The Falcons are out of the playoffs, sadly. We’ve got a lot of time to consider the offseason ahead of us, so for today, I suggest kicking back and letting yourself be distracted by some football. There are two good matchups today.
The first and less important to the vast majority of us is Jaguars vs. Steelers. Jacksonville has put together a tremendous season and will want to follow the Eagles’ blueprint to win, shutting down Pittsburgh and hoping their quarterback doesn’t kill them en route to the AFC Championship Game. The Steelers, meanwhile, are a potent offense and a solid enough defense in their own right, and are at home. The hope here is that one of these two teams can knock off the Patriots so we don’t have to see New England in the Super Bowl again.
The second game matters a lot. A Vikings-Eagles NFC Conference Championship Game might be no one’s idea of a thrilling game, but it beats the hell out of the Saints remaining in the race. I tried the whole “cheer for your division rival” thing back in 2009 and New Orleans fans made me regret that more or less immediately, and neither the Vikings nor the Eagles have Super Bowl rings under their belts in the modern era. Go Vikings.
Use this as your open thread for both games, and let’s avoid thinking about the Falcons for a little while.