Jacksonville is allowing a league-low 1.0 points per drive in 2017, the third fewest points allowed per drive since 2002. One of the teams ahead of them, the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0.89), ended the year as Super Bowl champs. The other, the 2005 Chicago Bears, made the playoffs but lost in the divisional round to the Carolina Panthers.
The Jaguars boast a fearsome defensive line that is the league’s third-best pass-rushing unit per Pro Football Focus, with defensive end Calais Campbell credited with 11.5 sacks on the season, tying him for the league lead with Dallas’s Demarcus Lawrence. They also have the NFL’s best secondary, a ball-hawking crew that is limiting opposing quarterbacks to a league low 64.5 passer rating against.
And unfortunately I have to mention the 1975 NFC divisional playoff win for Dallas over Minnesota Joseph Young Jersey on Roger Staubach’s last-minute Hail Mary to Drew Pearson (with an assist from Pearson’s uncalled offensive pass interference on the play).
The Patriots are all over the list of late-game postseason heroics, including their first Super Bowl win, after the 2001 season, when a Tom Brady-led drive resulted in the game-winning, 48-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri on the final play to upset the Rams. There was Malcolm Butler’s Super Bowl-saving interception in the final seconds three years ago to beat the Seahawks. Then last year’s Super Bowl record-setting 25-point comeback to stun the Falcons in overtime on James White’s TD run.
In addition, a huge emphasis from Coughlin was to not beat ourselves — to not allow a bad play to take us out of the game. So many of New England’s victories have come from opponents blowing it, making game-changing mistakes. In Super Bowl XLII, Manning largely just stayed away from the Patriots’ dominant cornerback, Asante Samuel. It was a mindset of, We’re not going to throw in his direction, so don’t even look over there.
The NFL, according to The Washington Post’s Mark Maske, seems to believe that the last-minute intentional-grounding call that pushed the Redskins out of field goal range and led to overtime during Sunday’s loss in New Orleans was erroneously called. Quarterback Kirk Cousins wasn’t under pressure as he threw the ball to the sidelines, with the implication that he thus should not have been whistled for the crucial call.