdown pass by Case Keenum to Stefan Diggs with 10 seconds left on the clock was a life-saving play – completed much to the surprise and excitement of the home crowd (and Keenum for that matter) – and it rocked the stadium with emotion. Diggs stayed in bounds and ran unopposed into the endzone, helping the Vikings avoid a near heartbreak at the hands of the Saints.
It was an incredible 61 yards. We’re talking goosebumps.
The Vikings, who’ve lost four Super Bowls in the past, still have the potential to #BringItHome.
The Eagles were able to contain the Falcons, but not without a little drama. They’re feeling disrespected. Angry. Upset they’re the first number-one seed deemed an underdog at home during this round of the playoffs. Looks like they were able to channel those emotions into pulling off a win though.
But it wasn’t pretty.
It’s no secret that the Eagles haven’t been the same since Carson Wentz’s season-ending injury. New quarterback Nick Foles had a nightmare first half on Sunday, which didn’t inspire many of the football fans and media who are betting against them leading up to the Super Bowl. Foles hit some easy throws in the second half, but the team’s defense, capitalizing on turnovers, and some solid play-calling by Coach Doug Pederson won it for the Eagles.
Oh and by the way, coach says, “Leave the Eagles ALONE!”
On the bright side, some Eagles players are actually embracing their new “underdog” image by wearing creepy dog masks onto the field after Sunday’s game. Fans are digging it too, because the same mask is now sold out on Amazon.
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) January 14, 2018
Good thing this is what works for them, because it looks like they’ll be a three-point underdog next week against the Vikings too… and we can only hope there’ll be a sea of dog-faced fans watching. This game won’t be anything like playing the Falcons because the Vikings are going to be one heck of a challenge next week in Philly.
Super Bowl Odds
With the list of remaining Super Bowl-eligible teams growing ever-shorter, no one should be surprised that the Patriots are still on top. But now the Vikings are just behind them.
Here are the newest odds:
|New England Patriots||6/5|
Despite their awesome game against the Steelers proving they might actually have what it takes, the Jaguars are still the biggest long-shot of any team left.
The most likely outcome, according to Vegas, is a Patriots-Vikings matchup. The seemingly impossible dream of a Super Bowl home game for Minnesota is still alive!
Hey, we wouldn’t hate it. Word on the street is that the Patriots might actually be one-point underdogs if that happens. And can you imagine the crowds in downtown Minneapolis? Apparently, it won’t make getting a hotel room any cheaper or easier though, so make your Super Bowl plans now!
We’ve got your tickets here.