One of the things I've always hated about watching football is when a team I absolutely despise makes the big game at the end. Sure, it gives me something to root against, but if that team wins, it just leaves me with a terrible feeling. This season, I don't think I'll have a problem with any of these teams making the big game. I think it'd be awesome if Jacksonville and/or Minnesota won. If I'm being honest, the thought of either of those teams winning it all makes me quite happy. Though not necessarily a popular opinion, I actually like the Pats, and as far as I'm concerned, Danny Amendola can have all the rings. And, sure, I give the Philly fans a hard time, but it would be great for Nick Foles to win after all the crap he's been through, and any team that has Chris Long on it negates pretty much any asshole who plays or roots for said team.
All this aside, I'm just incredibly, unbelievably, indescribably grateful that Pittsburgh is out. In a league with no shortage of garbage human beings, the Pittsburgh Steelers are, collectively as an organization, from top to bottom, the most comprehensive collection of assholes in the entire league. Just having to endure watching them play damages me as a human being. Watching them lose last week was euphoric. After that, everything else is gravy.
Winner in Bold
Jacksonville at New England
I've been saying for a while (you could ask my wife) that the Jags are not the team that the Pats want to face in the playoffs. Historically, Brady has struggled against defences that can pressure him without blitzing, and the Jags are certainly capable of that. Add to that the talent that Jacksonville has in the rest of its defence, and you have a really tough challenge for New England's offence, maybe the toughest it's faced all season. I don't think the Jags will be able to score much against the Pats' vastly underrated defence, so the ultimate key to this game will be New England's patience on offence. The Pats will have to grind it out a bit, try to hit Gronk for the odd decent gainer, get the ball to Dion Lewis in space, and control the clock. Brady has to be willing to throw it away, take a sack, do whatever it takes to keep from turning it over. I'm fascinated by this matchup. I just hope it doesn't get ruined because of Brady's hand injury. Honestly, I think with Brian Hoyer behind Center, as much as I like the guy, the Pats get massacred.
Minnesota at Philadelphia
Case Keenum or Nick Foles is going to the big game, which is awesome in my book. Both have an embarrassment of riches at the skill positions, although Adam Thielen is nursing a bad back, which would be a blow to Minnesota's offence. Defence is the key to this game. Philly has a deep and talented defensive front. Minnesota's defence is probably better overall. Points should be hard to come by in this one. I'm ok with that, as I like to watch good defensive play, and I'm not a moron who needs a high-scoring game to keep me interested.