National Football League playoffs 2018: Conference championship odds, point spreads

Ric Tapia  AP, Adam Bettcher  Getty Images

The Jags can win if their defense can pressure Tom Brady can keep all his weapons in check.

Next Sunday, they will meet the victor of an AFC Divisional Playoff game today between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Pittsburgh Steelers, with the victor advancing to Super Bowl XLII in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

From the wild-card round through Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, ESPN has the playoffs covered. Now, of the four remaining teams left in the postseason, three of them have never won a Super Bowl title.

Pats do what pats do - One thing is for sure, you can't give the New England Patriots any second chances and expect to win; they are just too loaded with talent and too well coached for that. His teams' record in those games was 5-11. He's in his first season as the Jaguars' executive vice president of football operations.

That's not to say the Jaguars are any better than what the NFC has to offer (they aren't); they just happen to match-up best with New England. for several reasons.

Belichick will no doubt downplay any outward significance of facing a team influenced so greatly by Coughlin, although the Patriots coach has consistently expressed respect for the former Giants coach. There's a freshness to a matchup that would pit two dynamic, young defenses against each other.

More specifically, they're "gonna win that b--". Surely Brady's presence can't be ignored as the one constant for a team that has dominated so numerous past 18 seasons, yet Belichick's skill at dealing with ever-changing rosters has been equally important to the team's overall success.

The Atlanta Falcons only allowed an average of 16.9 points per game in their past seven contests (including the playoffs). They've combined to win five Super Bowls.

No Edelman this season?

In the team's 35-14 victory over the Tennessee Titans, Wise was a disruptive force, accounting for two of the team's eight sacks in the game.

Those matchups include a 22-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers to close the regular season and a 26-13 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, who scored a league-leading 29.9 points per game.

"We've had a good offense, they've had the best defense", Brady said. "His ball handling, his reliability, dependability is exceptional".

The defensive play really set the tone for the night and emphasized how disruptive of a force the Arkansas product can be in the Patriots pass rush. "So, he's kind of a guy you take for granted, but he delivered a lot tonight, as he always does". Vegas seems to agree as they just opened with the Patriots as 9-point favorites. "This group is this group". The last time for the Jaguars was last week, when the Steelers looked past them like few teams in the history of any sport looked past the team in front of them. Fournette was running the ball the hardest I've seen them. They've got arguably the best running back in the league who can also catch out of the backfield in Le'Veon Bell. "Everyone has different ways of handling things - players do, coaches do. I'm proud of the way they've gone about it". One of the big talking points of the Saints' season was how much their defense improved in 2018. Twice selected as the New York State Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sports Media Association, he is vice president of the Pro Football Writers of America.



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