Big Blue United

A Look at How Last Year’s Conference Runner Ups Stack Up

(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

By Sam Marsdale – Big Blue United 6.25.18

On championship Sunday last year, the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots came away with a ticket to the Super Bowl in very different fashions.  The Eagles absolutely dismantled the Minnesota Vikings 34-7, while the Patriots had to mount a 10 point fourth quarter comeback against the Jacksonville Jaguars to come away victorious, 24-20.  


Were just over two months away from the start of a new NFL season, and the Patriots currently have the best NFL odds to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in Atlanta at +500.  The Eagles, at +900, are tied for the second best odds with the Green Bay Packers. The team with the next best odds is the Pittsburgh Steelers at +1000. That means that Vegas isn’t thinking of having the same conference championship matchups that we had in 2017.


Currently, the Vikings have the fifth best odds to win the Super Bowl at +1200, tied with the Los Angeles Rams.  After adding Kirk Cousins in place of Case Keenum, returning Dalvin Cook from an ACL tear, and bringing back almost everyone on their vaunted defense, they are poised to play until early February.  With that being said, Vegas seems to favor a Packers-Eagles NFC Championship in late January.


The other team that came away losers on championship Sunday?  The Jaguars. Currently, the odds for them to win the Super Bowl stand at +2000.  Ahead of them are the teams I have mentioned so far, as well as the Atlanta Falcons at +1800.  “Sacksonville” is tied with the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys at their current NFL odds.


The Jaguars are a very interesting case.  Many people still don’t believe in Blake Bortles, and for good reason.  However, he was extremely stellar in the Jaguars final two games of the postseason against the Steelers and Patriots.  This offseason, the Jaguars added former Panthers All-Pro guard Andrew Norwell to the mix. He will contribute to a unit that was already solid last year.  On defense? Oh boy. They are returning all eleven starters, and that includes two All-Pro corners and an absolutely loaded defensive line. They have four guys who can get to the quarterback on any given play, and that is the key to taking down Tom Brady, something they nearly did last year.


Vegas seems to be giving a bit more respect to the Vikings than Jaguars, and it really comes down to who the quarterbacks are, which is understandable.  However, let’s not forget that the Jaguars handled the Steelers in the postseason (as well as the regular season) with both meetings coming in Pittsburgh, and that they had Brady and Belichick on the ropes in Foxboro.