Eagles Fly to Super Bowl After Dominating Vikings
The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Minnesota Vikings 38-7 on Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field to win the NFC Championship and advance to Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis.
A twenty-five yard touchdown pass to a wide open Kyle Rudolph shushed all of Lincoln Financial Field and all of Philadelphia for that matter. The Vikings first drive could not have gone better in their eyes. They were able to run the ball against a stout Eagles run defense, convert crucial third downs, and cash in on seven points to end the drive.
A quick three and out gave the Vikings a chance to continue their momentum from the first drive, but it didn’t go like that.
Veteran defensive end Chris Long was able to get a hand on Vikings quarterback Case Keenum, disrupting him just as he was getting rid of the ball. The pass was significantly altered falling into the lap of cornerback Patrick Robinson, who was able to follow his blockers and cut across to the other side of the field before clearing the pylon.
The Eagles never looked back, scoring 38 unanswered points and dominating the Vikings in all three phases of the game.
The Eagles forced another three and out following their touchdown, and were able to put together a methodical drive, that included some important third down conversions, and ended with a LeGarette Blount rushing touchdown.
After the teams traded punts the Vikings were finally able to get back in to a rhythm on offense threatening deep in Eagles’ territory. On a key third down in the Eagles red zone, rookie defensive end Derek Barnett was able to slap the ball out of Keenum’s hands and it fell by Chris Long, ending the Vikings promising drive.
The Eagles capitalized off the turnover from a bomb tossed by Nick Foles, after hanging tough in the pocket, to wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, the extra point sunk by kicker Jake Elliot gave the Eagles a 21-7 lead.
After getting the ball back on their own 20 with less than a minute left, coach Doug Pederson decided to play aggressive despite the fourteen point lead they already built up. A 36 yard catch by tight end Zach Ertz and two receptions by running back Jay Ajayi set up Elliot, who hit the lone field goal of the game from 38 yards out.
A recurring theme. A now seventeen point lead did not stop Pederson from pressing the gas pedal, he opened the second half scoring with a flea flicker that ended with a Nick Foles touchdown pass to wide receiver Torrey Smith.
The Eagles would march 92 yards down the field for one last touchdown to close out the game with score of 38-7. On their last drive, the Vikings drove into the Eagles red zone once again, only to come up short after Keenum threw his second interception of the game, this one credited to Eagles defensive back Corey Graham.
The Viking were never able to replicate the offensive success they had on the first drive and their vaunted defense didn’t come to play, they were dominated throughout.
A lot of credit has to be given to the job Nick Foles did. Despite all the criticism, hate, doubt, etc. Foles was able to go out there and have his best performance since his magical 2013 season. The RPOs continue to be a strong point for him, but he was able to hang in the pocket, take some tough shots, and hit on some deep balls.
Now, the Eagles move onto U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII, where they look to put prevent the New England Patriots from winning their sixth Lombardi Trophy.