Bro-Picks: AFC and NFC Championship Predictions

Football’s Fantastic Four.

The NFL’s conference championship weekend has arrived, and all four QBs playing this weekend have combined to make it to this round 12 times. (*Okay, all of those appearances are courtesy of New England Patriots QB Tom Brady, so what?*) Other than the Patriots, we’d be kidding ourselves if we thought these teams were going to make this far as late as last week, as no one expected the Jaguars make the Steelers look like dogs in Pittsburgh, the Eagles looked like they couldn’t complete a pass to save their lives with QB Nick Foles filling in for MVP candidate Carson Wentz, and the Vikings needed theĀ  “Minneapolis Miracle”to upend the New Orleans Saints. The NFL’s regular season might have been outright terrible, but the NFL Playoffs have been nothing short of surprising and thrilling, and the AFC and NFC Championship match-ups could provide even more of those same qualities come Sunday.

Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots (3:05 P.M. E.S.T.)

Let start by apologizing to the Jacksonville Jaguars. I predicted you would go 3-13 this season and remain in the basement of the AFC. I highly doubted the Jaguars would be able to go into Heinz Field and knock off a superior Steelers team despite the fact they had done it earlier this season in week 5. The “Sacksonville” defense has been nothing short of stellar this postseason, as they have sacked the opposing team’s QB 4 times, have forced 4 turnovers, and have scored a defensive touchdown. Their defense is good enough to keep them in this game. Their rushing attack, led by rookie RB Leonard Fournette, has been a steady presence for the offense, scoring 3 touchdowns thus far. Even QB Blake Bortles has silenced some of the haters, making key throw after key throw and has even made plays with his legs en route to the Jaguars improbable postseason run.

However, despite all of the ruckus surrounding New England QB Tom Brady’s hand being injured, the Patriots are going to make it to their record 10th Super Bowl. Head coach Bill Belicheck takes the Jaguars seriously, (*unlike the Pittsburgh Steelers*), and is treating this game as if the Jags are going to pulverize the Pats. He does not want to be on the losing end a third time against Tom Coughlin, Jacksonville’s Executive VP of Football Operations, in big game spots such as these. As fitting as it would be to see the Jacksonville Jaguars, the NFL’s forgotten franchise, make it to the Super Bowl, it’s just not going to happen. Even with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s long running feud with the Patriots in mind, the NFL cannot afford Blake Bortles making a Super Bowl over the golden boy.

Winner: Patriots

Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles (6:40 P.M. E.S.T.)

Had QB Carson Wentz been playing this postseason, not only would the Eagles win this game, they’d win the Super Bowl. Sure, QB Nick Foles had one of the greatest NFL seasons ever with 27 TDs compared to just 2 interceptions back in 2013, but everyone had serious doubts he could fill in for Wentz and make it this far this postseason. Foles played mistake free football last week against the Falcons, and let his top ranked defense win the game for him. It’s true defense wins championships, and the Eagles have enough of it and the “underdog” motivation to surprise everyone by making the Super Bowl despite their crushing injuries.

It should be said, however, one of the only defenses to be better than the Eagles this season belonged to the Vikings, who were number one in total defense in 2017. The Vikings shutout Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints offense for a whole half last Sunday, and looked like an impenetrable wall. Sure, it took the “Minneapolis Miracle”, a 61-yard touchdown pass from QB Case Keenum to WR Stefon Diggs, to pull-out a victory, but that play precisely sums up the Vikings this season. People have doubted this team due to it’s lack of star-power, as its top-ranked defense is mostly nameless and their starting QB has been a journeyman in the NFL. The Vikings have been underdogs his entire season, and the opportunity to be the first team to ever play in their home stadium in a Super Bowl is too good of an opportunity to go to waste. Every dog has its day.

Winner: Vikings

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Bro-Picks: NFL Week 17 Predictions

A long regular season comes to an end.

After 4 arduous months of mediocre football at best, the NFL’s regular season finally comes to an end this Sunday. It’ll go out on a whimper as well, as the NFL elected not to flex one of Sunday’s games into the Sunday Night Football time slot. The NFL claims this is due to the fact that it’s New Year’s Eve, but its mostly due to the fact none of the match-ups this Sunday will draw a crowd. So much for the NFL still being the king of all American sports, as injuries have derailed some of the league’s rising stars, you can have stretches of playing god-awful football during the regular season and still be in the playoff picture, and we still don’t know what in God’s name a catch is. We can only hope these week 17 match-ups can provide marginal entertainment ahead of what will hopefully be an unpredictable postseason.

