No Brady or Rodgers, no problem for NFL in divisional round

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FOR the first time in 13 years, neither Tom Brady nor Aaron Rodgers reached the divisional round of the playoffs.

No problem. The National Football League (NFL) still has plenty of exciting football this weekend featuring Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Dak Prescott and many other stars.

The action kicks off Saturday with the Jacksonville Jaguars visiting the Kansas City Chiefs. Jaguars coach Doug Pederson faces his mentor, Chiefs coach Andy Reid. Pederson played for Reid and coached under him in Philadelphia and Kansas City. He also beat him to a Lombardi Trophy.

The No. 1 seed Chiefs (14-3) are coming off a bye and aiming for their fifth straight trip to the AFC championship game.

The Jaguars (10-8) weren’t supposed to be here. They won five straight games to capture the American Football Conference (AFC) South and then had to rally from a 27-0 deficit against the Los Angeles Chargers in a wild-card game. Trevor Lawrence followed up four interceptions in the first half with four touchdown passes to lead Jacksonville to a 31-30 comeback win.

“Whether it’s our money or house money, we’re here,” Pederson said. “It’s a credit to those players in the locker room and the coaching staff for believing in each other and working hard. What we’ve done down the stretch regardless of mishaps, we’re here. I try to block out the best I can with the team, you just block out the noise, you block out the negativity, you block out whether it’s lack of respect or whatever. We have a young quarterback, whatever it might be. We’re one of four in the AFC left and that says a lot. That says a lot about these guys, and we’re excited for the opportunity.”

Image credits: AP

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