There are four teams left, all battling for a chance to play in the greatest game in sports: The Super Bowl. The NFL’s conference championship matchups are set and by Sunday night, we’ll know who will meet in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis. Though there are a million Super Bowl storylines to follow — how Minnesota could be the first team to ever play a home Super Bowl game, how the Jaguars are in their first conference championship matchup since the 1999 season — some of the most interesting stories to follow are those of the players desperate to prove their worth to the franchise they play for. Bleacher Report put together a list of the players who have the most to prove in the conference championships.
New England Patriots: Wide receiver Chris Hogan, hasn’t had a great 2017 season. He failed to top 100 yards in each of his nine games and has just 11 catches for five yards total. The Jaguars ranked second in the NFL in scoring defense and total defense and first against the pass.
Kyle Van Noy, OLB, also has something to prove. New England needs to shut down Leonard Fournette, and Van Noy could play a big role in that.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Quarterback Blake Bortles has been the butt of every joke, and he knows it. But he doesn’t let it bother him, and he just led his team to their first championship game in almost two decades. But they are facing the Patriots, arguably the best franchise in the league, so Bortles has a lot to prove.
Jalen Ramsey, CB, is one of the NFL’s best cover cornerbacks, and no one will blame him if the Jaguars lose. But he is to be tasked with taking on Gronk. If the Jaguars have any hope of winning, they have to keep Gronkowski from having the sort of stat line he did in New England’s game against the Titans.
Philadelphia Eagles: Quarterback Nick Foles could become Eagles legend, and get all the fame for getting the Eagles to the Super Bowl, or he could be blamed for destroying all Carson Wentz worked toward.
Jalen Mills, CB, has had some late-season struggles. But he did a great job in the game against the Falcons, allowing just one reception for 12 yards on four targets.
Minnesota Vikings: QB Case Keenum has already proved himself this season, but one of the biggest storylines from the NFC Championship Game is bound to be a discussion of Keenum and Nick Foles as the unlikeliest of Super Bowl quarterbacks. The Eagles were the hardest team in the NFL to run on in 2017, and so if the Vikings want to move the ball, they have to do it with Keenum’s arm.
Trae Waynes, CB, was one of the five most targeted cornerbacks of the season. He is the third-best cornerback in the Minnesota secondary and he isn’t bad, but he definitely has something to prove.