it was a nice day for solar production. although the sky wasn't entirely clear, the clouds that were there were high wispy clouds that still allowed the sun to shine though. we got a very nice bell curve with hardly any breaks, producing the 3rd highest energy output of all times at 27.13 kWh. had it been a totally cloud-free day, we would've hit 30 kWh easily.
the rest of sunday was spent waiting for the 3pm start of the AFC championship game between the jacksonville jaguars and the new england patriots, the winner advancing to the super bowl in 2 weeks.
the game was a little stressful, and there were early indications that the patriots might possibly lose despite home field advantage and being the number one seed. all week long the story was how the jaguars' defense was designed to stop the patriots. and with tom coughlin now the executive vice president for jacksonville, there were traumatic flashbacks of patriots' losses to the giants in past superbowls under couch coughlin. maybe it was too warm, which would be an advantage for the jaguars since they're from florida. there was detailed analysis of tom brady's hand the moment he stepped on the field for some practice throws, a piece of black tape protecting the injury on his right throwing hand, which was reported to be a dozen stitches. new england scored first, but a field goal instead of a touchdown. in the second quarter jacksonville scored 2 touchdowns to bring the score to 14-3. they seemed the more dominant team, playing physical and putting pressure on brady. patriots couldn't gain any points until the final 2 minutes, when they finally managed to get their first touchdown. unfortunately, gronkowski sustained a devastating hit to the helmet during the drive which left him with a concussion and he was out for the rest of the game.
so after halftime, the feeling was, okay, we're just a field goal away from tying the game, but with gronkowski out, what's going to happen to our offense? patriots made their adjustments and the defense steadily improved, holding the jaguars to just 2 field goals in the 3rd quarter to bring the score to 20-10 heading into the 4th quarter. new england needed a touchdown and a field goal to tie, or two touchdowns to take the lead, provided jacksonville didn't score anymore points. 6 minutes into the final quarter the patriots scored a touchdown. the defense got even better, preventing the jaguars from scoring. with about 3 minutes left in the game, brady threw another touchdown to amendola who caught the ball with a circus catch. patriots took the lead, 24-20. jacksonville had enough time to mount a drive. pressure was on them because they needed a touchdown. bortles fumbled but the ball was recovered by the jaguars for a negative gain of 9 yards on third down. they gained 4 yards but needed more so went for it on 4th down, where patriots cornerback stephon gilmore managed to swat the ball out of the air, giving the ball back to new england. the game wasn't over yet, with about 2 minutes to go, the patriots needed to advance the ball to get a new set of downs before they can chew up the clock. that came when running back dion lewis ran the ball for 18 yards on 3rd-and-9 to finally seal the deal.
so with this victory the patriots will be going to their 8th super bowl under belichick-brady. fans were happy, but the bar in new england is set so high, nothing short of super bowl victory would be enough. elsewhere, in philadelphia, the vikings-eagles game was taking place. minnesota was favored to win despite being the lower seed. the game started easy enough for the vikings, who quickly scored a touchdown. little did anyone know at the time but that was the last time they'd score in the rest of the game, as nick foles exceded all expectations and lead the eagles to win 38-7 in a crushing defeat of the vikings. the eagles will face off against the patriots in 2 weeks in super bowl LII in minnesota.