I thought that the Bengals/Raven finish to put the Bills in the playoffs was one of the most insane things that I have seen...until that Diggs TD. Wow.
Congrats to hilltopper - can't say that I saw the Jags going in and pretty much handing it to the Steelers for most of the day. Now if they can go to NE and repeat that performance, I would say that they might have a legit shot of winning it all.
What they can't do is what Tennessee (and pretty much any team that plays NE) did...let off the gas. If you can hang with NE for a half, you damned well best be changing your game plan at halftime, because you know that Belichick is going to be making his halftime adjustments based on what he saw in the first half.
I have seen Buffalo do this so many times where they play them well for a half and then come out with the same game plan in the 2nd half and get their asses handed to them on a silver platter.
Similar instance in last year's SB, although the Falcons just plain fell apart in the most epic fashion imaginable.
As a Maryland resident/Terps fan, Stefon Diggs makes me proud. I was glad to see the Saints lose (can't stand Drew Brees) and seeing how Sean Payton mocked the fans right before they lost was icing on the cake. That's why you don't celebrate till the game is over. I do feel awful for Marcus Williams though. Being a Redskins fan, I'm hoping the Vikings win this Sunday.
I definitely like the Patriots chances the rest of the way because Brady is the only quarterback left with any real playoff experience. Everyone is calling the game against the Jaguars a tomato can game around here, but I think the Jaguars deserve some credit. Yes Bortles is so bad that his coach said the ideal game plan would have him throw the ball zero times. And yes the defense just allowed 40 points to the Steelers, but several of those scores came on contested deep bombs on fourth down.
The defenses that give the Patriots trouble usually have 2 of the following and I honestly think the Jaguars have all 3:
- Front four that can rush the passer without a blitz - Fast linebackers that can stop the dink and dunks - Physical corners
I'm still taking the Patriots since the Jaguars offense is putrid and the Pats defense is sneaky good, but I don't think the Patriots will blow them out. I think it'll be something in the ballpark of 20-13.
In the NFC, I'm giving it to Minnesota. They seem like a team of destiny with Case Keenum at QB and that ending on Sunday.
Canobie Coaster wrote:I'm still taking the Patriots since the Jaguars offense is putrid
You're not entirely wrong here, but they did score 45 on the Steelers ........(with only 1 defensive touchdown).
The Jags offense is hit or miss, and they play WAY better with the lead than from behind. If they can get out to an early lead, get a turnover, get Fournette going, maintain a long drive for a touchdown, whatever, then I like them to keep it close and have a chance to win the game. If Brady get on em early and they're playing from behind it might be a long day.
But being a Buffalo fan, I have seen it happen ohhhhhh so many times where we get "Brady'ed" after building a lead, or playing them close for 2-3 quarters. Just goes to show why you NEVER relax when you have Brady at the helm, no matter what type of lead you may have. You would think that teams would learn this, but apparently they don't.
Not sure why the Jags D started giving receivers so much cushion starting with that last drive that NE did before the half. As soon as they started clawing back into it, I said "Uh-oh....here we go again". Ouch.
But on a postive note, Bortles actually showed himself as THE guy in Jax, so you have a lot to look forward to in the coming seasons. I was impressed with him overall in the Steelers and Patriots games after he looked pretty dreadful in the Bills game.
As far as Philly/Minnesota, I never expected a blowout, but Foles looked pretty damned impressive. So much in fact that I texted my sister in Allentown and told her that we would trade all of our 2018 draft picks tomorrow to get Foles in a trade to Buffalo (kidding).
The Jaguars offensive game plan in the first half was outstanding. They had the Patriots completely off balance by mixing the screens with play action. It was the perfect scheme to keep Bortles comfortable and cause the Patriots to repeatedly overcommit.
I disagree that Bortles proved himself as the guy to the Jaguars. He definitely didn't lose him the game, but their ultra conservative play calling made it apparent that they didn't trust Bortles to make any big throws. Once they built that 10 point lead, they seemed content to just run the ball 3 downs and then trust their defense. I know their defense is great, but I can't believe they ditched their highly effective formula from the first half.
It was certainly an exciting game and I'm hoping for another great Super Bowl. Though with the Patriots, it always seems to be a closely contested game. I do wish the Eagles had Wentz playing, but Foles is a very capable QB as evidenced by his almost MVP season a few years ago and last Sunday's game.
^ That was why I mentioned that the Jags couldn't let up and that they needed to alter their attack in the 2nd half regardless of whether they were winning or losing. This is the only way that I see anyone beating the Patriots.
I recall Marrone and Hackett having that same conservative style when they were in Buffalo...and of course, I don't believe that they beat the Patriots once during their stint here just because of that conservative style of play. It used to drive me nuts!!
I also hope that it's an exciting game that goes down to the wire. No one really likes to see a blowout in the SB, unless of course, their team is the one that is doing the blowing out.
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