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2018 NFL Playoffs NFL Conference Championship Round Sunday: Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles

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It’s time to find out who will play in Super Bowl LII.

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New England Patriots HC Bill Belichick & QB Tom Brady
New England Patriots HC Bill Belichick & QB Tom Brady
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Oh, NFL. You always have a way.

A turnover of giants that leaves the Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings in the mix? Yes. A Philadelphia Eagles side quarterbacked by not-Carson Wentz? Yes. The New England Patriots with Head Coach Bill Belichick and QB Tom Brady? The Shield and CBS has mouths to feed.

Let’s not be animals.


Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots

3:05pm ET/12:05 PT - CBS
Jaguars coverage: Big Cat Country
Patriots coverage: Pats Pulpit

What an obvious narrative.

When the Los Angeles Rams played the Jags in Week 6, I played it up as the preview of the NFL to come because it was obvious at the time that that’s what it was. I didn’t think the Jags would be in the AFC Championship against the most blatant paragon of the last era of the NFL.

But here we are.

We all know that DUVAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL isn’t here because of QB Blake Bortles. They’re here in spite of him. And that’s a testament to how good the team around him really is (and a testament to how good the 2017 Rams were, but I digress...). One of the NFL’s best defense coupled with a strong offense with rookie RB Leonard Fournette who continues to hobble through an ankle injury is more than enough to compete in any game.

And then there’s the Patriots. The New England Patriots.

The goddamned Pats.

...

...

...

Go Jags.

Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles

6:40pm ET/3:40 PT - FOX
Vikings coverage: Daily Norseman
Eagles coverage: Bleeding Green Nation

If the AFC Championship is a billing of old versus new, the NFC Championship is a billing of...uh, I dunno.

What is this?

The Vikings have the NFL’s best defense. It was supposed to be coupled with rookie RB Dalvin Cook who looked all the part of a phenomenal talent before barely making it to October before ending his season with a knee injury. And the quarterbacks? They went into this season with Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford and Case Keenum all on expiring contracts. Keenum has ushered them through a period that since Week 5 has seen them lose just one game and yet is far from (a) being assured the job next season and (b) being assured a job next season.

What is this?

Oh hai, Philadelphia Eagles without Wentz leaning on QB Nick Foles. Your offense has averaged less than two touchdowns per game the last three weeks. Let me clarify.

The Eagles have two offensive touchdowns in their last three games. They have just one offensive touchdown in their last two games. And that last game came down to a last-minute defensive stand.

What is this?

What the hell happened to the NFC this year? Is this ultimately a battle between the best two defenses of the conference? Is this a referendum on coaching that makes the argument that Vikings HC Mike Zimmer and Eagles HC Doug Pederson are the best two coaches in the NFC? Is it just a weird outcome for a weird season with weird teams in a weird NFL in a weird 2017/2018? #weirdshutdown?

What is this?


Sure, we all think the Patriots are going to win today. And we all...well, I’m not sure what the hell is going to go down on our side of the NFL.

But that’s what makes this fun, right? Not knowing?


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