Philadelphia Eagles: 10 observations from win over Vikings


The Philadelphia Eagles continued to defy the odds as they defeated the Minnesota Vikings 38-7 to win the NFC Championship and move on to Super Bowl LII.

The Philadelphia Eagles are going to the Super Bowl! That is not a line you thought you would be reading way back in September, but here we are after the team put together a dominating 38-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night in the NFC Championship, resulting in an opportunity to play for their first Vince Lombardi trophy in less than two weeks.

It will be a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIX, with the Eagles taking on the New England Patriots 13 years after coming so close to a title. We will take a deep look at that matchup as we inch closer to Feb. 4, but for right now, let’s take a look at how Philadelphia got there with their win over the Vikings.

Words can’t even describe how Eagles fans are feeling at the moment when looking at all of the obstacle this team has gone through this season to all of a sudden be one win away from a Super Bowl title. So without further ado, let’s dive right into our 10 observations from Philadelphia’s big win over Minnesota to advance to Super Bowl 52.

  1. After letting the Vikings march right down the field on the first drive of the game, the defense flipped a switch and was dominant the rest of the night. There was a lot of confusion on that first drive, but the defense settled down and held the Vikings’ offense to just seven points.
  2. The game-changing play was obviously Patrick Robinson‘s pick six. Philadelphia was down 7-0 and just punted back to the Vikings. On third down, Case Keenum dropped back and Chris Long made yet another big play. He hit Keenum’s right arm and forced a wobbler that was picked by Robinson. It was a fantastic return set up by great blocking and on that touchdown, I am pretty sure the Linc was the loudest it has ever been. After that pick six, Minnesota could not get anything going for the rest of the evening.
  3. Last week, Nick Foles was very good, but this week he was fantastic. Putting everything into perspective, this was the best game he has ever played. Between the stage of the game and the defense he went against, he was just out of this world. These last two weeks, Foles has looked confident and calm under pressure and has made all of the throws. The Eagles just need Foles to keep that confidence level up for the next two weeks, and if that is the case, then the Eagles have a fantastic shot of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in two weeks.
  4. For a game of this magnitude, the entire roster was extremely loose and no one seemed to be tense. That is thanks in large part to the coaching and the leadership of this team. When games get bigger and bigger, some teams and coaches get tense and try to change because the game is bigger. That is when teams choke in big games. The last two weeks, the Eagles have been loose and no one has pressed. With the biggest game of many of the team’s lives in two weeks, they must keep up that same attitude.
  5. Two things that were big worries the last few weeks of the season was poor tackling and third down conversions. Both of those issues are in the rearview mirror now. The Eagles have not given up many yards after the catch or yards after contact in the run game. That has been a big reason for them not giving up big plays and why they have held their playoff opponents to a combined total of 17 points. On third downs, Foles and the Eagles’ offense has been money. They had been in third and manageable on numerous occasions while Foles kept it clean by making big plays.
  6. Last week, the Eagles did not push the ball downfield all that much and threw the ball underneath a lot. That can be attributed to the coverage the Atlanta Falcons would play. Against the Vikings, there were opportunities to push the ball downfield and that is exactly what the Eagles did. They had two touchdown passes over 40 yards and plenty of other plays that exceeded 20 yards. That diversity of deep passes, short passes, and running the ball is what helped keep the Vikings’ defense off balance and why the Eagles were so good on offense.
  7. Doug Pederson continues to amaze in his game-day coaching abilities. His play calling has been fantastic and he continues to put his offense in a position to succeed. The bounce-back by Foles has to be thanks in large part to Pederson’s game planning. He has put him in a position to succeed, especially using the run-pass options. Pederson is also a huge reason why this team never gets too high when they win and can continue to have success as the games get bigger. Just two years after inheriting a broken locker room, he has fixed that and has his team one win away from a Super Bowl championship.
  8. You have to love that flea flicker call from Pederson. Up 24-7 early in the third quarter, the Eagles were looking for a kill shot. They got that from a perfect play call and fantastic execution. Torrey Smith did a great job of selling the fake and getting a step on the corner and Foles threw a perfect ball over the shoulder of Smith. He had to fit in a tight window with the safety closing in and Foles did just that to put the Eagles up 31-7 and shutdown any Vikings attempt of a comeback.
  9. A topic of conversation all week was how Jake Elliott was money from deep, but struggled in the 30-40 yard range. Well, on Sunday night, Elliott had five PATs from 33 yards and a field goal from 38 yards just before the half. We know he can nail them from 40 yards or more, so it was nice to see Elliott make all of the kicks in that 30-40 yard range to instill some confidence as Elliott may need to come up big in the Super Bowl.
  10. Even when healthy, the Eagles were doubted, so imagine the level of disrespect they got nationwide going into the playoffs down two future Hall of Famers and an MVP quarterback. They have been underdogs the past two weeks and will be underdogs against New England for the Super Bowl. The national media picked against them the last two weeks and probably will again. Good, we wouldn’t want it any other way. There is something special about this team and they should never be counted out. Even with their backup quarterback in, I couldn’t be any more confident in this team beating New England and winning their first ever Super Bowl.

Next: 5 reactions to Eagles defeating Vikings in NFC Championship

What a game it was on Sunday night, as the Eagles won their first NFC Championship since 2005. The next two weeks are sure to be very exciting as we work our way up to Super Bowl LII between the Eagles and the Patriots.