Connor McGovern Jersey , you hear it. Doesn’t matter what city a team represents or who is coaching and playing for it, the bromide is the same.Win the division.For many fans, just seeing their team sneak into the playoffs provides hope that a championship could be on the immediate horizon. Sorry, folks, but it rarely works out that way, especially recently.Sure, it was a significant step for the Colts to turn around their season and get a wild-card spot. And for the Seahawks to reach the postseason in a rebuilding year.They were steps, not leaps. Winning the division is becoming a necessity for getting to the Super Bowl.“I certainly don’t take it for granted,” says Tom Brady, who’s taken the Patriots to eight Super Bowls, with five wins — all after winning the AFC East.“I know how hard it is. I just have a great deal of appreciation for my teammates and coaches that work extremely hard to put us in a position to do a great job. I think when you have a lot of perspective, like I certainly do, I realize that’s an incredibly difficult thing to do. And I’m just very grateful.”On Sunday, we have the top two seeds in each conference going at it, the Rams (14-3) at the Saints (14-3), followed by the Patriots (12-5) at the Chiefs (13-4).It’s only the fourth time since the current playoff format was adopted in 2002 that it’s happened, most recently when Denver beat Carolina for the 2015 championship.Not having a division winner in the conference title game has never occurred. Only in 2008, when No. 4 Arizona beat No. 6 Philadelphia for the NFC crown did it come close to happening.Five times in 17 seasons has the AFC championship matchup not featured the No. 1 seed, most recently in 2012 when No. 4 Baltimore defeated No. 2 New England before winning the Super Bowl. Five times in the NFC as well, most recently in 2016 with No. 2 Atlanta taking down No. 4 Green Bay.As for those wild-card squads, every Steelers Foster Moreau Jersey , Giants and Packers fan will remind you that their team went all the way from sixth seed to Super Bowl champ.None of those breathtaking runs was managed since 2010, and only one wild card, the 2013 49ers, appeared in a conference championship match since then. That San Francisco team was more than an outsider because, at 12-4, it tied for the second-best record in the NFC, one game behind NFC West winner Seattle.So while it could be brutally cold at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, the Chiefs coveted that top seed. That meant pushing hard to win the AFC West as the first goal, then getting the No. 1 slot.Yet, although that’s clearly an objective, Chiefs coach Andy Reid insists it can be over-emphasized. Almost everything can be.“You don’t change. It’s not what you do,” he says. “You just come in and you shoot these guys straight. I think that’s what we all want. If I have education I can share with them, I share with them, and then get yourself ready to play. All of this doesn’t necessarily matter on the game.“You eliminate those distractions, you get yourself ready to play against a good football team, and really it comes down to that when you are out there on the field. All the hype and celebrations, press conferences and all those things, once it is kickoff time you want to make sure that you have prepared yourself right.”While the Chiefs are 3-point favorites at Arrowhead — basically, that means the bookmakers see them as equal with the Patriots — they likely would have been bigger underdogs at Gillette Stadium, where New England was 8-0 in the regular season, the league’s only perfect home mark.In the NFC Anthony Nelson Jersey , well, who knows? It’s somewhat surprising the Saints are only a 3-point or so choice over the Rams. New Orleans won the regular-season matchup 45-35 in the Superdome. Its experience at this level far exceeds LA’s.And then there’s the dome factor. Several Saints players said that during last weekend’s comeback to beat Philadelphia, the noise level in the building reached unparalleled levels.The spoils of a top seed: The past five Super Bowls have been won by them.“Well, history would tell us — recent history would point to that — and then overall I think there are certain spots you want to start at the (Kentucky) Derby,” Saints coach Sean Payton notes as an analogy. “There’s some spots no one’s ever won from at the Derby. All right. But then there’s some spots that are more favorable, and I think probably seeding’s similar.