NFL Conference Championship Predictions

The Final Four is here and we only have three games that count left in this football season and we’ll be left with nothing but off field news with coaching staff changes, mini camps, spring practice, recruiting and draft coverage until August so enjoy it!

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Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6)
New England Patriots (13-3)

Sunday, Jan. 20, 2018 • 3:05 p.m. ET • CBS
Broadcast Team: Jim Nantz (PBP), Tony Romo (Analyst), Tracy Wolfson (Reporter)
Line: Patriots -7.5
Over/Under: 45.5

I think Leonard Fournette is a bad man who can keep the Patriots from crowding the line of scrimmage too much and give Blake Bortles some looks at plays down field. I think Jalen Ramsey can slow down Gronk to a degree. And who better than Sacksonville to get after Tom Brady? [Side note: Don’t believe all the hype around TB12’s hand. I’m shocked that was even news. Nothing was going to keep that guy from starting on Sunday.] Even with all that, I think the Patriots pull out the victory, but do not cover with a score on the under, 23-17.

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Minnesota Vikings (13-3)
Philadelphia Eagles (13-3)

Sunday, Jan. 20, 2018 • 6:40 p.m. ET • FOX
Broadcast Team: Joe Buck (PBP), Troy Aikman (Analyst), Erin Andrews (Reporter), Chris Meyers (Reporter)
Line: Vikings -3.0
Over/Under: 39.0

As much as I was against the Vikings last week, the tables are turned for them this week. This will be a defensive struggle so points will be at a premium. Many are acting like Case Keenum is a true backup quarterback, but he’s been lights out this season and will make more big plays than Eagles’ backup QB Nick Foles so that’s why I give the edge to Minnesota to cover on the under, 24-10.

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NFL Divisional Round Predictions

Well, here we are in the Elite Eight. A nice set of back-to-back doubleheaders to highlight a three-day weekend. We are heading into the final seven games of the football season (We don’t count the Pro Bowl around here) so here are my picks for this weekend.

SaturdayPlayoffs

Atlanta Falcons (10-6)
Philadelphia Eagles (13-3)
Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 • 4:35 p.m. ET • NBC
Broadcast Team: 
Al Michaels (PBP), Cris Collinsworth (Analyst), Michele Tafoya (Reporter), Heather Cox (Reporter)
Line: Falcons -2.5
Over/Under: 40.0

FalconsEagles

The Falcons are the proverbial ‘team you don’t want to face if they get into the playoffs’ team that you always hear about and I don’t think that’s going to change. Falcons’ linebacker Dion Jones and Co. will be trouble for Nick Foles and the Carson Wentz injury finally brings the terminal result for Philly that we all saw coming when it happened. Matty Ice and Julio make enough plays to come out of the City of Brotherly Love with a 21-13 win so take Atlanta on the moneyline (-2.5) and the under.

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Tennessee Titans (10-7)
New England Patriots (13-3)
Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 • 8:15 p.m. ET • CBS
Broadcast Team: 
Jim Nantz (PBP), Tony Romo (Analyst), Tracy Wolfson (Reporter)
Line: Patriots -13.5
Over/Under: 48.0

TitansPatriots

As much as I would love to see the ESPN.com report ring true, I’m all in on the Patriots for this one to clear the moneyline on the over with a 41-10 win. If anything, Belichick-Brady-Kraft thrive amid controversy and this serves up too well for them as motivation. The Titans were 15th in the league against tight ends during the regular season, but I think Gronk will have a big afternoon to make up for missing New England’s last postseason run.

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Jacksonville Jaguars (11-6)
Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3)
Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018 • 1:05 p.m. ET • CBS
Broadcast Team: 
Ian Eagle (PBP), Dan Fouts (Analyst), Evan Washburn (Reporter)
Line: Steelers -7.0
Over/Under: 41.5

JaguarsSteelers

I think the Three B’s can make some plays against Sacksonville, but I KNOW Jacksonville will struggle to move the ball against the Steelers’ D so I predict the Steeler’s on the moneyline, but with a score that will be under, 27-10.

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New Orleans Saints (11-5)
Minnesota Vikings (13-3)
Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018 • 3:40 p.m. CT • FOX
Broadcast Team: 
Joe Buck (PBP), Troy Aikman (Analyst), Erin Andrews (Reporter), Chris Meyers (Reporter)
Line: Vikings -5
Over/Under: 40

I think Case Keenum will come down to earth and Saints upset the Vikings with a score on the over, 31-14. Drew Brees has been here before and the entire Vikings’ has not. We all know that Minnesota cannot have nice things.

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This Day in UW Athletics: Jan. 4, 2013

Jan. 4, 2013
Center Travis Frederick Declares for NFL Draft
UWBadgers.com News Release

After a loss to Stanford in the Rose Bowl and in the midst of the transition from Bret Bielema to Gary Andersen, rising senior center Travis Frederick, the pride of Sharon, Wis., and Big Foot Union High School graduate, released a letter announcing his intentions to forgo his final year of eligibility at the University of Wisconsin and enter the NFL Draft.

