It's been a long time since Week 1, when the Vikings defeated the Saints, 29-19, that's what Drew Brees wanted everyone to know heading into this week's NFC divisional playoff matchup between the teams. This will be a game that Le'Veon Bell will be a key factor in.
Unfortunately for the Titans, they get the reward of traveling to New England and taking on quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots.
The Vikings would essentially flip the NFL's arrangements for game prep and accommodations if the Vikings manage to reach the Super Bowl.
Unfortunately, injuries will be one of the major storylines heading into the divisional round.
Ryan has recorded a passer rating of at least 100 or more in five consecutive games, the second longest streak in National Football League history.
New England will be rested and probably annoyed by the widely disputed report of turmoil within the organisation.
The other QB quartet has combined to win just two playoff games, and those came last week when Mariota led the Tennessee Titans to an upset of the Kansas City Chiefs and Bortles helped Jacksonville edge Buffalo. My favorite Keenum myth is how the Texans cut him and if they'd just kept him, they'd have their franchise QB, which ignores (a) the two seasons he played in between the Texans cutting him and 2017, and (b) the Texans re fine at QB, thank you.
Something's gotta give, and if it's any indication DVOA's #1 defense has only been an underdog of a touchdown or more twice in this decade. I know the Jaguars had their way the last time they visited Pittsburgh, but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will not throw five interceptions once again, and he will not allow the Jaguars defense to do the scoring for Jacksonville. And for good measure, the low total of 41 increases the relative value of each point. The host team usually gets 15% of the tickets, but the National Football League split that up between both teams. In a typical year, that work is already underway at the host site for the Super Bowl, but the National Football League is forced to work around the Vikings as the team prepares to host a divisional round playoff game this weekend, and possibly prepares for a home game in the NFC Championship Game the following weekend. And with this being a best bet, there's more to it than that.
The Alabama alumni still playing are wide receiver Julio Jones and defensive lineman Courtney Upshaw of the Atlanta Falcons, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, offensive tackle Cam Robinson and running back T.J. Yeldon of the Jacksonville Jaguars, running back Mark Ingram of the New Orleans Saints, guard Chance Warmack of the Philadelphia Eagles and running back Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans. Then, the players were back on the field for a Monday practice; Tuesday was the normal off day, and then the schedule has the team on the field on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday leading up to the game, which is when the game plan for the Jaguars will be installed and practiced.
Most notably, the Philadelphia Eagles will be without quarterback Carson Wentz, who suffered a season-ending knee injury back in December. And, if the Patriots defense has a weakness, it's against the run (rank 20th, 114.8 yards per game). Although, the Vikings would actually be the road club because it's the AFC's turn to be "home". Yes, Ryan and the Falcons have looked impressive the last two weeks.
Prior to the Falcons' Wild Card Weekend win in L.A., the consensus had them as one- to two-point favorites in this matchup.
Although Philly is the No. 1 NFC seed, the Falcons are favored. The 1979 Los Angeles Rams lost Super Bowl XIV to the Steelers at the Rose Bowl, just 15 miles from L.A. Memorial Coliseum.
When Wentz went down Week 14 with a torn ACL, many thought the Eagles' season was over. But his Head Coach, Mike Mularkey, will need to get a much better offensive coordinator going into next season that much is a certainty if he still keeps his job.
This brings the theme of the week full circle. Pittsburgh's offense will look to make a statement early and often.
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