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NFL Championship Sunday is the real Super Bowl, Who’s Going to Minnesota?

Championship Sunday is for Hardcore NFL Fans. Who Wins on Sunday?

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Only Two Teams Will Survive.

NFL fans will finally know who represents the NFC and the AFC in Super Bowl LII by Monday. NFL observers and Patriots fans expected New England to make a deep run into this year’s playoffs. But who guessed the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Minnesota Vikings, and the Philadelphia Eagles are 60 minutes away from a Super Bowl berth? Let’s hope Championship Sunday creates moments better than last week’s ‘Minnesota Miracle.’ But that will be tough. Let’s preview the matchups and predict who’s going to the Super Bowl.

AFC Championship: Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots (CBS) 1/21 – 3:05 PM EST

tombradyinjuredhand
(01/18/2018- Foxboro, MA) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wears gloves on both hands as he chats with backup Brian Hoyer at practice at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, January 18, 2018. Staff Photo by Matt West

Call this ‘Handgate.’ On Wednesday, news broke that Patriots QB Tom Brady jammed a finger on his throwing hand during practice. Typically a jammed finger is not a big deal. But when it comes to the Patriots and injuries, nothing is typical. Brady was limited in practice during the week and no one has 100% confirmed the severity of the injury. On Thursday reports were circulating that Brady had a deep gash that required X-ray and stitches. Brady is questionable for Sunday’s game, but “zinged the ball pretty well,” according to a Pats’ source on Friday.

The Jaguars were a nine-point underdog according to Las Vegas at the beginning of the week. Why? There are several factors. The Jaguars are a young team on the road and haven’t been in the AFC Championship game, much less the playoffs, since 1999. Jacksonville is 1-10 all-time against New England. QB Blake Bortles is one of the most maligned QB in the league. The Jags’ most dangerous offensive weapon, rookie running back Leonard Fournette, is banged up, nursing a quad injury and will be facing a Patriots defense determined to stop the run. Belichick’s defensive game plan will force Bortles to beat the Patriots through the air. The Jags may have a dominant defense, but it did surrender 42 points to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional game. The Pats deserved to be a big favorite.

Prediction:

The news of Brady’s injury moved the betting line to Jags -7.5 underdogs. Before you bet the house on the upset, let’s keep it real. A Jaguars win on Sunday would be one of the biggest upsets in playoff history. We are talking Jets defeating the Colts at Super Bowl III level.

FTS is picking the Jags with the points, but the Patriots win the game. We expect a lower scoring affair, perhaps 24-20. We wouldn’t be surprised by a New England backdoor cover. The Patriots go on to Super Bowl LII.

NFC Championship: Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles (FOX) 1/21 – 6:40 PM EST

Sunday’s NFC Championship game doesn’t feature Rodgers, Brees, Newton, Falcons, Seahawks, Cowboys, or the Giants. Sunday’s starting quarterbacks aren’t named Bridgewater, Bradford, or even Wentz. Minnesota’s Case Keenum and Philadelphia’s Nick Foles will lead their teams with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. Who? Keenum, a journeyman and backup quarterback for most of his career has led the Vikings to a 13-3 record and the number one seed in the playoffs. If they defeat the Eagles in Sunday, the Vikings return to the Super Bowl for the first time in 41 seasons and become the first team to play a Super Bowl in their own stadium.

nickfoleseagles
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File

Foles was an elite QB in the making under Chip Kelly in 2013. Since that time, he’s been traded, lost his starting role and played on two teams. Now, Foles is trying to pick up the pieces after Philly starter Carson Wentz suffered a torn ACL in jury during Week 8. The Eagles were riding high at 11-2 and Wentz was playing at an MVP level. The Eagles, like the Vikings, have never won a Super Bowl. This time around the Eagles won’t have Ron Jaworski, Donovan McNabb or even Wentz under center. It will be a reclamation project named Foles trying to lead them through Minnesota.

The Vikings have the No. 1 defense in the league, featuring pass rusher Everson Griffen and stud Xavier Rhodes in the secondary. They have physical linebackers in Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr, along with one of the smartest and most effective safeties in the game in Harrison Smith. Two elite defenses and two backup quarterbacks trying to prove the haters wrong. One ticket to the Super Bowl on the line. Let’s get it on.

Prediction:

The Vikings are three-point road favorites at Lincoln Financial Field, and the total is 38.5, according to OddsShark. FTS predicts a push and the under. We are thinking 17-14 and a Vikings win.

New England Patriots vs. Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl LII

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