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Courtesy of David Stluka and Wisconsin Athletics

After being selected in the first round (31st overall) of the 2013 draft by the Dallas Cowboys, Frederick is off to a great start as a four-time Pro Bowl selection. He has started all 80 games at center for America’s Team since taking over the position.

 

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This Day in UW Athletics: Jan. 3, 2017

Jan. 3, 2017
Wisconsin 75, Indiana 68
Box Score

UW beat IU for the fourth straight time (now five straight after last night’s 71-61 victory and 18 of 20 as well as 16th straight W over the Hoosiers in the Kohl Center!) by scoring the first 13 points before holding on for a 75-68 win over the Hoosiers in Assembly Hall for their ninth consecutive win.

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Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Redshirt sophomore forward Ethan Happ scored a game-high 19 points after hitting eight of 11 field goal attempts (72.7%). He also handed out a team-high four assists and tied for team-high honors with six boards.

Three other Badgers scored in double figures, led by sophomore guard Bronson Koenig. He made five of seven field goal attempts, including a perfect 5-for-5 from 3-point territory, for 17 points. Zak Showalter added 14 points to go with 10 from Nigel Hayes.

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This Day in UW Athletics: Jan. 2, 1995

Jan. 2, 1995
Hall of Fame Bowl
Wisconsin 34, Duke 20

Information courtesy of uwbadgers.com

T-Fletch! Running back Terrell Fletcher took home MVP honors with 241 rushing yards on 39 carries and Bucky rolled to a 34-20 win over the Duke Blue Devils at the ‘Big Sombrero,’ a.k.a. Tampa Stadium.

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Photo property of UW Athletics (UWBadgers.com and CampRandall100.com)

Fletcher’s 241 rushing yards was the record mark for the bowl until fellow Badger Melvin Gordon put up 251 against Auburn in 2015. Fletcher’s 39 rushing attempts still stands at the Hall of Fame/Outback Bowl record.

Video property of YouTube user BoosCrew

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This Day in UW Athletics: Jan. 1, 1963

Jan. 1, 1963
Rose Bowl
No. 1 USC 42, No. 2 Wisconsin 37

Information Courtesy Madison.com Feature by Jim Polzin

The No. 2 Badgers trailed No. 1 USC with 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter, 42-14, before launching a furious 23-0 run against the Trojans. Tight end, and future UW Director of Athletics, Pat Richter caught the final touchdown of the contest from Ron Vander Kelen with 79 seconds left to set the final margin, 42-37.

1963 Rose Bowl InsideSoCal.com
From SoCal.com

From USC Athletics

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2018 New Year’s Day Bowl Games

Outback Bowl
Badgermetrics.com Preview

11:59 a.m. CT: Only getting six points off two turnovers is going to come back to bite Michigan, obviously.
11:59 a.m. CT: Pretty impressive that South Carolina’s defense has now only allowed 19 points off 16 opponent takeaways.
12:05 p.m. CT: Michigan CB Lavert Hill torched on a seam route and South Carolina on the move.
12:14 p.m. CT: As a result, South Carolina cuts the lead in half with yet another field goal, 6-3.
12:18 p.m. CT: Cleat Wars! Looks like we have Nike vs. Under Armour cleats to see who can handle that Raymond James Stadium turf. 
12:21 p.m. CT: Big stop by that Michigan D line. Mo Hurst is a beast.
12:24 p.m. CT: South Carolina linebacker Skaie Moore definitely has a place on my all-name team.
12:33 p.m. CT: Love the call to go for it on 4th down by Michigan. Also love the play call and blitz pickup.
• 12:44 p.m. CT: 
Tim Tebow’s suit as fugly. Mercy.
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• 1:36 p.m. CT: If bowl games don’t matter, then how else would you determine the best conference? SEC fan would love if we left it to which schools had the best self-promoters and hype machines, but let’s settle it on the field for once. And the B10 is 7-0 in the postseason.
• 1:48 p.m. CT: Not like this Michigan.
• 2:01 p.m. CT: Why let the results on the field dictate anything when we have a perfectly good ballroom at Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas for the committee to use?
• 2:04 p.m. CT: Even if Michigan screws this up, is a 7-1 bowl record for the B10 that much better for Finebaum’s case than 8-0?
• 2:11 p.m. CT: Not sure how Muschamp can argue the facemask penalty? Must have wanted a holding call, but that doesn’t negate a facemask.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
Badgermetrics.com Preview

• 12:03 p.m. CT: Auburn keeps the field goal trend going today to grab a 3-0 lead over UCF.
• 12:15 p.m. CT: Auburn driving. Nice 3rd-and-long conversion to get near the red zone.
• 12:22 p.m. CT: Auburn settles field goal try … not even close. Welp.
• 12:38 p.m. CT: UCF on the board with … wait for it … another field goal. Tied up at 3. If I wanted to watch field goals, I’d watch the Bears.
• 12:48 p.m. CT: After the pick, time for Auburn to assert itself in the run game.
• 2:02 p.m. CT: Even if Auburn pulls this out, I admit to underestimating UCF. I should know better, but I could say that about a lot of things in my life …

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