Sunday was one of the most lopsided Conference Championship days in many years, as home teams Atlanta and New England advanced to Super Bowl LI with convincing victories. Within those games, however, are lessons to be learned.
First, and this needs to be digested, home field does matter in the NFL playoffs. Since the league introduced the seeding element to the postseason in 1975, 31 of the 41 Lombardi Trophy champions have been No. 1 or No. 2 seeds. New England (No. 1 seed) and Atlanta (No. 2 seed) obviously fit that profile. Not since Baltimore (No. 4 seed) in the 2012 season has a seed other than No. 1 or No. 2 even reached the Super Bowl.
It's important, then, to win in the regular season, secure the bye week, and have the best possible chance to reach the Super Bowl. Green Bay clearly ran out of gas after beating No. 1 seed Dallas in an emotional, gutsy victory one Sunday earlier. Pittsburgh's pass defense was exposed and the Steelers, without star running back Le'Veon Bell, who sat out much of the game with a groin injury, looked very much like the team the Eagles dismantled in September at Lincoln Financial Field.
to a future contract. He is the seventh player signed to a future deal in this offseason. Hamilton was with Buffalo, Green Bay and Seattle since going undrafted in 2015. He's a big 'un at 6-2 and 315 pounds and, well, let's see if he can crack a deep and talented group along the interior of the Eagles' defensive line.