NFL Playoffs: Championship Picks

CBS Local Sports talent from across the country looks at the Championship match-ups. Who are our NFL experts picking in the playoffs?

Get more NFL Playoffs coverage.

The Experts
Picks Overview
  Bob Pompeani Don Bell Steve Burton Matt Yurus
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New England Patriots
Sunday, January 21, 3:05 pm ET
Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots
Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday, January 21, 6:40 pm ET
Vikings Eagles Vikings Vikings
Picks Analysis
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New England Patriots
Sunday, January 21, 3:05 pm ET
Bob Pompeani, KDKA Pittsburgh
Bob Pompeani, KDKA-TV, CBS Pittsburgh
Patriots
Jacksonville stunned the Steelers last Sunday and said they were fueled by some of the pregame comments of Mike Mitchell and some of the social media posts by Steelers that gave the impression they were looking past the Jaguars. So now Jacksonville does the exact same thing before heading to Foxborough! Jalen Ramsey, the most talented corner in the game not only guaranteed a win against the Patriots, he went further by guaranteeing a Super Bowl win. Tom Brady is the last person who should be given bulletin board material. I remember when Anthony Smith of the Steelers predicted the same kind of thing. New England then destroyed the Steelers in the game that followed. Don’t poke the bear or, in this case, the GOAT. Jacksonville’s defense is very much capable to limiting the Patriots on offense. If they can disrupt Brady’s passing game, they can provide another upset. But I would not count on it. Still, this will be a closer game than most think.
Don Bell, Sports Director, CBS 3 Philadelphia
Don Bell, CBS 3, Philadelphia
Patriots
In what alternate universe do Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers throw a franchise-record five touchdown passes, score 42 points and lose? The Jaguars performance in Pittsburgh was otherworldly, and now they look for an encore in Foxborough. Not gonna happen. Jacksonville's performance ensured that they'll get the Patriots' full focus. It's true, the Jags defense has all the tools to disrupt Tom Brady. They're first in sacks and second in takeaways. But New England is playing in its seventh straight AFC Title game, and experience will carry the day — and the Lamar Hunt Trophy. 
Steve Burton, Sports Director, WBZ-TV Boston CBS 3
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV, CBS Boston
Patriots
The Patriots are in the AFC Championship Game for the seventh straight year, adding to their NFL record. The Jaguars haven’t played for a trip to the Super Bowl since the 1999 season. The Jags are a great story this year, but they’re just a better and more physical version of the Titans. The Patriots should win and advance to their third Super Bowl in four years.
Matt Yurus, Digital Anchor, CBS 11 Dallas
Matt Yurus, CBS 11, Dallas
Patriots
The Jacksonville Jaguars are not going to march into Foxborough and do the unthinkable: beat the New England Patriots, arguably the only team that really reflects a traditional Super Bowl contender. Last week, for example, the Pats outclassed the Tennessee Titans -- who beat the Jags twice in the regular season --- in every facet of the game. Moreover, Bill Belichick defenses are notorious for stymieing what their opponents do best. In this case, that means slowing Leonard Fournette. Couple that with the fact that the Patriots make you beat them. Blake Bortles will have to do even more, and I do not say that pejoratively. He and the team have had a heck of a run.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday, January 21, 6:40 pm ET
Bob Pompeani, KDKA Pittsburgh
Bob Pompeani, KDKA-TV, CBS Pittsburgh
Vikings
Not many people had Vikings at Eagles for the NFC title game back in September, especially with two backup quarterbacks leading the way. This will be a nasty, defensive, run-oriented kind of game. These two teams are similar in the way they play. The biggest key will be the run games. Can they deliver against two of the top run defenses in the NFL? I look for this to be a lower-scoring game, and the edge will go the Minnesota. The Vikings will become the first team to play what amounts to a home game in their own stadium.
Don Bell, Sports Director, CBS 3 Philadelphia
Don Bell, CBS 3, Philadelphia
Eagles
Cliches are boring but deeply rooted in truth. They say it's a game of inches and no two teams would agree more than the Eagles and Vikings. They each made the NFC Title game by the slimmest of margins. It feels appropriate, considering the gap between these teams is minuscule. Both boast dominant defenses (although Minnesota's is better) and both offenses are prone to stalling for extended stretches. With that in mind, I give the edge to the Eagles. The weather forecast is calling for a clear 50-degree day. Kicker Jake Elliot is a threat from 60 yards, and Philly fans will be 100 proof by kickoff. There's a reason why Doug Pederson is 14-3 at home. The Eagles earn a Super Bowl rematch with the Patriots.
Steve Burton, Sports Director, WBZ-TV Boston CBS 3
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV, CBS Boston
Vikings
The Vikings are coming off a Minnesota miracle. They are sky-high, with extra incentive to become the first NFL team to play in a Super Bowl in their own stadium. The Eagles are home and are playing well, but it may be Minnesota’s destiny.
Matt Yurus, Digital Anchor, CBS 11 Dallas
Matt Yurus, CBS 11, Dallas
Vikings
While the Philadelphia Eagles may be embracing their newfound role as an underdog, there is a reason they have garnered such a title. Last week they got away with one, fumbling and recovering near the Atlanta Falcons goal line, ultimately scoring on fourth and goal, and getting three to close the half after a would-be interception turned into a circus reception. Yet, the Falcons were two yards away from victory. And this week's opponent is better. The Minnesota Vikings have a very good defense and more than capable cast on the other side of the ball. And with Diggs’ catch and the team hosting the Super Bowl as well as having 99-year-old Vikings fan and Internet sensation, Millie Wall, who was given two tickets to the Super Bowl by Roger Goodell, it is starting to feel like destiny, at least until the Patriots come to town. 

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