Road to Super Bowl 54: Divisional Weekend

The Road to Super Bowl 54 in Miami is officially down to eight teams, after what truly was a “wild” card weekend. A quick look at the divisional weekend matchups as we prepare to narrow the field down to the final four.

(6) Minnesota Vikings at (1) San Francisco 49ers — Saturday, January 11, 4:35 p.m. ET on NBC

“A week’s worth of discussion about, yes, running games. This game will feature two of the NFL’s six most productive rushing offenses based on yards. The Vikings are especially dependent on the presence of tailback Dalvin Cook, who has scored 10 touchdowns in their 11 victories and three in their six losses.” — Kevin Seifert, ESPN.com

(6) Tennessee Titans at (1) Baltimore Ravens — Saturday, January 11, 8:15 p.m. ET on CBS

“This game will come down to the quarterbacks… or maybe it won’t. That’s because each side boasts a fantastic rushing attack, with one coming from multiple contributors, and the other carried by one hulking pair of shoulders. History is on the side of Tennessee’s Derrick Henry, as each of the three prior postseason meetings between a team with the NFL’s leader rusher and the league’s best rushing offense have all been won by the former.” — Nick Shook, NFL.com

(4) Houston Texans at (2) Kansas City Chiefs — Sunday, January 12, 3:05 p.m. ET on CBS

“In Week 6 in Kansas City, Houston beat the Chiefs, 31-24. Carlos Hyde had a huge game for the Texans, rushing for 116 yards and a touchdown, and QB Deshaun Watson rushed for two TDs of his own. The Texans, who benefited from Buffalo QB Josh Allen’s inaccuracy in the wild-card win over the Bills, will have no such luxury against the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes, who has a 65.9 completion percentage. Kansas City’s defense is much improved since the first meeting.

The Chiefs finished the regular season with the league’s seventh-best scoring defense, up from 24th last season. That said, the Chiefs are 29th in the league in yards per carry allowed (4.9) but are fifth best in net yards per passing attempt allowed ( 5.7). Mahomes’ numbers (4,031 yards passing, 26 TDs) weren’t as eye-popping as his 2018 MVP campaign, but he was better at protecting the ball, throwing just five interceptions. The Chiefs have held three of their past five opponents under 10 points.” — Chris Mueller, YardBarker

(5) Seattle Seahawks at (2) Green Bay Packers — Sunday, January 12, 6:40 p.m. ET on FOX

“These teams have had some legendary and meaningful matchups. In the 2003 postseason, the Packers won an overtime matchup on a pick-six. In 2012, the Seahawks won the “Fail Mary” game on Monday Night Football. In the 2014 NFC Championship Game, the Seahawks came back from a 12-point deficit to win in overtime. This time, they’ll play for the right to advance to the 2019 NFC Championship Game.” — Kevin Seifert, ESPN.com

 


 

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Countdown to 2020 Miami: Super Bowl XI

While the Minnesota Vikings are looking to take that next step on the Road to Super Bowl 54 in the 2019 NFL season, they were appearing in their third Super Bowl in four seasons back in 1977, as Super Bowl XI heads to the famed Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California!

An Offensive Attack

Super Bowl XI between the Vikings and AFC-champion Oakland Raiders would go down in history as one of the most offensive Super Bowls to date, with the Raiders racking up a then-NFL record 288 yards in offense in just the first half alone. This would help Oakland get out to an early Super Bowl XI lead, eventually leading to a 32-14 victory over the Vikings.

Super Bowl XI would be played in front of over 103,000 fans strong, making this Super Bowl at the Rose Bowl one of the most heavily attended.

Despite a strong showing by Raiders defensive back Willie Brown, who recorded a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown, it was wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff that would walk away with Super Bowl MVP honors, registering four catches for 79 yards.

By Super Bowl XI, the halftime show had transitioned to becoming more of a performance instead of it being marching bands. Disney presented the “It’s A Small World” production with the Los Angeles Unified All-City Band for halftime of this Super Bowl.

Another interesting fact about Super Bowl XI remains that the national anthem was not sung, but instead, singer Vikki Carr performed “America the Beautiful” before kickoff.

 


 

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Countdown to 2020 Miami: Super Bowl IX

As the 2019 NFL preseason gets underway, the Road to Super Bowl 54 in Miami in 2020 rolls on. After three-straight Super Bowl appearances by the Miami Dolphins, Super Bowl IX would have a new appearance from the AFC, as the Pittsburgh Steelers would face off against the Minnesota Vikings.

Franco MVP

Over 81,000 fans packed Tulane Stadium as the Super Bowl returned to New Orleans, Louisiana (host of Super Bowl 58 in 2024) for Super Bowl IX in 1975. The Pittsburgh Steelers, dethroning the Miami Dolphins after their three-straight appearances in the Super Bowl, would face off against the Minnesota Vikings in their second-straight appearance.

Pittsburgh would dominate in Super Bowl IX, with the Vikings’ only scoring of the game coming off of a blocked punt late in the game. And all of Pittsburgh’s efforts would be without some of their most noteworthy players, including linebackers Andy Russell and Jack Lambert, both of whom sat out due to injuries. The Super Bowl IX MVP award was given to Steelers running back Franco Harris, who recorded over 150 yards and one touchdown on the ground.

