After being shut down on offense for nearly the entire first half, the Patriots finally scored a touchdown late in the second quarter after Tom Brady drove them 85 yards on just six plays. However, the key play on the drive wasn’t anything Brady did, it was a pass interference call that went against Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye.
Bonus: the Patriots turned him into an offensive threat! Vrabel was targeted 14 times in his career and caught 10 passes, all for touchdowns. It was wild how teams would know the Pats (and later Chiefs) were throwing the ball to him in the red zone and no one could stop it. Here’s a big old package of highlights set to some terrible music:
The presumption when the Titans fired Mike Mularkey was that they would go out and grab an offensive mind. Vrabel is, quite clearly, not an offensive guy (despite his frequent trips to the end zone as a player). But the Titans have to figure out a way to improve the situation for franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota and to get the most out of Derrick Henry and Corey Davis.
Meanwhile, the NFL’s best defense, by both yardage and points, allowed 456 yards and 31 points to Nick Foles, with another touchdown coming on a pick-six. The Eagles had five separate scoring drives of 60 yards or more. That’s two more than the number of times they punted.
What was even more surprising than the level of dominance exhibited by the Eagles, however, was exactly how it happened. The Vikings did a whole lot of things well during their run to the NFC’s No. 2 seed and in getting to the NFC title game in the first place. And then they did exactly none of those things well with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.
Although the Patriots get mentioned a lot when we talk about the Super Bowl, one team that almost never comes up is the Jaguars and there’s a good reason for that. The Jags have never made it to the Super Bowl and this week’s game will mark only the third time in franchise history that they’ve even played in an AFC title game.