Jacksonville @ New England
Bortles vs. Brady! It’s the match-up you never knew you always wanted. Jaguars’ quarterback Blake Bortles will be starting his first AFC title game whereas New England QB Tom Brady will be starting his 12th. One has no experience, the other has tons. It reminds me of a dad taking his son to a brothel on his 18th birthday to lose his virginity. And we all know how that turns out, the one with the experience always wins ... Er wait, no, the virgin is the winner there. Maybe this analogy has become strained, but if we see Bortles fumbling with his belt in the first quarter we’ll know at that point that he’s in over his head. Believe it or not this will be the fifth time these teams have met in the playoffs, which will be news to the readers out there who had no idea the Jaguars franchise has even played in four playoff games total before this. The Pats are 3-1 in the series, with the home team winning every previous meeting. Though the first of those contests was in January of ‘97 when, I’m pretty sure, approximately half the Jacksonville roster was not yet born, so what bearing does that record really have on this Sunday? The more I think about this game the more perplexed I get. Luckily for me, even though NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth won’t be calling a game this week, I dropped him a line and got his two cents on this match-up:
That’s cool man, I believe you. And I think I believe you about the game too. The Jags are a threat, but probably aren’t ready to get this monumental win just yet.
Minnesota @ Philadelphia
Going into the season I predicted that each of these teams would finish 8-8, so I’m just as surprised as you that this is the match-up in the NFC title game. Unless you’re going to tell me that you’re not surprised, in which case I’d say that I really don’t appreciate you lying to me after all we’ve been through together. What’s more shocking is how the teams got here, with back-up quarterbacks that both toiled under Jeff Fisher with the Rams. The most shocking aspect not being that they were reserves who are now a win away from starting a Super Bowl, but that they’ve managed to be successful even with the stink of Jeff Fisher hanging over their careers. Let’s be honest though, the strength of these teams is their defenses, and this one figures to be low-scoring, or at least it better be if the Eagles actually want to win. This is another tough one to pick, just like the earlier contest. I’m torn again. When that happens I have no choice but to enact a rarely used emergency procedure ... BONUS CRICOLL!!!
Couldn’t help but notice he didn’t make an actual prediction, other than that both teams will poop during the game, maybe? I guess I’ll have to handle this myself. The Eagles believe that everybody outside of their locker room has written them off. Well count me amongst them, because I’m literally writing them off for the second time in two weeks.