In the NFC the number 1 and 2 seed have battled through all contenders and will meet in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings are on a collision course. The Eagles and Vikings will throw haymakers in this NFC Championship fight. With the winner is heading to Minnesota for Super Bowl 52.
The Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles are another surprise team in the NFL. No one expected that the Eagles would be the best team in the NFC and the League. It all started with their Defense, which has All-Pro Defensive Tackle Fletcher Cox, Brandom Graham, and Michael Jenkins. With the second year player, Carson Wentz has had an MVP worthy season to propel the offense to new heights. Through the draft and free agency, they have added great pieces to make them the best NFC team. Which includes Alshon Jeffrey, Torrey Smith, LeGarrette Blount, Jay Ajayi, Zach Ertz, and Nelson Aghalor. With these group, they have become the top-rated Offense and Defense team in the League.
The Eagles have the NFL best record 13-3 they had a first-round bye and will wait for the winner of the Rams and Falcons. With Atlanta winning the Wild Card they came to Philadelphia for the Divisional Round. The entire game was a Defensive battle with pivotal plays made by both teams. While the Falcons have the same team from their Super Bowl run last year they have run into some problems. They lost their Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan to the 49ers, and Matt Ryan has regressed tremendously from winning MVP.
The last drive
At the end of the game, the Falcons were driving to win the game. They were in the Red Zone and there 3 questionable plays called which resulted in 4th and Goal. Everybody in the stadium knew where the ball was going to, Falcons All-Pro Wide Receiver Julio Jones. When Matt snapped the ball Julio made his move to the end zone but he wasn’t opened originally. So Matt looked for another option but no one was open, so he decided to throw it to Julio. Julio and Eagles defender Jalen Mills both made a play on the ball which ended in an incomplete pass. With the Eagles moving on they will wait for the winner of the Vikings and Saints game.
The Vikings have been the most consistent team all year. Just like the Eagles, they are built with a great defense and an opportunistic offense. The defense includes Everyone Griffen, Linval Joseph, All-Pro Corner Xavier Rhodes, and All-Pro Safety Harrison Smith. They were a top 5 defense in the NFL and they came to play all year making it tough for opposing offenses which have led them to this point. With Sam Bradford starting the year out who would know that Case Keenum would finish this year and lead this team to the NFC Championship game. They have Stefon Diggs, and Adam Thielen, and Kyle Rudolph who have made pivotal plays all year to win big games. With the Vikings maintaining the number 2 seed they would receive a first-round bye and wait for the winner of the Saints and Panthers.
In the Divisional Round between the Saints and Vikings, it would turn out to be one of the best NFL games all year. With a high powered Saints Offense with Drew Brees, Melvin Ingram, Alvin Kamara, and Michael Thomas they can play with any team in the Leagues. Defensively they have rookie Marshon Lattimore and All-Pro Defensive End Cameron Jordan who are waiting for your team to make a mistake so that they can capitalize on it.
The Vikings had taken the lead in the first quarter and had dominated the game through the first half. They forced the Saints offense into 2 interceptions and the Vikings capitalized on it. But after halftime, the Saints adjusted their game plan and it worked. With Drew throwing 3 touchdowns and forcing the Vikings into 3 and outs and some crucial turnovers the Saints were in the lead.
It was late in the game and it began to look like the Saints were about to win with 30 seconds on the clock but the Vikings didn’t give up. The offense was stagnant with the first couple of plays but they began to drive the ball down the field. With 10 seconds on the clock, the Vikings needed to have the ball deep in Saints territory to kick the game-winning field goal but they did better than that. Case hiked the ball and looking for a receiver he found Stephon going down the field. He threw the ball and Stephon went up high to get it and caught it. As Stephon was still in mid-air Saints Defensive Back Marcus Williams was going in for the game-saving tackle. But he completely whiffed on the tackle and Stephon ran down the sideline for the game-winning touchdown. It was the greatest finish to a football game I’ve ever seen.
Prediction for the NFC Championship
Both defensively led teams will force fourth downs and turnovers which will end in a one play type game. Even though the Viking look like the team of destiny I believe that the Eagles will win this game. With the Eagles having a home-field advantage that will play a factor. Also, I think that Nick Foles will make more plays than Case Keenum because he has more options to throw to. So the Eagles will win the NFC Championship and will meet the Patriots in Super Bowl 52.
Photos courtesy of NJ.com