Final Score: Eagles 38 – Vikings 7
If I told you before the season the Eagles would beat the Vikings in the title game 38-7 would you have believed me? What about if I told you this after QB Carson Wentz went down with a torn ACL in Week 14? How about if I told you this after QB Nick Foles’ Week 16 Christmas Night performance against the Raiders? That game made Foles’ 7 TD game feel like centuries ago. How about after Minnesota’s first drive of the game where they ran all over the Eagles and took an early 7-0 lead? Who could’ve guessed he Eagles would score 38 unanswered points against the best defense in the NFL? Well the improbable, not the impossible, has happened. The Eagles are heading to Super Bowl LII to battle the New England Patriots.
Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman with the help of Assistant GM Joe Douglass completely over-hauled this team. Remember, Roseman was the GM when they brought in former Head Coach Chip Kelly, who would eventually take Roseman’s job for one awful season in 2015. Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie had enough faith to bring Howie back to his GM position in 2016. With that being said, it payed off and many of the players brought in directly contributed on Sunday.
- I believe Roseman and head coach Doug Pederson brought QB Nick Foles to backup Carson Wentz in case the star went down. Foles had a phenomenal game on the biggest of stages.
- Foles: 26/33 for 352 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT, and a rating of 141.4 (158.3 is the highest possible).
- Free Agent CB Patrick Robinson, a 2010 1st Round bust, returned an interception for a touchdown.
- CB Ronald Darby, brought in via trade from Buffalo, made a key block on the Robinson INT.
- Darby also caused another INT late in the game by tipping it to Eagles Safety Corey Graham, another free agent.
- Free Agent WR Alshon Jeffery had 5 receptions for 85 yards including two touchdown’s (53 and 5 yards).
- Free Agent WR Torrey Smith had 5 receptions for 69 yards including a 41 yard touchdown.
- Veteran RB LeGarrette Blount, who went surprisingly unsigned for a while ran in a 12 yard touchdown.
- RB Jay Ajayi, brought in via trade from Miami, contributed over 100 yards from scrimmage in the air and on the ground.
- 2017 Rookie 1st round pick DE Derek Barnett caused a timely strip-sack fumble of Keenum.
- DE Chris Long caused the Robinson interception and recovered a fumble caused by Barnett.
Foles Feeling It Head Into Super Bowl LII
Give Nick Foles every bit of credit possible for hanging in when the times got tough after coming in for Wentz. Foles came into the Rams game after Wentz’s injury with the improbable task of keeping this incredible Eagles season going. Foles managed the remainder of the Rams game to hold on to a tight win. Then Nick would throw 4 TD’s against the New York Giants in a comeback win. Foles then had a poor outing on Christmas on Monday Night Football. Followed by a meaningless game in Dallas, where Foles struggled in one quarter of action. Going into the playoffs some, myself included, were losing hope that Foles could potentially lead them to the promise land.
Luckily, the Eagles finishing with the best record in the NFC lead to a bye week giving Foles a chance to work with his offense pressure-free for two weeks leading up to their eventual playoff matchup with the Atlanta Falcons. Don’t get me wrong, the defense won that game for Philadelphia, but Foles managed the game and did not make any mistakes. I truly believed that with Foles managing the game well, he was going to play with more confidence in the NFC Title Game.
I think it is safe to say Nick Foles played the best game of his career. Even better than his 7 TD game in Oakland in 2013. In 2013 under Chip Kelly, Foles threw for 27 TD’s and 2 INT’s. To me his numbers were great that year, but that was more a product of the offense. On Sunday Nick Foles played with an astounding amount of confidence and poise on the biggest stage he has ever been on. For Foles to keep his composure and not lose his confidence after everything he has been though exemplifies what this team is all about. If Foles can take this confidence into the Super Bowl LII…look out New England!
Super Bowl Preview
Look out for my next article previewing the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots matchup in Super Bowl LII.