FMQB: Super Bowl Set
As what seems to be the norm in this year’s playoffs, we had one super exciting game followed by a game where it was over in the first half hour. Somehow with a wild playoff year, we still have both #1 seeds going at it again. The Super Bowl is set, and we’re ready for the big game in 9 days!!!
Will be weird to have a “bye” week in football, but per usual I’ll do a short post on the Championship round this week, and a post on the Super Bowl next week.
Patriots vs. Jaguars:
From the little I saw the Jaguars this year, and if you don’t count the Bills game, they were an interesting team when it came to leads. Even though their offense can be suspect, their defense was able to hold while they put up a considerable lead. Then come the 2nd half or 4th quarter, it would slowly be whittled away. For the Steelers game, had the game been 4 minutes longer the Steelers would have won that game easily. The same thing happened on Sunday, getting up 20-10 in the 4th quarter and holding Brady to 0 TD passes in the first 51 minutes of gametime. Gronk’s injury was huge, yet the Patriots only scored when he was off the field.
The fumble recovered by Miles Jack was a turning point for sure. People are up in arms that the whistle was blown early, but there is an angle which clearly shows Jack’s legs on top of Lewis’ legs when he’s down. Could have easily been a TD though and the Jags would have been up 17 in the 4th. Instead they punted and New England would score the next possession. Even with 10 minutes left, the Pats’ 3rd and 18 conversion was for the ball game, and I’m shocked the #1 defense gave that up. Bortles had 6 incompletions on three 4th quarter drives vs 2 completions. It was really similar to the Chiefs Titans game, where one team seemed to dominate the entire time until all of a sudden they were behind and it was too late. Brady is seriously clutch though, as much as I hate to admit it. He had 12 stitches in his hand 4 days before the game, and still put up two huge 4th quarter drives.
Vikings at Eagles:
If anybody watched the Vikings vs. Rams game this year, it was the exact same story line. Team drives the field, looks incredibly strong and scores a TD on opening drive. Never sees the endzone the rest of the game. It was kind of a letdown of a game after the Minneapolis Miracle. Nick Foles again was surprisingly efficient, having back to back 70+% completion percentage games. He also had 4 passes for over 35 yards which is unheard of. Just bomb after bomb after flea flicker bomb. Turning points were two places: First, the INT return for a TD to tie the game at 7 really seemed to take the breath out of the Vikings even though it was so early. Second, the fact that the Eagles scored 3 times in a row with the Vikings only having 1 possession in the middle of it. They scored 7 with 1:09 left, a FG with no time left, and then another TD on the first possession of the 2nd half. That’s a killer 17 point swing. The 2nd half was completely out of hand and there were no more miracles to be had.
I debated putting something here as I think a lot of the fan rivalries look bad but are really in good fun (case in point, the 49er vs. Giants game the year after their NFC title game, and how sketchy it felt being there but a 7 year old kid broke the ice by proclaiming in his Eli jersey that “niners are whiners”). But wow, Philly fans really made the town look bad. I can even look past people getting booed walking through the tailgate zone, maybe a middle finger or two: but seeing full beer cans chucked at fans, the “F Millie” sign, throwing items at the team bus. It actually looked pretty scary. I know Eagles fans almost take pride in being the fanbase that booed Santa Clause, but they were a step below that on Sunday. I will however give them credit for doing the “Skol” chant but saying “Foles” instead. There’s a lot of talk of Vikings fans retaliating over the Super Bowl by doing the exact same thing to Philly fans, but I hope they don’t. It would give Minneapolis a bad reputation for this year’s Super Bowl.
Stat of the Week:
In NFC Championship games, indoor teams traveling to outdoor stadiums are now 0-13.
Stat of the Week #2:
There were 3 flea flickers ran on Sunday. I couldn’t point out another one being run all season, and if it did it wasn’t successful.
Stat of the Week #3:
In New England’s last 3 playoff games, they have come back to win, twice in the 4th quarter. Down 25 in the Super Bowl, down 7 against the Titans (I know, that was early in the game), and down 10 against the Jags.
Stat of the Week #4:
158 of Brady’s 290 yards passing came in the 4th quarter.
Stat of the Week #5:
At halftime, Bortles was 13 for 15 and 155 yards. If only he could have kept that up.
Stat of the Week #6:
The Vikings have lost 6 straight NFC Championship games, an NFL record without making it to the Super Bowl.
For the Record:
- Technically speaking, the Vikings will be home for the Super Bowl…
- Outside of New England, only 1 other state is rooting for the Patriots; good ol’ North Dakota. But why? Carson Wentz is from there, and even if he’s injured, he’ll get a ring. I’ve also heard that his jersey sales there are through the roof, so you’d have to think there are some legitimate Eagles fans in ND. So I’m confused at that stat.
- For the record, Blake Bortles has as many playoff wins as the Cowboys do over the past 20 years.
- At least we avoided a Nick Foles vs. Blake Bortles Super Bowl.
X Gon Give It To You:
I’m not going to lie, the revamped XFL kind of has me excited. No doubt it will fail just as badly as every other league that tries to take down the NFL, but Vince has a few good points. The game has gotten so intricate with the rules, what’s a catch? What’s pass interference? How long do we have to wait while refs review an obvious call? So it’s intriguing to think there’s a league out there that may fix some things. Let me be completely clear one more time, THIS WILL FAIL! It’s extremely difficult to have people switch teams and buy more gear for a lesser league. One could also argue that football is oversaturated as it is. But it will give us some amusement, improve on some rules, and possibly give the NFL more ideas like it did the last time. I give it 2 years instead of the 1. Let’s see Johnny Manziel vs. Colin Kaepernick out there!
Quote of the Week:
Having to host the Eagles and their unruly fans for Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis is like having your ex’s wedding — after she dumped you — in your backyard and not being invited
Memes of the Week:
I will apologize in advance for ripping on the Vikings, it’s all in good fun for what it’s worth. Whoever made the first one, the word “OF” is supposed to be “ON.”