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“Defense wins championships” is a tired cliché in football. It feels especially overused when the New England Patriots — led by the NFL’s No. 1 offense and the winningest quarterback ever — are in the AFC Championship for the seventh year in a row.But if the Divisional Round was any indication, defense still matters a ton.Cheap Sports Jerseys.Tom Brady, like always, is on the doorstep of a trip to the Super Bowl. But the other three quarterbacks who led a team to a conference championship comprise a list that sounds more like the scrap pile of an offseason free agency list.Discount Jerseys.Barring injury, at least one of those quarterbacks will start in the Super Bowl. Two if the Jacksonville Jaguars can upset the Patriots next week.The common thread for all three teams is that their defense leads the way, and even the Patriots rebounded from a poor start defensively to finish the year as a formidable unit to score against.
With Teddy Bridgewater recovering from a knee injury suffered in 2016 and Sam Bradford going down with a knee injury of his own early in the season, the Vikings turned to Keenum and got surprisingly great results.Youth Football Jerseys.In 15 regular-season games in 2017, he threw 22 touchdowns with just seven interceptions and finished the year with the NFL’s seventh-best passer rating (98.3).Before going to the Vikings as a backup on a cheap one-year, $2 million deal, Keenum had a 2-8 record as a starter for the Texans and a 7-7 record with the Rams before he was benched in 2016 for Jared Goff. His passer rating at both stops prior to Minnesota was less than 80.He was a Band-Aid from the start, just like Foles in Philadelphia, except Keenum has played beyond expectations.But it’s the Vikings defense that’s the backbone of the team. The unit finished No. 1 in points allowed, No. 1 in yards allowed, and allowed Minnesota to be one of only two teams that ended up with more than 500 rushing attempts in 2017.Cheap Football Jerseys.The other was the similarly defensive-minded Jaguars.It was Keenum’s miraculous, last-second touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs that saved the day for the Vikings, but their elite defense kept the Saints off the scoreboard altogether for the first 40 minutes of regulation.
Statistically, the 45-42 win over the Steelers that sent the Jaguars to the AFC Championship was the worst defensive performance of the year for Jacksonville.The Jaguars gave up more than 500 total yards for the first time all season.Custom Jerseys.The 42 points allowed were the second-most behind only the 44 given up to the 49ers, who housed a pick-six early in their win over the Jaguars.It’s also hard to blame the Jaguars too much for giving up a meaningless touchdown with one second left in the game that cut the team’s lead to three.Even in a high-scoring game that saw Leonard Fournette bulldoze his way to 109 yards and three touchdowns and Blake Bortles throw for 214 yards and a touchdown, the Steelers still got a healthy dose of the Jaguars defense doing what it does best: creating chaos.Cheap China Jerseys.The unit was second in the NFL in takeaways, second in sacks, second in points allowed, and second in yards allowed.And that means every game against the Jaguars is going to be tough to win. If the inconsistent Jacksonville offense scores only 10 points like it did against the Bills, the defense can hold its opponents to single digits. And if the opponent has a scoring explosion like the Steelers, the Jacksonville defense can pitch in some points of its own.