The Fantastic Four
Holy Moly!! What a finish to the 2017-18 divisional round. We witnessed some great games, and for the most part all of the games came down to the wire, unless you’re the Tennessee Titans, then you never really stood a chance. It doesn’t matter however you view the refs, the Patriots, or some fake conspiracy that some people actually believe, the Titans just couldn’t find their groove or get anything going on. Speaking of the one and done Eagles, they sure shut the majority of people doubting them huh? Here’s a recap of all the games in case you foolishly missed out on all the action.
ATL vs PHI
This was the first time a #1 seed was actually set as the underdog going into the playoffs, and all the odds were stacked against Philadelphia. The Atlanta Falcons were viewed as the favorite to come out of the NFC, or at the least a very dangerous sixth seed that nobody wanted to see in the postseason. For starters Devonta Freeman had a horrible game. Freeman posted seven measly yards on 10 carries, but did also have the only score for Atlanta in the passing game. Julio Jones had a monster game going for over 100 yards on 9 catches, but the defense won the game for Philadelphia, as they now game plan for the Minnesota Vikings.
TEN vs NE
If you’re a Titans fan more than likely you shut the tv off early, or you were forced to watch this game, because even I wasn’t expecting such a beat down. Tennessee striked first with Mariota beautifully connecting with Corey Davis, but that was all she wrote because Tom Brady posted 337 yards, 3 TD’s before being subbed out for Brian Hoyer. Gronk, Amendola, and Dion Lewis looked good. Brandin Cooks though, does worry me going against those ferocious Jags corners next week. Titans are now without Mike Mularky going forward, and it was nice to see Corey Davis finally get in a groove, even thought it was a loss.
JAX vs PIT
Caleis Campbell is either working some black magic, went to get his palm read, or possibly just some modern-day Nostradamus, because a week ago he correctly predicted this final score of this game. Now this game was so full of emotions for Steelers fans. Several people knew this young Jacksonville team was already good as it is to win the game, but this wasn’t Week 5 in the regular season in which Big Ben threw five picks at home and got clowned on by Jalen Ramsey all the way into the postseason. Well turns out the Steelers had no choice but to go down swinging, because after the first it was 28-7 in favor of Jacksonville.
This made for some great tv, because Martavis Bryant had a breath-taking touchdown right before the half to give fans hope, Antonio Brown did Antonio Browns things, catching a clutch touchdown on 4&5, and Le’Veon Bell also found the end zone, but that wasn’t enough because Blake Bortles was good enough to keep the offense balanced enough to give the defense some rest, and now the Pittsburgh Steelers stay home with several questions looming around the team, and the Jags keep looking to make a statement against the five time Super Bowl Champion, Tom Brady.
NO vs MIN
As if JAX vs PIT wasn’t good enough to get you hyped as it was the final game to close out the divisional week was one for the ages, and clearly topped the classic 2009 NFC conference game between these two franchises. It was a defensive battle early on in favor of the Vikings all the way into the third quarter to where Drew Brees hit Michael Thomas with a dart to finally put them on the board, trailing 7-17. Both Ingram and Kamara combined for 68 yards splitting carries down the middle yet again, but the Vikings defense would not budge. Brees posted 294 yards, 3 TD’s also with 2 INT’s, but let’s fast forward to the fourth quarter because this is where this epic game really unfolded. It was 14-20, but Brees found Kamara for a shocking TD to tie the game 20-20 before a Will Lutz extra point for the lead with a little over 3 mins left.
Keenum fired back finding Adam Thielen for a highlight reel catch with possible ROY Marshon Lattimore all over him to set up the longest FG in postseason history for the Vikings as Kai Forbath nailed a 53 yarder to give the Vikings the lead. “Skol, Skol, Skol, Skol” you could hear the place erupt with a sure sign that Minnesota had this all wrapped up, but you could absolutely never count out a future hall of famer like Brees out. Later on the drive on 4th&10 Willie Snead came up huge securing the pass to set up Will Lutz for a 43 yarder to give the Saints the lead again, this time with only 25 seconds left for Minnesota to work with.
The energy was drained from the crowd, the camera kept shifting to Millie Wall the oldest Vikings fan to never attend a Vikings game, and was later surprised with tickets to this epic game for her upcoming 100th birthday, and here we are. Third and ten– ten seconds left and Case Keenum found Stefon Diggs for a miraculous 61 yard score for the walk off touchdown!! And just like that history was made. You could hear Prince in the speakers from the background “Let’s go crazy” and crazy the crowd went indeed, now setting up the NFC championship game against Philly on the road. There’s no telling if both championship games can top the excitement of the divisional week, but that’s not going to keep us from watching.