Last Week: 11-5

Overall: 154-86

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions

Some NFL teams believe the Packer should have to release QB Aaron Rodgers because he was placed on injured reserved and it wasn’t because of a new injury he suffered, a violation of NFL rules. If this were to happen, it would force Packers GM Ted Thompson to finally build a team instead of relying on one of the greatest QB talents to ever be under center. What a concept.

Winner: Lions

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

Colts QB Andrew said he doesn’t feel like he’s part of the team this week, but expects to start throwing next week. Oh the agony…

Winner: Colts

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings know what’s at stake this week, a first round playoff bye. They need to take care of business against the lowly Bears, who should “FireFox” as soon as the final horn blows Sunday.

Winner: Vikings

New York Jets at New England Patriots

The Patriots continued their diabolical ways by signing Steelers legend James Harrison this week in an attempt to play mind games with Pittsburgh ahead of their presumed AFC Championship Game match-up. Oh Belichick, you silver tongued devil you.

Winner: Patriots

Washington Redskins at New York Giants

A match-up many believed would determine playoff seeding at the start of the season is now a battle of ineptitude. The biggest question that looms in this one is where both team’s starting QBs will play next season.

Winner: Redskins

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles have nothing to play for this week, as they clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs due to their ugly win over the Raiders on Christmas. As usual, the Cowboys foundĀ  a way to choke away a playoff birth under the guidance of Jason Garrett. He used to have Tony Romo to blame for these blunders, but it’s become abundantly clear Garrett is not the one to guide the Cowboys to the Super Bowl.

Winner: Cowboys

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers

Here lie the remains of the 2017 Cleveland Browns, the 3rd team in NFL history to have a winning percentage of 0 in an NFL season.

Winner: Steelers

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons

For the Falcons it’s simple: win, and they’re in. But accomplishing this against a Panthers team no one will want to face come this postseason is easier said than done.

Winner: Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens

Ravens coach John Harbaugh pulled a Kanye this week by saying the NFL doesn’t care about the Ravens by moving their game from 1 p.m. to 4:25 p.m., which he believes will result in a smaller crowd at the game. He’s not entirely wrong, and he can get back at the NFL by making a long postseason run with his boring team if they beat the Bungles.

Winner: Ravens

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins

The Bills mafia has a chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999 if they win on Sunday. This should be an easy task against smokin’ Jay Cutler and the Dolphins, but the Bills have known cold, playoff-less winters for nearly two decades. One has to wonder if they have it in them to finally end their playoff drought.

Winner: Bills

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Despite the rumblings of their former Super Bowl winning coach, Jon Gruden, being interested in the head coaching position, the Bucs have inexplicably retained head coach Dirk Koetter for next season. That won’t put a smile on Chucky’s face.

Winner: Saints

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans

The Titans have a chance to still make the postseason as a wild card team, but the Sacksonville defense will want to prove last week’s thrashing at the hands of the 49ers was a fluke.

Winner: Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos

The Chiefs will start rookie first round pick QB Patrick Mahomes against the “No Fly Zone” Denver defense this Sunday. Could this be the beginning of the Patrick Mahomes era in KC?

Winner: Chiefs

Oakland Raiders at Los Angles Chargers

Despite what will surely be a road game against LA’s favorite team, the Raiders, the Chargers actually have a chance to make it to the playoffs with a win and some help Sunday. The Raiders, who have been the NFL’s most disappointing team this season, may want to consider a coaching change if they want to just win, baby.

Winner: Chargers

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are resting up for the playoffs with the NFC West wrapped up. Jimmy Garoppolo appears to be the answer at QB for the 49ers, and a team that many thought could go winless not long ago may finish as the hottest team in the NFL.

Winner: 49ers

Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks

Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians denied a report this week saying he will resign as coach of the Cardinals, but all signs point to that report being true. Despite all the dysfunction with Earl Thomas courting free agent suitors already, the Seahawks can fall into the playoffs with a win and a Falcons loss. They may be dysfunctional, but this is a team that knows what it’s doing once they find themselves in the postseason.

Winner: Seahawks