2018 Championship Sunday

 

Wow, well I expected a close game and a blowout. But I sure didn’t expect it to be the way it turned out. That’s the magic of the playoffs. The teams still have to play the game. Fortunately, weather wasn’t really a factor in either game, so Mother Nature wasn’t used as an excuse by the losing teams.

2018 Championship Sunday

  • The Jaguars are for real. After weeks of doubting Blake Bortles he really couldn’t play any better than he did on Sunday. He was composed, precise and he didn’t commit a turnover. And yet he lost. The Jags abandoned their more aggressive style in the second half, and it cost them. They also gave up big play after big play versus Tom Brady. So the Patriots slowly eroded at the lead on both sides of the football. One wonders if they hadn’t ruled the Dion Lewis fumble a turnover if the Pats might have actually covered the spread. After all, they looked unstoppable on offense in the fourth quarter and the Jaguars certainly weren’t lighting it up offensively. Moving forward, the Patriots will have to do a better job against over the middle crossing routes, and they have to get more pressure on the QB if they want to avoid an early hole on the scoreboard come Super Bowl time.
  • Philly had enough about how great the Vikings defense was. Their D stepped up and made Case Keenum look like Case Keenum from 2014, 2015 and 2016. Composure was the word of this game, as Keenum threw a pick-six and Foles and the Eagles offense kept their foot on the gas following that game-changing play. The Eagles will have to pound the ball versus New England and ride all of their running backs to do it. The key for them is to tire the Patriots defensive line, like they absolutely did versus the Vikings. It seemed like Foles drew confidence from attempting short throws first to build his confidence. But when he was comfortable he sure was cooking. Look for Philly to keep the Super Bowl close, based on their big play leaders on both sides of the ball, and the fact that New England is a flawed yet extremely well coached team.

Dave Trentadue is a radio producer and reporter in Montreal, Canada. Follow @davetrentadue