The Latest on the NFL conference championships. (all times local):
New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft says the team needs to guard against “jealousy and envy” from people who are trying to tear apart one of the most successful dynasties in NFL history.
Speaking on the pregame show before the Patriots played the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC championship game, Kraft said it’s only natural there would be some tension between him and coach Bill Belichick after 18 years together. Kraft says, “But when you’ve got something good going, everyone’s got to get their egos checked in and try to hold it together.”
ESPN reported this month that Kraft essentially vetoed Belichick’s plan to set backup Jimmy Garoppolo up as the successor to five-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. Instead, the Patriots traded Garoppolo to San Francisco for a second-round draft pick.
— Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts.
The Super Bowl matchup will be set after conference title games featuring three teams that have never won the big game.
The other participant is a five-time Super Bowl winner, the New England Patriots.
The Patriots and Tom Brady, nursing an injured right hand, start conference championship Sunday playing host to the Jacksonville Jaguars and quarterback Blake Bortles.
The night game with Minnesota playing at Philadelphia features two 29-year-old quarterbacks, Nick Foles and Case Keenum, both of whom started the season as backups.
Keenum played most of the season after Sam Bradford was injured, and Foles came in after star Carson Wentz was hurt in Week 14.
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