“It’s not the absolute. And certainly we’ve seen teams win from a lot of different spots, fifth seed, fourth seed, and so for us our focus is taking advantage of playing another game at home. Taking advantage of the crowd noise and trying to put our best foot forward.”And make that big leap. JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Josh Johnson’s Madden rating should get a bump after his first NFL start in seven years.Johnson, who played Madden NFL 19 to learn his new teammates’ names, led Washington on two scoring drives in the fourth quarter to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 16-13 on Sunday.With a lot of help from running back Adrian Peterson, Johnson drove the Redskins (7-7) into field-goal range in the closing minutes and set up Dustin Hopkins‘ 36-yard field goal on the final play. Hopkins drilled it, ending Washington’s four-game losing streak and keeping it on the fringe of the NFC playoff picture.Article continues below ...It was the first victory of Johnson’s professional career — he had been 0-5 as a starter — and the first for the Redskins since quarterback Alex Smith broke his right leg last month.The 32-year-old Johnson, the franchise’s fourth starting quarterback in as many weeks, completed 16 of 25 passes for 151 yards and the score. He also ran for 49 yards.“I know every opportunity I get could be my last one,” Johnson said. “It’s the reality of my situation, so I just wanted to leave it all on the field. I owe the game that much because I love it that much. For me to go out there and not leave it on the field, I would be disrespecting it. If I had the opportunity to go out and make a play, I’m going to do it.”His 6-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Sprinkle with 5:47 remaining tied the game. The Redskins got the ball back with an interception on the ensuing possession, and Peterson carried five times for 28 yards and had a 7-yard reception to get the team close enough for Hopkins to win it.“Josh made enough plays Jeffery Simmons Jersey , and people around him made enough plays to get us the victory,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said.Peterson finished with 51 on the ground, more than half of those coming on the winning drive.“It was a situation where it was do or die,” Peterson said. “It was not that serious, but obviously for our season and what we’re trying to accomplish, we needed this W to get out of this funk by any means necessary. One point, two points, we didn’t care.”The Jaguars (4-10) have dropped nine of 10, raising more questions about the future of coach Doug Marrone, top decision-maker Tom Coughlin and general manager Dave Caldwell.Jacksonville managed 192 yards, another anemic performance under Marrone. The Jags now have double-digit losses for the seventh time in the last eight years.Cody Kessler was 9 of 17 passing for 57 yards with an interception in his third start since replacing Blake Bortles. He has directed one touchdown drive in 31 possessions.Kessler limped through the locker room with red marks and scratches on his back after being sacked six times behind a makeshift offensive line. He also was Jacksonville’s leading rusher with 68 yards on the ground, 22 more than Leonard Fournette.Fournette touched the ball just once in the second half and returned kickoffs for the first time in his career. Marrone said the plan was to get a better look at undrafted rookie Dave Williams.“He’s been here working hard so we just wanted to see him in there and see what he can do,” Marrone said.Jacksonville’s lone highlight was Dede Westbrook returning a punt 74 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter.WELCOME HOMESmith was released from the hospital after multiple surgeries to his broken right leg. His wife, Elizabeth Smith, posted an update Sunday on Instagram and said she was grateful to have her husband home.Smith sustained a spiral fracture to his right leg when he was sacked in a game against Houston on Nov. 18. He underwent surgery the following day to repair his fibula and tibia. Two media outlets reported that a leg infection complicated his recovery and required further procedures.KEY INJURIESRedskins tight end Vernon Davis was evaluated for a head and neck injury and cleared to return, then left to be re-evaluated for a concussion in the fourth. … Jaguars rookie safety Ronnie Harrison injured his left knee on Washington’s first series, limped to the sideline and did not return. Jarrod Wilson replaced Harrison and had two pass breakups before leaving with a leg injury. … Redskins offensive lineman Ty Nsekhe (knee), cornerback Joshua Holsey (knee) and cornerback Danny Johnson (finger).UP NEXTRedskins: stay in the AFC South and play at Tennessee on Saturday.Jaguars: remain in the Sunshine State and play at Miami next Sunday.