The pressure is really on now, and there are lots of factors that will go into who advances to the final four of these playoffs. There's turmoil, at least according to the media, in the Patriots organization, and the Titans run defense has looked tremendous. The same cannot be said about the Eagles. He struggled heavily against the Oakland Raiders and looked no better in the season finale against Dallas.
Other predictions claimed that the Steelers will be able to snatch the victory against the Jaguars, while the Patriots will give the Titans a hard time to win in their division. But can you trust Nick Foles to lead Philadelphia to victory? The Eagles are no slouches in this department either.
The usual suspects are present, as teams such as the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers are back in a familiar position in the playoffs. This is an organization that is at its best with a chip on its collective shoulders.
Despite all that has been written about the Patriots in the last 8 days, here is what we know for sure going into this game: Tom Brady will play quarterback for the Patriots, Bill Belichick will be head coach and Robert Kraft is still the owner. They are team that has been through some UGLY games this season. The Tennessee Titans may be the first victim.
Either way, it has been a long time since a team has had the shot that the Vikings do. Buffalo Bills losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars (20-10), I almost lost if the Bills got within the red zone but the Jags pulled through somehow. I like Jacksonville on the road, especially after they handled Pittsburgh during the regular season.
The key for the Titans will be resisting the urge to put the ball in Marcus Mariota's hands too early if they fall behind.
The two AFC games are a bit different. Remember, Jacksonville already beat the Steelers in convincing fashion at Heinz Field back in October. Perhaps he will be. These are contests that would definitely be interesting to see, but we just don't know if that is how things are going to play out.
The Saints enter this game as the league's most explosive offense, averaging an NFL-best 6.3 yards per play. While he hasn't missed any game time due to the injury, Brady closed out the regular season with his worst six-game stretch in terms of passer rating in more than four years. There's a reason the sixth seed is favored here. He'll be up against a very strong Saints team as well.
Falcons -2.5 over EAGLES It's pretty fantastic that the Falcons, as the sixth seed, may have stumbled into a Super Bowl path in which they just need to get through Jared Goff, Nick Foles, and Keenum. If not, Minnesota's dream may well be alive. The only outlier: the 2015 Carolina Panthers.
Murray has also handled four of the Vikings' five carries inside the 5-yard line over the past four games, with all four of Murray's carries coming from the 1- or 2-yard line. Reigning MVP Matt Ryan turned in a solid 218 yards and one touchdown, but the real stars were on the defensive side. He's still getting it done just shy of his 39th birthday - he'll have to look about ten years younger than he actually is if he wants to get past this test. Not only are Freeman's cuts less effective away from the Mercedes Benz Stadium field turf, but he also has to deal with an Eagles defense that allowed the second-fewest schedule-adjusted fantasy points to running backs.