Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

After an incredible AFC Championship, it was time for the NFC to take center stage. The Minnesota Vikings took on the Philadelphia Eagles in Philly in what on paper looked to be a close affair. But that’s why you should never assume when it comes to the National Football League.

Minnesota got itself going instantly.

At the end of a very impressive opening possession,(9 plays, 75 yards) Case Keenum found Kyle Rudolph in the end zone for the 25-yard score, quickly putting the Vikings up 7-0.

The Eagles would follow up the Vikings’ score with a three and out. But once Minnesota got the ball back, it was the Eagles defense making the plays.

On 3rd and 8, CB Patrick Robinson intercepted a wild pass from Keenum intended for Adam Thielen, returning it 50 yards for the score. Just like that, Philly had knotted it up at 7 in the first quarter.

The very next Eagles drive, Nick Foles took the reigns. The drive lasted 12 plays and spanned 75 yards. It was capped with a LeGarrette Blount 11-yard rush bowling his way into the end zone. During the drive, Foles completed 5 of his 6 pass attempts for 42 yards.

Just like that—Philadelphia 14, Minnesota 7.

Late in the 2nd quarter, Minnesota looked to respond. But Philadelphia’s defense would come up big once again. After the Vikings drove 61 yards, Keenum would make another mistake. He fumbled after being hit by Philadelphia’s Derek Barnett, stopping Minnesota’s long drive in its tracks.

Following the fumble, Nick Foles would continue to impress. With just 1:09 remaining in the second quarter, Foles fought out of a potential sack and found Alshon Jeffery wide open for the 53-yard pitch and catch TD.

Quickly, Minnesota was forced to punt and with very little time remaining in the half, the Eagles drove down the field again—highlighted by a Foles to Zach Ertz completion of 36 yards. Jake Elliott, with 5 seconds remaining, was able to put one through the uprights to send it into halftime.

At halftime it was Philadelphia 24, Minnesota 7.

In the third nothing, changed for Minnesota.

On Philadelphia’s opening possession,  the Eagles brought out some trickery. Nick Foles found Torrey Smith deep on a flea-flicker for a 41-yard touchdown pass.

Philadelphia, after the early touchdown, had scored 31 unanswered points.

The Vikings, on their first possession of the half, drove the ball down the field. But, found themselves up against the wall on 4th and goal. Keenum found his favorite target—Thielen—in the end zone for what we thought was a miraculous catch. But after review, it was overturned as the ball did hit the ground. Philadelphia took over on downs.

It would not get any better for the Vikings.

On the very next drive for Philadelphia, Foles delivered again. For the second time, it was Alshon Jeffery making the play in the end zone. Foles found Jefferey for a 5-yard touchdown pass putting the Eagles up by 31 in the fourth.

After the TD reception, Philadelphia fans new that a trip to the Superbowl was just minutes away.

Just moments later, the Eagles stamped their ticket to the Superbowl.

The final—Philadelphia 38, Minnesota 7.

That’s right, the Philadelphia Eagles are NFC Champions.

The biggest story of the night, however, was Nick Foles and his absolutely phenomenal performance. Foles, who took over for Carson Wentz late in the season, played like he did just a few years ago when he put up historic numbers. He threw for 352 yards and tossed 3 touchdowns without an interception. The Eagles also became the first team in the Super Bowl era to toss three touchdowns of 40+ yards.

Now it’s a Superbowl 39 rematch with the Eagles and the Patriots. And what a game it should be.

Oh, and once again the Eagles are 5.5 point underdogs.

This article first appeared on The Sports Post and was syndicated with permission.


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