WE'RE down to the final four! An entire season of graft and grind on the grid iron comes down to just four teams all one game away from making the Super Bowl.
All four of these teams have a decent story to them – the Eagles and Jaguars have gone worst to first in their division completing remarkable turnarounds, the Vikings are chasing a historic home Super Bowl, while the Patriots are being the Patriots and looking to win back-to-back titles.
It's the first time in a decade three of the final four all missed the play-offs the previous year, leaving Brady, Belichick and the Patriots head and shoulders above the rest in terms of experience – it's their seventh straight AFC title game and 12th overall.
In contrast you'd have never had any of the other three QBs pegged as possible Super Bowl contenders – Blake Bortles is statistically one of the worst starters in the league, while Case Keenum and Nick Foles are only playing after injuries to starters – but they've all done their bit at times and all have superb defences to fall back on.
Jaguars @ Patriots (8.05pm)
It's an unbelievable effort from both these teams to be playing for the AFC title but for very different reasons. New England (1.30) are the first team in the Super Bowl era to reach seven straight Championship games, while Jacksonville (3.65) are just the second team to make it a year after posting just three wins or less. The Jags' turnaround is as remarkable as the Pats' continued dominance.
In play-off terms it's a huge mismatch – the Patriots have won nine Championship games (6-1 at home) while the Jaguars have lost on both their previous visits. New England are 10-1 against the Jags, 3-1 in play-off games and won 51-17 the last time they met – this, though, is a very different Jacksonville team down to THAT defence.
Even if Tom Brady's worrying hand injury doesn't cause him any problems on Sunday, the confident Jaguars defence most certainly will. They stack up with some of the great recent Super Bowl-winning units, allowing fewer points than the Broncos, fewer passing yards than the Seahawks, more sacks than the Buccaneers and more defensive TDs than the 1985 Bears. They also have Tom Coughlin who coached the Giants to two Super Bowl wins over New England.
New England are 3-3 in their last six AFC title games and those losses came to Denver (twice) and Baltimore – both similar in style to Jacksonville – both put Brady under pressure and kept him off the field by running the ball. The Pats are 20th against the run, the Jags are the NFL's top running team behind rookie Leonard Fournette, who devoured the Steelers, is 2.60 to be top rusher of this Sunday's games as a result.
Brady is 3-0 in play-off meetings with top-two scoring defences but in recent post-season games pitching the NFL's top passer against the top pass defence the defensive unit is 3-0. Brady has not looked like a 40-year-old this season, could a few heavy sacks from these Jaguars start to make him feel his age?
Jacksonville have all the tools to cause a seismic upset, but executing is a different story. It should be close, the Jags opened up as nine-point underdogs but the spread's more like 6.5 now with Brady's injury no doubt having an impact.
The intriguing battle between the Jags' famed pass defence and the X-factor that is Rob Gronkowski could be key – Gronk has the third-most post season receiving TDs in history and is their biggest test yet. Watch out for Dion Lewis and James White though – White has six TDs in his last four play-off games.
- James White TD at 2.75