SCOREBOARD Sunday, Jan. 21
Sunday, Jan. 21
Jacksonville at New England, 3:05 p.m. EST. New England (14-3) has reached the AFC championship game for the seventh consecutive season and the 12th time overall in the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era. The Jaguars (12-6) are playing in the conference title game for just the third time in franchise history, and first since losing to Tennessee during the 1999 season.
Minnesota at Philadelphia, 6:40 p.m. EST. Nick Foles and the resilient Philadelphia Eagles (14-3) host Case Keenum and the surprising Minnesota Vikings (14-3) — in a matchup of teams that overcame losing their starting quarterbacks. Philadelphia is playing for the NFC title for the 11th time, but hasn't won it since the 2004 season — when the Eagles went on to lose to the Patriots in the Super Bowl. The Vikings reached their 10th NFC title game and first since the 2009 season.
— Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, was 37 for 58 for 469 yards with five touchdown passes and an interception in Pittsburgh's 45-42 loss to Jacksonville. Roethlisberger is the first player in the Super Bowl era to have at least 400 passing yards and five or more passing touchdowns in a playoff game.
— Case Keenum, Vikings, was 25 for 40 for 318 yards, including a stunning 61-yard touchdown to Stefon Diggs with no time remaining to give Minnesota an improbable 29-24 win over New Orleans.
— Drew Brees, Saints, was 25 for 40 for 294 yards with three second-half touchdowns and two interceptions in New Orleans' 29-24 loss to Minnesota.
— Leonard Fournette, Jaguars, had 25 carries for 109 yards and three touchdowns in Jacksonville's win over Pittsburgh.
— Antonio Brown, Steelers, had seven catches for 132 yards, including touchdown catches of 23 and 43 yards in Pittsburgh's loss to Jacksonville.
— Stefon Diggs, Vikings, had six receptions for 137 yards, including a stunning 61-yard touchdown with no time remaining, in Minnesota's win over New Orleans.
— Vance McDonald and Le'Veon Bell, Steelers. McDonald had 10 catches for 112 yards and Bell had nine receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown in Pittsburgh's loss to Jacksonville.
— Michael Thomas, Saints, had seven receptions for 85 yards and two touchdowns in New Orleans' loss to Minnesota.
— Josh Lambo, Jaguars, made a 45-yard field goal with 1:45 remaining in Jacksonville's win over Pittsburgh.
— Kai Forbath, Vikings, made three of four field goals, including a 53-yarder in Minnesota's victory over New Orleans.
— Telvin Smith, Jaguars, had 16 combined tackles and returned a fumble 50 yards for a touchdown in Jacksonville's win over Pittsburgh.
— Anthony Barr and Andrew Sendejo, Vikings. Each had interceptions in Minnesota's win over New Orleans.
New England has reached the AFC championship game for the seventh consecutive season and the 12th time overall in the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era. The Jaguars are playing in the conference title game for just the third time in franchise history, and first since losing to Tennessee during the 1999 season. Philadelphia is playing for the NFC title for the 11th time, but hasn't won it since the 2004 season — when the Eagles went on to lose to the Patriots in the Super Bowl. The Vikings reached their 10th NFC title game and first since the 2009 season. If the Patriots win next week, the AFC will be represented by either Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Ben Roethlisberger in 14 of the past 15 Super Bowls. The exception is the Ravens' Joe Flacco in Super Bowl 47.
SAINTS-VIKINGS: DOWN TO THE WIRE
Case Keenum completed a last-ditch heave near the sideline on the game's final play, and Stefon Diggs slithered away for a 61-yard touchdown to give Minnesota a 29-24 victory over New Orleans and send the Vikings to the NFC championship game, with one more win needed to become a first-time Super Bowl host. The game had four lead changes in the final three minutes and it was the first game in NFL playoff history to end on a game-winning touchdown as time expired in the fourth quarter.
STREAKS & STATS
The Jaguars and Steelers combined for 77 points in Jacksonville's 45-42 win. It is the most points in a playoff game since the Colts and Chiefs combined for 89 points in the 2013 wild-card round. ... The Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger had 469 yards passing against the Jaguars. He is the only player to throw for at least 300 yards against the Jaguars this season. Wide receiver Antonio Brown had 132 yards. He is the only player with at least 100 receiving yards in a game against the Jaguars this season. Both Roethlisberger and Brown both have done it twice against Jacksonville. ... The Jaguars have scored eight defensive touchdowns this season, three more than any other team. It is the most defensive TDs scored in a season by one team (including playoffs) since the 2012 Bears who had nine.
The Vikings' 29-24 win over the Saints was the first game in NFL playoff history to end on a game-winning touchdown as time expired in the fourth quarter. ... Jacksonville's 45 points tied the most ever allowed by the Steelers in the playoffs. The Steelers lost 45-28 to Miami in the AFC title game after the 1984 season.
"I don't know if they misread the schedule or didn't play us this week, but they didn't acknowledge us at all. And we didn't take that too kindly." — Jacksonville linebacker Myles Jack on the Steelers after beating Pittsburgh 45-42 to advance to the AFC title game.
"A heck of a game, wasn't it? And the good guys won." — Vikings coach Mike Zimmer after his team beat the Saints 29-24 on Case Keenum's 61-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs with no time remaining to advance to the NFC title game.