The Divisional round of the NFL playoffs was extremely entertaining, especially the two games on Sunday. With everyone counting down the days before the Championship round, I thought I would quickly recap the previous weekend’s games and talk about some of the current Super Bowl odds moving forward.
Eagles 15 Falcons 10
In a very low scoring, defensive battle, the Eagles managed to do just enough to edge out the Atlanta Falcons.
The first half couldn’t have gone worse for the Eagles, all three running backs fumbled the ball including Jay Ajayi on his first attempt. The team turned the ball over on a muffed punt and Jake Elliott missed an extra point. Despite all the mistakes, Philly only trailed the Falcons 10-9 at halftime.
Nick Foles got hot in the second half leading a number of impressive drives to eventually set up the Eagles to take the lead on a fourth down run and score by LeGarrette Blount. The Falcons offense was held in check but did have a chance to win the game on the final drive. Julio Jones, who caught nine passes for 101 yards couldn’t bring down a pass on fourth down advancing the Eagles to the next round of the NFL Playoffs.
Patriots 35 Titans 14
New England was slow to start, struggling to advance the ball across midfield in the first quarter. The Titans took an early lead as rookie WR Corey Davis made an amazing diving catch for his first career touchdown. However, the game got out of hand quickly after that. Tom Brady threw for 337 passing yards and three touchdowns as the Patriots never looked back. New England easily handled the Titans with help from some questionable officiating.
Jaguars 45 Steelers 42
This AFC back and forth shootout was one of the best games I’ve seen in years and should be considered for “game of the year” if there was such a thing.
The Jaguars held the lead the entire day, with Pittsburgh doing everything possible to try to come back. Despite an impressive performance by both squads, the feeling I had after watching Jacksonville win this contest was the Steelers blew key opportunities that could have tied the game. There were two 4th and 1 plays for the Steelers that were not only terribly executed but gave all the momentum away to their opponents both times. I look forward to re-watching this game in the offseason.
Minnesota 29 New Orleans 24
The first half was controlled by the Vikings and at one point it appeared this game was going to be a blowout. Drew Brees threw two interceptions and Kicker Wil Lutz missed a field goal to keep the score 17-0 at halftime for the Vikings. But adjustments were made in the second half as New Orleans fought it’s way back into this contest. In the end, both teams took the lead in the final few minutes with some questionable clock management that left a miracle opportunity for Stefon Diggs to score an unforgettable game-winning touchdown for the Vikings.
Super Bowl Odds (Pre-Championship Round)
Usually, home field advantage dominates NFL Playoff betting odds, but with the Eagles losing Carson Wentz, that hasn’t been the case this year. Even with Nick Foles becoming the first QB in NFL history to have a 100+ passer rating in his first two playoff starts, the Birds are underdogs yet again this weekend. Looking even further down the road, betting odds are out for Super Bowl 52. Research conducted by Unibet has the Patriots now as an even money bet winner to win the Super Bowl.
Odds to Win Super Bowl 52
- New England Patriots – Even
- Minnesota Vikings +220
- Philadelphia Eagles +650
- Jacksonville Jaguars +650
The New England Patriots are nine-point favorites over the Jacksonville Jaguars this weekend. After seeing what the Jags were able to do to the Steelers, I think nine points is a little high. That being said, it’s safe to assume the Pats will be representing the AFC at Super Bowl 52. As for the NFC, it pains me to say this as I am an Eagles fan, but it’s hard to bet against the Vikings and all the momentum they now have after Sunday’s victory. They should edge out the Eagles on the road. The Vikings at home for the Super Bowl would be a first-ever, with the game in Minnesota this year. I think the Vikings have the best shot at upsetting the reigning Champion Patriots at Super Bowl 52 this year.