Not only did the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship, they obliterated them. The Vikings started the game strong with a 9-play, 75 yard drive to get on the board first. Their only points of the game. After a quick four play drive that only amounted to 17 yards, the Eagle punted the ball back to the Vikings who were already nursing a 7-0 lead. That’s when momentum changed.
Full Recap Here:
After driving to the edge of Vikings territory, Case Keenum was pressured in the pocket and tried to heave a ball to one of his receivers. Needless to say they didn’t catch it–Patrick Robinson, an Eagles cornerback, caught it and took in 50 yards for a pick-6.
With the score even at 7-7, the Vikings and Keenum had the ball and a chance to stay in the game. They failed to pick up a single first down and punted the ball back to the Eagles just 90 seconds after they scored. The Eagles took their time, driving 75 yards in over six minutes and scored on a 11-yard run by LeGarrette Blount to give the Eagles their first lead. They never looked back.
Already down 14-7, the Vikes only gained 91 yards of offense in the remaining first half and their defense gave up 150. After a Vikings fumble late in the second quarter, the Eagles put together another 75 yard drive in just over two minutes to pull ahead, 21-7.
Nothing could go right for the Vikings as they managed to punt the ball back to Philly one more time before the half. Foles threw for three consecutive first downs and added 60 passing yards to his total, getting into field goal range with 0:04 left in the first half. Jake Elliott knocked it through from 38 yards out and the Eagles went to the locker room up 24-7 against the best defense in the league.
The Eagles got the ball to start the second half and again, took it 75 yards to pay-dirt to extend their lead to 31-7. Another long drive for the Vikings ended in a turnover as a Keenum to Thielen connection was ruled incomplete on 4th and goal from the seven.
At this point, the Eagles were winning handily and were draining the clock. On a crazy 12-play, 92 yard drive that killed 7:11 off the clock, the Nick Foles connected with wide receiver Alshon Jeffery for their second TD of the night, making Foles’ total three. The score was 38-7, the Vikings had the ball and a few more drives, but nothing came from them. That score is final.
Ealges: 38 Vikings: 7
QB: N. Foles 26/33, 352 yds, 3 TD QB: C. Keenum 28/48, 271 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
RB: J. Ajayi 18 car, 73 yds RB: J. McKinnon 10 car, 40 yds, 11 rec, 86 yd
RB: L. Blount 6 car, 21 yds, 1 TD WR: S. Diggs 8 rec, 70 yds
WR: A. Jeffery 5 rec, 85 yds, 2 TD
TE: Z. Ertz 8 rec, 93 yds
Stacking up against my prediction:
This game is the only game so far that my prediction was WAY off. I predicted a close game, like most people. I predicted a 21-17 game with the Vikings winning. Obviously, that’s way off. It happens. I don’t think anyone predicted a blowout.
About the only aspect of my prediction that stood true was the defensive TD. Foles exceeded my prediction for yards and TDs. Keenum did break 200 yards, but only threw 1 TD. The run game was rough for both teams, so my prediction fell flat their.
The Eagles, home underdogs this weekend, move on and will travel to Minnesota to play against the AFC Champion Patriots in Super Bowl 52 in two weeks. Keep an eye out for a blog breaking down what each team will have to do to win SB52.