I was considering many different topics these week for this column. Unfortunately, everything locally seems pretty bleak. The Vikings didn’t make the playoffs. The Wild recently lost to two of the worst teams in the NHL. The Timberwolves let Butler get his revenge in a 149-107 shellacking, which is more points given up than some All-Star games.
I thought about the upcoming weekend and decided to look at the NFL playoffs, since there are a couple of very intriguing match-ups that are going to take place Sunday afternoon.
Both games feature a veteran Hall of Fame QB squaring off with up-and-coming potential stars of the future. In the NFC, we have 40 year old Drew Brees of the Saints on one side of the field with 24 year old 3rd year QB in Jared Goff of the Rams on the other.
The Saints come into the game after a 13-3 season and a squeaky win against the Eagles last week. Boasting the 3rd highest scoring offense and a top half defense, a balanced effort makes the New Orleans tough to beat – it seems like they bounced back from the Minneapolis Miracle reasonably well.
On the other side are the Rams who use the 2nd best offense in the league to outscore teams. Their defense isn’t as great statistically, but they have the players that can perform on an individual game basis.
In the AFC, it is a similar story at the QB position. On one end, we have truly the greatest quarterback of all time in Tom Brady, who at 41 years old looked quite spry as the Patriots dominated the Chargers last week. The Chiefs bring to the table an MVP candidate in 2nd year gunslinger Patrick Mahomes.
The Patriots had a down year, as far as the Patriots are concerned. Finishing with only 11 wins, it seemed New England kind of took on the Golden State Warriors strategy. Get through the regular season without getting hurt or showing too much strategy and turn it on in the playoffs. I’d say their 41-28 trouncing of the Chargers more than proved that theory correct.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs found themselves the Steph Curry of football in Patrick Mahomes. Throwing for almost 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns led to 35 points per game and 12 wins. The Chiefs are surely looking to outscore everyone on their way to a Super Bowl.
When looking at both of these games, it really boils down to one x-factor in my mind. Do you want experience or youth at the quarterback position in a big game? In those pressure moments, when every single throw counts, who do you want leading your team down the field?
Goff and Mahomes have not been in a moment this big before while Brees and Brady have been there so many times that it is tough to count. Goff and Mahomes will have their moment eventually, but I’d like to see two of the greatest ever to play the game in one final duel and that is exactly what’s going to happen.