Nick Foles was the main reason the Eagles weren’t getting any respect this postseason. Foles looked like a downgrade after he took over for an injured Carson Wentz, who was having an MVP-caliber season before he tore his ACL. But on Sunday, the Eagles offense looked just as good as it did with Wentz under center. Foles ended up being key to the Eagles pulling off such a dominant win.
Foles got things going in the first half with the run-pass option. He executed quick throws, keeping the Vikings pass rush at bay. Minnesota was at a disadvantage with cornerback Xavier Rhodes nursing a toe injury. Starting strong safety Andrew Sendejo also went out with a calf injury. The Eagles offense took advantage by spreading the ball around.
The Vikings had a 7-0 lead early, but Philadelphia scored 24 unanswered points before the half, including a 53-yard pass from Foles to Alshon Jeffery with Rhodes on the sideline.
The Eagles didn’t slow down after the half, kicking things off with a perfectly executed flea flicker that Torrey Smith took 41 yards for a score. They went up 38-7 in the fourth quarter on another Foles pass to Jeffery, and this one was basically a wrap.
The Eagles were underdogs at home once more against the Vikings in the NFC Championship, and everyone expected a low-scoring game after Philadelphia’s 15-10 divisional win over the Falcons. Instead, the Eagles turned in a performance worthy of their No. 1 seeding in the NFC. Now they’re headed to the Super Bowl.
Nick Foles was exceptional
The Vikings defense allowed a league-best average of 15.8 points per game this season. The Eagles put up 38.
Foles’ best game this season was the divisional win over the Falcons. He had 246 yards, with no scores. He had 352 yards and three touchdowns against the Vikings.
His deep ball was particularly successful on Sunday. Foles had four completions of 35 yards or more.
The pass itself was impressive enough. But it’s mind-blowing that Foles pulled that off against the Vikings.
Nick Foles' 53-yard TD pass to Alshon Jeffery is the longest touchdown pass by any player against the Vikings this season, including playoffs— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) January 22, 2018
We don’t know where this version of Nick Foles came from, but the Eagles are going to need him to show up against the Patriots.
Patrick Robinson ran all over the place for a pick-six
Nick Foles was exceptional in this win. But the Eagles defense has been particularly stout at home, and they definitely were on Sunday.
Patrick Robinson picked off a Case Keenum pass, and he ran sideline to sideline and called out the blocks he needed to take it all the way to the end zone.
A strip-sack of Case Keenum made things worse for Minnesota
Then Derek Barnett strip-sacked Keenum, and the Eagles’ Chris Long recovered.
It was bad enough that the Vikings were on the Eagles’ 16-yard line and poised to score when this happened. To make things a little more painful for the Vikings, the Eagles picked Barnett in the 2017 draft with the pick they got from Minnesota in exchange for quarterback Sam Bradford before the 2016 season.
Nick Foles and Torrey Smith gave us the best flea flicker of the day
Championship Sunday? More like Flea Flicker Sunday.
The Eagles were underdogs in the Divisional Round against the Falcons, and they won. They weren’t favored this week either, and they beat the Vikings down. The Patriots will probably be the favorites in the Super Bowl, too. If the Eagles play like this, they could pull off the biggest upset of them all.