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NFL Championship round predictions

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NFL Championship round predictions

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) scrambles out of the pocket during the second half of an NFL divisional football AFC playoff game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) scrambles out of the pocket during the second half of an NFL divisional football AFC playoff game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Don Wright)


Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) scrambles out of the pocket during the second half of an NFL divisional football AFC playoff game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Don Wright)



Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) scrambles out of the pocket during the second half of an NFL divisional football AFC playoff game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

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Unlike the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs, the Divisional round this past weekend was very exciting filled with upsets, heartbreakers, and walk off touchdowns. We learned three things from the Divisional round: Defense wins championships, Tom Brady will always make it to the AFC championship game no matter what, and remembering how to tackle on the last play of the game is very important (Marcus Williams).

NFC Championship No.1 Philadelphia vs. No. 2 Minnesota

The NFC Championship game this year is set to be an interesting one. It features the No. 1 seeded Philadelphia Eagles who have been been labeled an underdog all postseason despite the No. 1 seed and home field advantage. It also features the Minnesota Vikings who are coming off one of their most emotional wins in franchise history which saw Stefon Diggs haul in a 61-yard touchdown pass as time expired to send the Vikings to their first NFC Championship since 2009 when Brett Favre was under the helm at QB. Both teams are lead by excellent defenses and inexperienced Quarterbacks in Nick Foles, and Case Keenum. The deciding factor of this game will be which Quarterback will be able to make a big play when their team needs it. The Vikings come into the game favored by three points.

Sam’s Pick: Philadelphia 13, Minnesota 10

Great defenses and mediocre Quarterbacks leads to a low scoring affair, Jake Elliot hits a game winning field goal to send the Eagles to the super bowl.

Taft’s Pick: Minnesota 24, Philadelphia 17

The Eagles have had a great year, and if Carson Wentz wasn’t injured I would probably pick Philly for this one. Unfortunately, In this “battle of the backups,” I think Case Keenum is coming out victorious and sending his Vikings to a home Super Bowl. I really hate Minnesota, so I’m still pretty upset about the divisional round. All Marcus Williams had to do was hit Stefon Diggs and the Saints would be going on to most likely face Tom Brady, and that would be one crazy game. But he had to miss the tackle and now the Vikings are on pace to possibly make history.

JB’s Pick: Minnesota 23, Philadelphia 13

‘Minneapolis Miracle’ is the big talk of the NFL at the current moment. Just when the game seemed to be out of reach, with 10 seconds left, Case Keenum threw a 61-yard bomb to Stefon Diggs as time expired to give them the W. The Vikings keep finding a way to pull victories. After shutting out the Saints in the first half, 17-0, it seemed like the game was already over. If Minnesota continues to play with that same caliber of defense, they will earn themselves a trip to Super Bowl LII. The Eagles have a defense the has been one of the top defenses. My bold prediction is this game will be tied at halftime, and the Vikings will send the Eagles flying in the second half. Nick Foles isn’t the ideal quarterback to take to the Super Bowl and neither is Keenum. The 29-24 victory over the Saints was Keenum’s first playoff game. It may come down to a quarterback duo, who knows. With the number one defense, and an offense that is clicking on all cylinders, I don’t see how the Vikings will lose this game.

Larry’s Pick: Minnesota 24, Philadelphia 14

Coming off the euphoric high of last week’s walk off victory over the Saints, the Vikings should have all the momentum in the world heading into this game. The Eagles squeaked by the Falcons last week, but I don’t see them being as lucky this time around. Philly’s defense should be strong enough to keep them in the game, but I see Minnesota taking care of business with a home super bowl on the line.

Pop’s Pick: Philadelphia 24, Minnesota 17

The matchup of the backup quarterbacks. I feel like the defenses will be really good in this game and the deciding factor will be whose offense shows up. Coming off a surprising win last round the Vikings have momentum in their favor but with the Eagles being home I feel like that will just eliminate it. Nick Foles will have the game of his life and the Eagles will advance onto the Super Bowl. Teddy Bridgewater will make his return in this game only to throw two interceptions.

Phil’s Pick: Minnesota 21, Philadelphia 17

AFC Championship No. 1 New England vs No 3. Jacksonville

This year’s AFC championship is a battle of the polar opposites. The Patriots strong suit is their offense, led by the legendary Tom Brady, and the Jaguars are known for their strong defense, which has earned the moniker “Sacksonville”. The last time the Jags participated in the AFC title game was in 1999. The Patriots on the other hand, have been in the game seven consecutive seasons. Brady has played in 35 playoff games, compared to Blake Bortles’ two. While some could say the Patriots are heavy favorites, the Jaguars are coming off a shootout victory over a Pittsburgh team who gave New England a good scare in Week 15 of the regular season. A player that will be a key indicator of Jacksonville’s success (other than Blake Bortles) is running back Leonard Fournette. Scoring three touchdowns in the team’s Divisional round game, the rookie was arguably the deciding factor for the Jags. Something to keep an eye on heading into Sunday’s matchup is Brady’s throwing hand. It was reported mid-week that he jammed his hand after being run into at practice. X-rays revealed no structural damage, but whether this will affect the quarterback’s level of play is yet to be seen.

JB’s Pick: New England 31, Jacksonville 24

Man the Jaguars look good. Rookie Leonard Fournette is having a season. Blake Bortles is finding his way. Knocking off the Steelers this past weekend was a huge statement to the rest of the NFL to start paying attention to this young Jaguars team. As much as I want to take the Jaguars in this game, I can’t. One of the Patriots weak spots is their defensive backs, and the Jaguars don’t have the recievers to expose some of these guys. Tom Brady, 40 years old or not, is still putting up monstrous numbers. This will be a score for score game. If the Jaguars defense can make Ben Roethlisberger throw five interceptions, anything can happen. Even if Brady throws for negative 184 yards and seven interceptions, the Patriots will find a way to somehow win. Pats by a touchdown.

Sam’s Pick: Jacksonville 28, New England 24

Jacksonville is riding high after their upset win against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week in the Divisional round, and they’re looking to bring their momentum into Foxborough this weekend. I think the Jags will pick off Tom Brady not once, not twice, but three times and pull off the upset of the year to send the Jags to their first super bowl in franchise history.

Larry’s pick: Jacksonville 31, New England 28

I can’t help but go with the upset here. The stars are aligning for the Jags, and I’m taking Tom Brady’s injury at practice as an omen. The dynamic duo of Fournette and Bortles will have an elite (or immaculate, depending on who you ask) performance to send the Jacksonville to Minneapolis.

Taft’s Pick: New England 35, Jacksonville 24

It is still unbelievable to me that the Jaguars got past the Steelers last week, but oh well. They’re in the AFC Championship and we all have to deal with it. Blake Bortles may have taken down Big Ben, but let’s be honest. The Jags don’t stand a chance against Tom Brady. I’m actually hoping for a close game and part of me wants to see the Jaguars make it to the Super Bowl, but I really don’t think a team that was 3-13 just one year ago will make it to the Super Bowl.

Pops’ Pick: New England 35, Jacksonville 17

The Jaguars have made it to the AFC championship game, but to bad for them they have to go up against Tom Brady. It will be a great game through three quarters but in the fourth Tom will take over and beat down the rowdy Jaguars defense. Blake Bortles will be great handing off the ball this game and hopes to at least throw for one touchdown. Leonard Fournette will run for at least 150 but that will not be enough as the Jaguars will lose. Dion Lewis will take over the game running for two touchdowns and that’s game over.

Phil’s Pick: New England 35, Jacksonville 28

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NFL Championship round predictions