Outrageous Predictions for NFL Conference Championship Games

It's going to be tough to top what the Vikings did last weekend

A whole lot went down during the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs last weekend. The lowlights included some shoddy play-calling and clock management on the part of the Pittsburgh Steelers' coaching staff. The highlight of the entire weekend was the 61-yard, Case Keenun-to-Stefon Diggs walk-off touchdown against the Saints.

 

That was play was enough outrageousness for an entire postseason. Luckily for us, there are three more games to play. And you can bet we haven't seen the last OUTRAGEOUS* play or outcome of these playoffs.

 

Outrageous Predictions for NFL Conference Championship Games

 

The Vikings keep the Eagles out of the end zone

Minnesota already played the most explosive and dynamic offense the NFC has to offer in beating the Saints. Philadelphia's offense is nothing close to as dangerous as what New Orleans brings to the table — especially with Nick Foles under center. The Viking defensive backs are just flat-out more talented than the Eagles' receivers and Minnesota's front seven is more than capable of shutting down Philadelphia's rushing attack. Bottom line: The Eagles are going to have a tough time moving the ball — let alone scoring touchdowns — against the Vikings.

 

Stefon Diggs is held without a catch

He's Minnesota's playmaker, and you can bet the Eagles are going to do everything in their power to lock him down and prevent him from being big story for a second consecutive weekend. He'll get targets, but it will become apparent early on that Philadelphia is paying extra attention to him. Case Keenum will need to look to his running backs, tight end Kyle Rudolph and Pro Bowl wide receiver Adam Thielen if he wants to have consistent success in the passing game.

 

Sacksonville fails to sack Tom Brady

Jacksonville's front seven is fierce, talented and relentless. Tom Brady, Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick will likely have devoted most of their offensive preparation to avoiding that lethal pass rush. This will involve a mix of off-tackle runs, draws and quick-hitting passing routes designed to get the ball out of Brady's hands early. Fortunately for New England, it appears that the offense was constructed from a personnel standpoint to execute that exact game plan.

 

Blake Bortles logs 50 passing attempts

He's hit the 50-mark twice this season. He'll hit it again Sunday out of necessity. Between a concerted effort by New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to eliminate Jacksonville's run game and the natural need to score points to beat the Patriots, Bortles (above, right) will be looking to pass all day. He has an underrated corps of receivers who could give the New England secondary some problems. This game will eventually evolve into a surprising shootout between Bortles and Brady.

 

*Remember, "outrageous" can be defined as “wildly exaggerated or improbable,” and “very bold, unusual, and startling.” These are "outrageous" predictions and should be treated as such.

 

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo!, SBNation and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.

Event Date: 
Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 08:43

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