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AFC & NFC Conference Championship matchups set, with three fresh faces

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The Eagles will host the Vikings, while the upstart Jaguars take on the Patriots.

Minnesota Vikings v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

The NFC South has been swiftly and brutally eliminated from the playoffs, which leaves only the Vikings and Eagles standing on the NFC side. On the AFC side, the Patriots are still there (as anticipated) and facing the Jaguars (I did not see that coming). There’s actually quite a bit of intrigue with these two matchups, and three chances for us to see a team win a championship that either never has before or hasn’t in a very, very long time.

Here’s a brief look at the schedule, in case either of those matchups intrigue you enough to clear your schedule next Sunday.

Jaguars @ Patriots: 3:05 p.m. EST

Vikings @ Eagles: 6:40 p.m. EST

The former is the game I’m actually more invested in, in some ways. The Patriots have been winning for so long and so relentlessly (seven straight Conference Championships!) that seeing another team represent the AFC would be a nice change of pace. The brash Jaguars are a hell of a lot of fun, too, so I’m legitimately rooting for them.

I don’t have a strong preference in Vikings vs. Eagles, though I am very grateful to Minnesota for taking the Saints out of the hunt for a Super Bowl, given everything. But I do expect that to be a pretty classic defensive struggle, and I do think the winner will have a decent shot at triumphing over their AFC counterpart, whoever that may be.

I don’t have a strong preference for a winner overall so long as it’s not the Patriots, but I’ll go ahead and pull for the Jaguars or Vikings because the Eagles beat the Falcons and I’m still a bit salty about that. It’ll be nice to watch next weekend without the weight of the world on our shoulders, but