Super Bowl IX halftime entertainment was provided by none other than Mercer Ellington and the Grambling State University band, a tribute to the great Duke Ellington.

The game was once againbroadcast on NBC and was covered by announcers Curt Gowdy, Al DeRogatis, Don Meredith and Charlie Jones.

 


 

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Countdown to 2020 Miami: Super Bowl VIII

Once again continuing their run of dominance in the league, the Miami Dolphins would make their third-straight Super Bowl appearance in 1974, this time facing off against the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl VIII.

Two-Straight for Miami

Playing in their third-straight Super Bowl appearance against yet another different opponent, the Miami Dolphins would go on to capture their second-straight Super Bowl victory, a 24-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Although not undefeated like their previous season, the Dolphins would become just the second repeat Super Bowl champions in just eight total tries, matching the famed Green Bay Packers with two Super Bowl victories.

Super Bowl VIII was also the first to not be hosted by big cities such as New Orleans, Miami or Los Angeles in the modern era. Instead, the game was played at Rice University’s football stadium in Houston, Texas, their first of what would become three hosted Super Bowls, most recently in 2017 at Super Bowl LI. Larry Csonka, running back for the Miami Dolphins, would become the first running back in league history to be named Super Bowl MVP, rushing for 145 yards on 33 carries for the team.

Pat Summerall would once again handle the broadcasting duties for the Super Bowl, alongside Ray Scott and Bart Starr. The cost of a 30-second commercial rose nearly $15,000 in 1973, up to $103,000. At halftime, fans got a “taste of Texas” when the Westchester Wranglerettes performed alongside the University of Texas Longhorn Marching Band.

 


 

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Road to Super Bowl 52: Divisional Round

An incredible Wild Card weekend on the Road to Super Bowl 52 is officially behind us, and four teams have taken that next step they needed. The field is down to eight teams remaining, and we’re looking ahead at the Divisional Round of the 2017-18 NFL Playoffs.

Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles

(Saturday, 4:35 p.m. ET on NBC)

 

For the first time since 2004, the Philadelphia Eagles (13-3) will host a divisional round playoff game. However, the team will most likely be underdogs heading into their matchup against the Atlanta Falcons (11-6), despite a 13-3 record and the #2 seed in the NFC.

A steady performance from the Falcons in their Wild Card matchup against the Rams, it was the defense that provided the necessary stops, holding the high-flying Rams offense in check and limiting the team to just 13 points in a 26-13 victory. The Eagles, despite a 13-3 record and one of the hottest offenses in the league early on, will have to find their rhythm with backup quarterback Nick Foles, as starter and MVP-candidate Carson Wentz will miss the entire postseason with a torn ACL suffered in the regular season.


 

Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots

(Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET on CBS)

 

One of the unexpected storylines of the 2017 NFL season was the AFC South having not one, but two teams in the playoffs, and those two teams being the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans. After a wild 22-21 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card round, the Titans (0-7) are heading to New England to face their toughest test of the season; playing the Patriots (13-3), at home, in January, in the playoffs.

Despite rumored turmoil in the organization, the Patriots are a force to be reckoned with in the postseason at home, and many don’t expect this year to be any different. Quarterback Tom Brady finished the season with 4,577 yards, 32 touchdowns and just eight interceptions, a quietly fantastic year in what was otherwise a seemingly odd season for the Patriots.


 

Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers

(Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET on CBS)

 

Kicking off the Sunday action, the Jacksonville Jaguars (11-6) will head to Pittsburgh to take on the second-seeded Steelers (13-3) in the early game. Jacksonville hits the road after a less-than-stellar 10-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card round, a victory that saw quarterback Blake Bortles with more rushing yards than passing yards.

The Steelers, fresh off the bye week, not surprisingly come into the matchup heavily favored. However, when the two teams matchup up early in the regular season, the Jags dominated the Steelers, a 30-9 victory that saw quarterback Ben Roethlisberger toss five interceptions. After that loss, however, the Steelers managed to win 10 of their final 11 games, with their only loss being the controversial late loss to the top-seeded Patriots.


 

New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings

(Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET on FOX)

 

Rounding out the divisional round will be the red-hot New Orleans Saints (12-5) traveling to Super Bowl 52 host Minneapolis to take on the surprise of the 2017 season, the Minnesota Vikings (13-3). In a previous Week 1 matchup between the two teams, the Vikings walked away with a 29-19 victory.

The Saints, fresh off their 31-26 thriller against the Carolina Panthers which saw a late game defensive stand, will bring their high-powered offense and staggering defense into Minneapolis to face the Vikings, who have also been one of the better teams in 2017 on both sides of the football.

Surprise MVP-candidate quarterback Case Keenum, who stepped in for the injured Sam Bradford, has completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 3,546 yards, 22 touchdowns and just seven interceptions in his 15 games this season. The Vikings defense, not to be outdone, ranked at the top of the league in points allowed per game at just 14.8.

 


 

Super Bowl LII Travel Packages to Minneapolis

Get excited for Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis! Book your five-star travel and hospitality packages today with Bullseye Event Group. Luxurious hotels such as the Hotel Ivy, Radisson Blu, Marriott AC Mall of America and the Marriott Towne Place Suites, a ticket to the 2018 Players Tailgate at the Super Bowl and more. Learn more about Bullseye’s complete Super Bowl 52 Travel and Hospitality Packages today!

 

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