My view of the strength of the final four teams in the NFL playoffs, regardless of game site:
1. New England Patriots
Have allowed the fewest points in the NFL since Oct. 1 and thrive on offense under almost all circumstances. As long as Brady and Gronk are healthy, they are the favorites to win the Super Bowl.
2. Minnesota Vikings
I thought going into the playoffs that they were the strongest team in the NFC and that hasn't changed, even though they required a miracle to win on Sunday. They are the most balanced of the remaining teams. The biggest question is whether their defense's struggles in the second half against New Orleans were indicative of an ongoing flaw. Mike Zimmer blamed himself for becoming predictable.
3. Philadelphia Eagles
If Carson Wentz had remained healthy, the Eagles might be No. .1. But he didn't and with Nick Foles the offense is limited.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
This team reminds me of the 2012 Vikings, who were built around Adrian Peterson and asked Christian Ponder to merely convert short-yardage third downs. This Jacksonville defense may be better, and more physical up front, but the Patriots are likely to take away everything they like to do.
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