By Steven Keys

And then there were eight.

The NFL 2018 Divsional playoff round looks pretty competitive, if your glims are gandering at the National Football Conference side of things. Atlanta @ Philly, the Saints @ Minnesota both figure to be barnburners. As for the American Conference, baring the bizarre, those results you can pretty much bank on.

Upsets can happen in sport but the Jaguars @ Pittsburgh and Tennessee @ New England both figure to finish in favor of the home teams by…mid-3rd quarter.

.......Brees.Drew.1.8.11.wc.Seattle.KellyBailey.185k

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The #1 curiosity clash: Revenge Bowl in Minneapolis.

U.S. Bank Stadium will play host to one of the hottest teams going into these 2018 playoffs in the Minnesota Vikings who went 11-1 in their last 12 regulars, their lone loss a close one in Carolina in W14 (24-31), while the New Orleans Saints were 9-3 after their bye and are coming off a big post-season win against those intra-divisional rival, the Panthers (31-26).

New Orleans fell to the hosts in Week 1 action, 29-19.

Of greater emotional weight in the balance of power entering the Divisional slugfest may be bad feelings that remain from the 2010 NFC Conference Championship game that was played at the Superdome and saw a crew that would later be tagged with Bountygate penalties, best the Northern visitors, 31 – 28 in OT on-way to a SuperBowl win over the Colts.

......Ryan.M.8.18.16.E.Drost.8.6m

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only Vikings’ personnel remaining from that game might be owner Zygi Wilf and his family. On the Saints side, star quarterback Drew Brees and head coach Sean Payton are some of the remainders, the guru whose sideline hissy-fit pushed NFCC zebras to flag Minnesota for an illegal substitution and then penalty, taking the Vikes out of field-goal range late and leading to Brett Favre’s careless INT to send the championship game into OT. And as every fan knows, overtime mojo tilts to the home-team, especially when the opposing field-general has been over-undered into oblivion, oy vey.

Of no great bearing on the game’s outcome but of some curiosity is that this divisional showdown will not be the last game played at U.S. Bank in this 2017-18 NFL campaign. It may even be the site of two more contests: An additional game if the hosts prevail over New Orleans and then face the Falcons in the NFC title tussle, but a certain venue once more as Minneapolis is in present preparations to be the hosting metropolis for SB52.

More curious than a busy venue in Lake Land is the possibility for a Pennsylvania Polka at Super Bowl 52, i.e., the Eagles versus the Steelers. And wouldn’t that be a halftime hoot (polka)? Not so much that revenge would be at play but more like a family reunion of sorts seeing as how both teams briefly consolidated as one squad during World War II (1943), compiled a winning record (5-4-1) and came to be known by some as the Steagles.

.....cherries.wc.cca.3.3m.B.Kua.6.1.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Division Cherry Picks

Falcons @ Eagles: 1.13 NBC 4:35: Philly
Titans @ New England: CBS 8:15: Patriots
Jaguars @ Pittsburgh: 1.14 CBS 1:05: Steelers
Saints @ Minnesota: Fox 4:40: NewOrleans

Record: 79 – 60 (3 – 1)

Favre.10.24.10.wc.thm.M.MorbeckStevenKeys
NFL HunchLine
Photo credit: C.Keenum, 11.12.17, wc, K.Allison, Maryland; D.Brees, wc.cca, 1.8.11, Seattle, K.Bailey; M.Ryan, 8.18.16, E.Drost, wc; Cherries, B.Kua, 6.1.08, wc; B.Favre, 10.24.10, wc, M.Morbeck
Posted: 1.11.17 @ 1:56pE Copyright © 2018

Filed under: Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, NFL

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