Tag Archives: nfc championship

2017 Season: Championship Sunday Preview

We have reached the penultimate week of the NFL season (unless you are counting the Pro Bowl, of course).  This means the end of the road for two Super Bowl hopefuls and also a dream come true for two winners.  The major story-line is, of course, that three of the four remaining teams have never won a Super Bowl and then we have the Patriots who are gunning for their sixth.  Who will win this weekend?  Here are my picks.

Sunday, January 21st, 3:05 e.t.

#3 Jacksonville Jaguars (12-6) @ #1 New England Patriots (14-3)

Everybody thought this was going to be the Steelers/Patriots rematch but the Jags went and threw a wrench in that plan by defeating Pittsburgh on the road for the second time this year.  They did it with some timely play from their defense and a good offense shouldered, primarily, by Leonard Fournette.  They are going to need a whole lot more of that if they hope to take the Patriots down this Sunday.  The Pats’ offense was on the field for far too long against the Titans and were really able to do what they wanted by tiring Tennessee out.  Jacksonville will need to generate pressure in order to have a chance.  If New England can protect Tom Brady then I have confidence that he can move the ball even against this Jaguars’ defense.  I think that the Jags will give the Patriots a game but in the end Tom Brady will be too much for their “D” to slow down.

New England 27, Jacksonville 20

Sunday, January 21st, 6:40 e.t.

#2 Minnesota Vikings (14-3) @ #1 Philadelphia Eagles (14-3)

This is the championship game that nobody thought they’d see, but let’s be honest, it does pit the two best teams in the conference by record.  The Vikings pulled off a miracle win with a 61 yard touchdown as time expired to defeat the Saints.  That is probably good news for the Eagles because I would not have liked their chances going against New Orleans with another veteran quarterback.  As crazy and heart-pounding as the Vikings’ finish was, Philly had one of their own stopping the Falcons four times with about a minute left in the game inside of the 10 yard line.  Philadelphia has a great defense at home and that is going to be what brings this team to the Super Bowl.  Nick Foles was able to convert some third and longs last week and that was encouraging after he couldn’t do that at all in his three previous games.  This is going to be a close defensive battle and I think that the Eagles will be able to generate enough pass rush on Case Keenum to make a difference in this contest.

Philadelphia 16, Minnesota 13

NFC Championship: Seattle Seahawks 23, San Francisco 49ers 17- Post Game Thoughts

The Seahawks gut out a nice win en route to the franchises second ever Super Bowl via a 23-17 win over their division rivals in the 49ers.  To start, the Seattle defense did a great job in this game (save a couple of big Colin Kapernick runs).  They forced three turnovers and held the Niners to 3/11 on third down in this game (27%).  Against the running backs, they were great.  The ‘Hawks only allowed a total of 31 yards on 17 carries to that skill position.  Obviously Kapernick was able to shred them with his legs (130 yards on 11 carries), however it did not matter since he was not as effective with his arm.  Part of the reason why he struggled to throw the ball for a majority of this game was because the Seahawks did a good job at taking away Vernon Davis and forcing him out of the pocket on third down.  Pressure was something that showed up on tape but not in the stats (since Kap was only sacked twice in the whole game).  San Fran was never really able to mount a solid drive; their scoring opportunities often came after one big play.  They only scored one touchdown in the second half as well, and then the Seahawks rattled off 13 straight points and were able to come up with the big pick at the end of the game to seal the deal.  Marshawn Lynch had a nice game, running for 109 yards and a touchdown.  However, most of those yards came during the second half and a lot of them came on one play of 40 yards (which just so happened to land him in the end zone).  That said, all of those yards count and he was a big reason why Seattle is going to the Super Bowl.  I didn’t think Russell Wilson was that great, although he did make a couple of nice plays in the game.  If nothing else, he didn’t do anything to hurt the team’s chances at victory, and that is all you can ask for from a quarterback on a deep and talented team like this bunch.  Now these 53 men will be tested as they take on the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl for the Lombardi trophy.  That should be an outstanding game as it is a great and unique match-up of two totally different teams.