The Eagles were the No. 1 seed, so it’s not necessarily a big surprise that they won — even if they did come into the game as underdogs.
A top-10 offense was held to just seven points. After the Vikings scored on their first possession, they did not score again. The Vikings opened and closed the game with matching 75-yard drives. The first lasted nine plays and ended in a touchdown. The last included 11 plays and ended in an interception. In between, Minnesota ran 46 plays and gained just 183 yards — an average of 3.9 per play.
Of course, just because they’re inexperienced in the postseason doesn’t mean we should write them of. Just ask the Steelers, who lost to a wild 45-42 shootout to Jacksonville on Sunday.
If there’s one team in the AFC that could conceivably slow down the Patriots, it’s the Jags. The best way to slow Brady down is to beat him up and that’s exactly what the Jaguars are good at. During the regular season, the Jags finished second in the NFL in sacks with 55.
The Jaguars-Patriots game will be a rematch of the title game that took place in January 1997. Twenty-one years ago, the Patriots advanced to Super Bowl XXXI after beating the Jags 20-6.
The official’s decision to flag Bouye didn’t sit well with anyone on Twitter. Most people watching the game at home wanted to know why the Jags’ corner was being penalized for perfect coverage.
The bottom line is that there was definitely contact on the play, and that’s a flag that an official is probably going to throw more often than not.
The Patriots made the flag pay off when they scored a touchdown two plays later on a one-yard touchdown run by James White. The score cut the Jaguars’ lead to 14-10 at halftime.
Vrabel has strong Patriots connections with GM Jon Robinson, having played for New England from 2001 through 2008. Robinson was in the scouting department with the Pats from 2002-08. Vrabel, an Akron, Ohio native, was drafted in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Steelers. He would play in Pittsburgh four years before Bill Belichick brought him into New England via free agency. Vrabel thrived as a linebacker in Belichick’s system, making the Pro Bowl and All-Pro in 2007.