Who wants to see two virgins go at it?
Four long-suffering NFL teams have yet to experience the ecstasy of playing in a Super Bowl, the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions and Houston Texans.
Will they finally do it this season?
What are the chances of the NFC’s Lions hooking up with one of the other three AFC franchises in one of the biggest events of any player’s life?
The climax of the four Super Bowl prigs’ seasons rests with the quarterbacks, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Trevor Lawrence, Jared Goff and C.J. Stroud.
Betonline Sportsbook lists the Lions (+500) and Jaguars (+800) as the favorites among the four to lose their Super Bowl virginities.
Four teams have never made a Super Bowl:
The Lions who have not had a better start (8-2) since 1954. #OnePride
The Browns who have not had a better start (7-3) since 1994. #DawgPound
The Jaguars who have not had a better start (7-3) since 1999. #DUUUVAL
The Texans who have…
— Tony Holzman-Escareno (@FrontOfficeNFL) November 19, 2023
Cleveland Browns Flirting With Rookie QB Starter
At 7-3, the Browns enjoyed their best 10-game start since 1994, but lost starting QB Deshaun Watson to a season-ending shoulder injury. They responded by signing veteran Joe Flacco to the practice squad Monday, but the coaching staff plans on staying with Dorian Thompson-Robinson against the host Denver Broncos on Sunday.
The rookie earned is coming off an emotional first NFL victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers, completing 24 of 43 passes for 163 yards, zero touchdown passes and one interception.
He did just enough. With Flacco riding shotgun, Thompson-Robinson, who turned 24 Nov. 14, will have to show more big-play potential to create an extended playoff run.
The Browns enter Week 12 as the AFC’s No. 5-ranked team and sit a half-game behind the AFC North Division-leading Baltimore Ravens (8-3).
Every dropback, pass, and run by #Browns QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson in Week 11.
— Matt Wilson (@CoachWilson66) November 20, 2023
Jacksonville Jaguars Loving Trevor Lawrence’s Growth
Off to their best start since 1999, the Jaguars (7-3) are exceeding expectations under Lawrence’s management.
The 2021 No. 1 overall draft pick has completed 225 of 332 passes for 2,382 yards, 11 touchdowns and six interceptions. Lawrence controls games. He navigates the offense’s opportunities.
Lawrence may not be a great option for fantasy sports managers, but during last Sunday’s 34-14 victory over the Tennessee Titans, Lawrence compiled two passing and rushing TDs. He became the first player in franchise history to record multiple passing and rushing TDs in a single game.
In his third season, Lawrence emerged as a top-tier game manager, lifting the Jaguars to first place in the AFC South, one game ahead of the Texans (6-4). The Jaguars travel to Houston on Sunday.
The Jaguars were turned aside during three AFC Championship game appearances since 1995.
Trevor Lawrence: Smooth Operator! pic.twitter.com/1xRoz1wb3D
— Fast Jax Trivia (@FastJaxTrivia) November 19, 2023
Detroit Lions’ Jared Goff Igniting Love-Starved Fanbase
The new darlings of the NFL, the Lions are 8-2 for the first time since 1962. QB Jared Goff has played a big role in the franchise’s decades-long revival.
Since the Super Bowl era began in 1966, the Lions have been shut out of the end-of-season festivities. They qualified for the 1991 NFC Championship game, but were discarded by the then-Washington Redskins.
This season, Goff, who led the Los Angeles Rams to Super Bowl 53, is playing the best ball of his career, sans last Sunday’s three-interception effort against the Chicago Bears. Still, Goff led the Lions to an unlikely fourth-quarter comeback against the Bears.
Goff has completed 246 of 361 passes for 2,743 yards, 16 TDs and eight interceptions this season. He controls a balanced attack, capable of big plays and long-sustained drives.
Goff, who can become a free agent after the 2024 campaign, is playing for a long-term contract extension.
— Matt Broder (@mattbro21) November 20, 2023
Houston Texans Wooing Success from Rookie C.J. Stroud
With their roots extending back to the AFL’s Oilers, the franchise has not celebrated a league championship since claiming back-to-back crowns in 1960 and ‘61.
The Texans have yet to advance past the modern divisional round, but with the emergence of C.J. Stroud, the QB not only has played like the NFL’s top rookie, but has entered conversations for league MVP.
Stroud, who threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns during last Sunday’s 21-16 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, has engineered a three-game winning streak.
Uniquely accurate for a first-year starter, Stroud has completed 223 of 355 passes for 2,962 yards, 17 TDs and five interceptions.
By matching Joe Burrow’s rookie mark for compiling three consecutive games of at least 300 passing yards, Stroud has put the Texans in position to push Lawrence and the Jaguars for the South crown, entering Sunday’s matchup.
Talk about a passion play.
Resiliency 🤘 pic.twitter.com/t2gWOdeRwD
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) November 19, 2023
NFC/AFC Championship Game Winning Odds
Here is a look at the updated NFL odds for the Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans winning the NFC and AFC Championship games, according to Betonline Sportsbook:
|Team||NFC/AFC Championship Game Victory Odds||Play|
* Odds as of Tuesday