Instant analysis: Eagles to host Minnesota Vikings in NFC Championship showdown

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Well, that was a rollercoaster. A thrilling weekend of playoff action has led to this. The Philadelphia Eagles will play host to the Minnesota Vikings next weekend at Lincoln Financial Field in an NFC Championship bout. Here are some quick takeaways from the matchup.

 

What Vegas says:
After a miracle ending against the Saints just moments ago, bookmaker William Hill have the Vikings labelled as a 3.5 point favorite against the Philadelphia Eagles. Underdogs yet again, the Birds also still have home field advantage which is worth noting.

 

The unlikeliest of paths:
Nick Foles and Case Keenum. One of these quarterbacks will be crowned Kings of the NFC next weekend and that in itself is what makes the NFL so special. Just two season’s ago, Nick Foles was benched in favor of Keenum after a horrible start and end to his stint as a Ram. Now, the former teammates will face off in the biggest match of their lives. Two quarterbacks labelled as ‘backups’ will now have their chance to prove themselves worthy of a long-term starting role. Will there be a chip on the shoulder for Nick Foles, or perhaps the same for Keenum? This is an incredible moment where both roads have intertwined yet again.

The fun doesn’t end there however. Remember Pat Shurmur? How about Sam Bradford? How about Eric Kendricks, the brother of Mychal? Oh, this week is going to be very, very fun.

 

Slugfest EP II:
The Eagles are just one day removed from a defensive slobber knocker against the Atlanta Falcons…and they had better be prepared to endure the same again. The Vikings defense are coming off of a big showing against one of the league’s most dynamic and dangerous offenses, captained by debatably the most accurate quarterback in the league. Keeping Ingram and Kamara to less than 80 total rushing yards and Brees to complete 25/40 passes, this defensive unit is not to be messed with or overlooked.

The Vikings struggled on the ground today. Latavius Murray averaged a measly 2.6 yards per carry on his 19 attempts and will now face the best run defense in the league. The Eagles will be focued on making Keenum and the offense one dimensional, while the same will be said for the Vikings, who smothered the Saints backfield this evening.

Two defenses that run on relentless motors, have rampant pass rushes and impressive secondaries will be coming up against two offenses with unlikely heroes who can spring a surprise at any moment. Expect this to be a hard-hitting contest with plenty of aggression on display.

 

Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

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