As Sunday comes closer, everyone who loves football will be watching to see which of the four remaining teams will make it to the big game. Let’s look inside and outside the box at what we should focus on before and during the game.
Focus Points for NFL Championship Weekend
The Upstart Jacksonville Jaguars
Admittedly, the Jacksonville Jaguars seemed to have cracked the Pittsburgh Steelers code this year. Beating them not once but twice and both of those times at Heinz field. So the question obviously becomes, can they do the same and shock the New England Patriots this Sunday? For weeks now many predictions have been in favor of the Patriots. But they aren’t always playing like an unstoppable team. Many of their wins were not the blowouts that people are used to seeing.
The biggest key to defeating the Patriots is throwing Tom Brady off of his game. He doesn’t like to be rushed as it breaks his focus. He is also not a quarterback who will stay in the pocket when it is collapsing to keep the play moving. If he feels a tackle is imminent he will duck and cover and take the loss. But this also angers him and if you can’t keep the pressure on, and let him get back in the grove he has great downfield weapons he can go to.
What is up With Brady’s Hand?
Is he hurt or not? Is it bad or just a bruise? Why didn’t he practice if it is not that bad? These are the questions going on for the past few days. This is also driving Las Vegas oddsmakers crazy as obviously his ability to play will factor into the odds. However, we have seen this from Brady before, he seems to be good at playing possum. Whether this is to make his opponents lose focus and think they will have an easier time or make his own team focus more to make up for his weakness only watching his play this weekend will tell the tale.
Two Unlikely Quarterbacks
Case Keenum of the Minnesota Vikings and Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles are two players that no one would have picked at the beginning of the year to be one-game away from a Super Bowl start, but here they are. Both of these men have talent, but is that talent enough? Keenum has played most of the season and has had time to meld well with his team and get a good feel for the timing of the offense. Foles has had much less time and that will obviously be a drawback.
The Eagles have home-field advantage for this game, but as we have seen in recent weeks that is far from a lock. These two men have a golden opportunity to take their team to the biggest game of the year and therefore establish themselves as true players and leaders for their team.
The Ultimate Home-Field Advantage
Every year the Super Bowl is in a different stadium, giving the different cities the chance to have the party at their house. This year there is a real possibility of the team that belongs to the stadium making it to the big game. The Minnesota Vikings have a real chance of being the first to do this. This would be historic and could be the ultimate in advantages. Even though it has been proven over and over that the home field isn’t a lock. In a situation like this that we have never seen, it would be great to watch.
This year’s super bowl has the potential to make history on many different fronts. No matter which two teams are successful this week. Even fans whose teams aren’t there should have something to cheer about.
On we go to the last week of the playoffs.