BRADS NFL PICKS – CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES – 2017-2018
Brads Picks was a perfect 0 – 4 last week, and is 2-6 for the post-season.
Last weeks results:
Philadelphia 15, Falcons 10 – Falcons 10, Eagles 9 at the half. Eagles defense was excellent (as expected) – the Falcons only points came after two turnovers by the Eagles.
New England 35, Titans 14 – NE sacked Titans QB Marcus Mariota 8 times and held RB Derrick Henry to 28 yards on 12 carries. Mariota hurt a quadricep in the first quarter but it’s doubtful the Titans would have won this game even if he’d been 100%.
Jaguars 45, Pittsburgh 42 – Each team scored 6 TDs, the Jags getting 1 with the pass and 4 with the run and 1 when Ben the R fumbled at the 50 and Telvin Smith picked it up and ran it into the end zone; Steelers getting 5 with the pass and 1 with the run. It was Jags 28, Steelers 21 at the end of the third quarter. The only field goal in the game was the difference – it made the score (late in the 4th) 45-35. Steelers got a TD after that but a bit too little and too late.
Minnesota 29, Saints 24 – Vikings 17, Saints 0 at halftime. 17-7 after the third. But the Saints kicked a 43 yard field goal with 25 seconds left in the game. That made the score Saints 24, Vikings 23. But with the ball on the Vikings 39 yard line, Case Keenum threw the ball to Stefon Diggs on the sideline. Diggs went up and caught the ball as Saints DB Marcus Williams whiffed badly on the play. Diggs managed to keep his balance and stay in-bounds as he landed, and ran into the end zone to make the score 29-24.
the Sunday 1:05 MST game:
Jacksonville Jaguars (12-6) at New England Patriots (14-3) – The Cheatriots are favored by 7.
Weather should be partly cloudy with a temp around 40 degrees.
The big question is what’s with Brady’s hand? It seems to be undisputed that he injured it in practice on Wednesday, didn’t practice at all on Thursday, and practiced lightly on Friday.
Also, according to sources, his hand was “gushing blood” and required 4 stitches. And during his limited practice on Friday, all his snaps were from the shotgun to minimize the chances of aggravating the injury taking the ball directly from the center.
Brady has been wearing gloves since Wednesday, and he doesn’t like to wear gloves during games.
Jags QB Blake Bortles has taken a lot of grief for poor play during his 4 years in the league. But he’s been better this year and historically plays better in December and January. Also, he’s a pretty good runner – only Cam Newton, Russell Wilson and Tyrod Taylor have more rushing yards than Bortles in the last four seasons.
But the game will be decided by the Jags defense, especially the pass rush. Jags D is maybe the best in the league and they can pressure the QB just rushing four. And Brady hates pressure.
I see the Jags making it to SB 52, their first SB in the 23 years of their existence. Even if Brady’s hand is OK and they’ve just been feeding misinformation to the media. (Cheaters don’t just cheat, they also lie.)
the Sunday 4:40 MST game:
Minnesota Vikings (14-3) at Philadelphia Eagles (14-3) – Vikings are favored by 3.5.
Weather will be overcast with the temp in the 40s.
Two really good defenses here, so expect a low scoring game. I’m taking the Vikings because they might have the better run game and pass defense. Both teams are playing with back-up QBs because of injuries to their starters but Vikes Case Keenum has been the starter since September, Nick Foles just the last few games, so a slight edge to the Vikings.
But really, I bet this game comes down to one big play, probably a screw-up by the other team. Skol, Vikings.