Sunday, Jan. 14
Jacksonville at Pittsburgh, 1:05 p.m. EST. The Jaguars (11-6) and Steelers (13-3) meet in the postseason for just the second time, and first since Jacksonville stunned Pittsburgh 31-29 at Heinz Field in the wild-card round of the 2007 playoffs. Blake Bortles looks to lead the Jaguars to the franchise’s third AFC title game, and first since 1999. Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers will try to get to the conference championship for the second straight year.
New Orleans at Minnesota, 4:40 p.m. EST. The Vikings (13-3) have dominated against the Saints at home, going 13-3 including a victory in the 2000 divisional round. The game marks Vikings quarterback Case Keenum’s first career playoff start — and the first postseason game at U.S. Bank Stadium — site of next month’s Super Bowl. Saints quarterback Drew Brees will make the 13th postseason start of his career and he and his teammates have some history up against them: New Orleans is 1-6 in in the playoffs on the road, including 1-4 under coach Sean Payton.
— Tom Brady, Patriots, passed for three touchdowns and 337 yards to help New England cruise past Tennessee 35-14.
— Nick Foles, Eagles, went 23 of 30 for 246 yards in Philadelphia’s 15-10 victory over Atlanta.
— Tevin Coleman, Falcons, ran for 79 yards on just 10 carries in Atlanta’s loss at Philadelphia.
— Dion Lewis, Patriots, had 62 yards on 15 attempts and added nine catches for 79 yards in New England’s rout of Tennessee.
— Danny Amendola, Patriots, caught 11 passes for 112 yards in New England victory over Tennessee.
— Corey Davis, Titans, had two touchdown catches in Tennessee’s loss at New England.
— Julio Jones, Falcons, caught nine passes for 101 yards in a losing cause as Atlanta fell to Philadelphia.
— Jake Elliott, Eagles, atoned for missing an extra point by kicking a 53-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter and added kicks of 37 and 21 yards in the second half of Philadelphia’s win over Atlanta.
— Fletcher Cox, Eagles, had seven tackles and a sack to help lead Philadelphia past Atlanta.
— Deatrich Wise and Geneo Grissom, Patriots, each had two sacks in New England’s win over Tennessee.
STREAKS & STATS
New England clinched its seventh straight appearance in the AFC championship game with a 35-14 victory over Tennessee. … Philadelphia’s Nick Foles became the first quarterback since Minnesota’s Randall Cunningham (1997) to win a playoff game after starting three or fewer games during that regular season. … Including their 15-10 victory over Atlanta, the Eagles have won 16 straight games when leading after three quarters. They’re 12-0 this season in that scenario. … New England set a franchise playoff record with eight sacks against Tennessee, including two each by Deatrich Wise and Geneo Grissom. … The Patriots are 8-0 this season when Dion Lewis has 100 or more yards from scrimmage. Lewis ran for 62 yards and had 79 yards receiving, along with a 27-yard kickoff return against Tennessee.
Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes in New England’s 35-14 win over Tennessee, giving him 10 such games in his career — breaking a tie with Joe Montana for the most since the 1970 merger. At 40 years and 163 days old, Brady also became the oldest quarterback to win a playoff game. … New England’s Rob Gronkowski caught his 10th playoff touchdown in the Patriots’ 35-14 win over Tennessee, tying him with five others. Only Jerry Rice (22) and John Stallworth (12) have more.
The Philadelphia Eagles were 3-point underdogs against the sixth-seed Atlanta Falcons, the first time a No. 1 seed wasn’t favored to win its first playoff game. They needed a stop on fourth down from the 2 in the final minute to beat the Falcons 15-10 and advance to the NFC title game for the first time since the 2008 season. Right tackle Lane Johnson walked off the field wearing a dog mask while teammates barked after the win.
Tennessee had the second-fewest penalties during the regular season with 85, but was flagged 10 times for 62 yards against New England. It marked just the second time the Titans had 10 or more this season.
New England right tackle LaAdrian Waddle left the Patriots’ 35-14 victory over Tennessee with a knee injury early in the third quarter. Cornerback Jonathan Jones was helped off the field late in the fourth quarter. … Tennessee right tackle Jack Conklin walked off on his own power after injuring a knee in the first quarter, but did not return. Titans tight end Jonnu Smith was carted off in the third quarter with a right leg injury.
“Just keep on disrespecting and we’re going to keep proving people wrong.” — Philadelphia wide receiver Alshon Jeffery after the Eagles topped the Atlanta Falcons 15-10 after being largely considered an underdog despite being the NFC’s No. 1 seed.
“It definitely sounds crazy. But you have to keep ignoring the noise on the outside, just keep working every time you walk into the building and just keep grinding.” — New England tight end Rob Gronkowski after the Patriots advanced to their seventh straight AFC championship game.