Jaguars vs. Patriots
I was correct in not underestimating Jacksonville last weekend, however, I was dead wrong in assuming the only chance they had in winning was in a defensive slugfest. That has to give Jags fans some hope heading into this weekend. Granted, they almost blew a huge lead, but this shows that perhaps their offense has some life after all – or perhaps it just shows them running into a poor Shazier-less Pittsburgh D.
I do not believe the Jags can win another barn-burner against the Pats, however. The defense will have to tighten up some screws so as to not allow another 545 yards of offense. As we’ve seen from this whole season, they can. They have an excellent group of corners that can cover any receiver and a great pass rush. The two biggest questions I have for the Jags D is one, how can they neutralize Gronk? And two, can their linebackers cover the Pats feisty receiving backs? If they can, expect a close one. Also, whoever thinks Brady is not 100% playing this weekend needs a CT scan stat. Offensively, the Jags need Bortles to show some life early on, or expect eight-man boxes galore. If Bortles starts slowly, I really don’t see them winning this game.
The biggest priority for the Pats is to protect Brady – their run game usually consists of quick passes to the backs – especially if he’s not 100% come kickoff. New England will do what they do offensively. If they can rattle Bortles early on defensively, Brady will be back for another Super Bowl.
PREDICTION: Patriots 23 Jaguars 13
Vikings vs. Eagles
I was right in saying that the Vikings/Saints clash would be a classic, however I didn’t expect that ending. As a Packers fan, that almost killed me. I can’t be too proud to say, however, that as a football fanatic, that was one of the greatest games I’ve ever watched.
This will be, in all likelihood, the better of the two games (as long as we keep doubting Jacksonville). Two relatively inexperienced quarterbacks with elite defenses go head-to-head. Who wins out? As much as I hate to say it, as Walterfootball pointed out – this may be a team of destiny. Case Keenum is playing out of his mind and the defense is truly elite. The Vikings will be Super Bowl bound.
Ignore the following unless you’re Packers President Mark Murphy. Are you freaking kidding me? Case. Freaking. Keenum. The Vikings third-string QB who has bounced around from team to team is probably going to the Super Bowl. Professionally speaking, how can you look at yourself and say you’ve done a good job? You have one of the greatest signal-callers of all time at your disposal, and only one SB to show for it. Maybe, I don’t know, invest in the defense? Make some moves in free agency every once in a while? Maybe then we won’t see 25 undrafted free agents from ITT Tech suit up each week because of injury? Maybe instead fire your overwhelmed and underachieving D-coordinator 5 years ago? Sorry for that, my inner Packer fan is still fuming.