In the last article, we previewed the first of the two championship game match ups. We took New England minus the points and the under on the game. Now, we shift focus over to the NFC where we have the Vikings and the Eagles fighting for the right to represent their conference in Minnesota. Obviously by now you know that the Vikings have a chance to be the first NFL team to play in a Super Bowl where their home stadium is the host field.
The Vikings have reached the closest point that any NFL team has ever gotten to in their quest to play at home for the big game. The 49ers and the LA Rams have actually played Super Bowls in their home market, but not at their official home stadium. The Niners beat the Miami Dolphins in 1985 inside Stanford Stadium which is roughly an hour away from San Francisco in nearby Palo Alto, California. The Los Angeles Rams lost to the Steelers in 1980 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, which is about 45 minutes away from the Colosseum in Los Angeles. But you didn’t come here to learn history, you came for the breakdown. So let us take a look at the NFC Championship preview:
Minnesota Vikings (-3) at Philadelphia Eagles Total O/U 39
Philadelphia seems to be embracing the home dog approach to these playoffs, though you can tell it eats at them a little bit. I’m sure this line is night and day different with Carson Wentz but we have the Nick Foles experience this weekend. The Vikings are still talking about the “Minnesota Miracle” so they really need to turn the page and be ready for the next task.
We’ve all discussed the Foles vs Keenum matchup and their lack of experience. I thought Foles played pretty well last weekend where I thought New Orleans definitely exposed Keenum.
The key matchup in this game will be Philadelphia’s secondary against Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. It seems that nobody has really been able to contain them consistently
which has led to Keenum’s success. If the Eagles can shut them down then Minnesota’s offense will be pretty limited because they have a very average running game with Murray and McKinnon.
The Eagles also made a trade earlier in the season that they will hope to cash in on this
weekend. Jay Ajayi was acquired from Miami to be a chain moving, clock controlling lead back. The Eagles will need him to do exactly that and essentially keep their defense fresh.
We know Minnesota’s defense is also very good so I look for them to remain status quo. Rush with 4 and utilize Rhodes and Newman to shut down Alshon Jeffrey and Nelson Agholor. Do they have anyone that can cover Zach Ertz? That will be the matchup Philly will look for.
The Pick: Philadelphia +3 Over 39