Jan. 21, 2018
AFC Championship Keys to Win/Prediction
Tomorrow, the Jacksonville Jaguars are playing New England in the AFC championship game. The two teams are completely opposite in style as Jacksonville is known for their defense and run game while the Patriots win based off of quarterback play and elite coaching. There are many keys to win for each team tomorrow. If Jacksonville wants to win, they must keep the game close in the 1st half. You have never heard of a team blowing New England out in the first half, so you must keep it close until the end of the game. Also, Jacksonville must find a way to slow down Gronk, as he is the X-factor going into this game. While many “experts” have been saying Jalen Ramsey, this is idiotic as New England will kill Jacksonville in the run game. The way to stop Gronk does not even have to do with him, but it has to do with his quarterback. Jacksonville must have a great pass rush and put pressure on Brady the entire game. Offensively, Jacksonville must show that Blake Bortles can move against this defense. Even if he does not have eye popping numbers, if he throws for a lot of yards in the first half that will open up the run game as New England will be forced to resort to a balanced defense. Jacksonville must keep the ball secure, as a turnover will completely change the momentum of the game. If Jacksonville does these things, they will be in a good position to win. Defensively, the New England Patriots must be great in the red zone. If the Jaguars do end up their, the Patriots must hold them to a field goal as Brady may not be able to easily drive the ball down the field, but he will still be able to score. With great red zone defense the score could be 17-6 at the end of the first half and New England would be in a great position to win. Also, New England must force Bortles to throw the ball and win the game for the Jaguars, as he is just not as good as Tom Brady. Offensively, the Patriots must attack the Jacksonville defense on the outside keep the defense on their heels. The Patriots can do this by using a balance of runs and passes and by throwing in a trick play for big yardage. Jacksonville will most likely run some form of man or simple cover 3, as their personnel is so good, so Brady must quickly find the weak link in coverage and attack him for the entire game. Also, the line must give Brady time to make the right decision, as a hurried Brady is not good new for the Patriots. If Brady can get a two-possession lead that will secure the game as the Jaguars have been playing with leads the entire postseason. If the Patriots can do all of these things they will win. At the end of the day, I trust that the Patriots will win the game. I think the first half will be close, but the Pats will pull away in the 3rd quarter. My prediction is 27-17 with the Patriots going to Super Bowl 52.