With the NFC Championship game finished, the NFL now has a new king of the NFC. The Eagles, led by Austin Westlake alum Nick Foles, looked seemingly unbeatable in Sunday nights game against Minnesota.
That doesn’t change no matter how you look at it, and it wasn’t all that much of a surprise. The big surprise, however, is how well Foles played after nearly everyone doubted him. Here are some thoughts from the game.
1) Nick Foles played like an MVP
He may not have the resume, but the gunslinger played like Hall of Fame material.
That’s not saying he will turn into the next Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, but he’s certainly pushing away any thoughts of him being bad. His 352-yard performance with three touchdowns is nothing to look over so easily.
We’ve seen plenty of versions of Foles, but this was undoubtedly up there with the best.
2) The Vikings aren’t that bad
The final score of 38-7 sure does not show it.
But this team went 13-3 and allowed more than 30 only three times. In such games, it went 1-2 as the offense proved to be flaky at times. However, the Eagles just made more plays. An interception returned for a touchdown and fumble in the red zone was a 14-point flip that could have given us a different game.
There’s no question the Vikings have their issues, but the Eagles played dominantly at home and proved why it was able to be the No. 1 seed.
3) LeGarrette Blount is important
His stat sheet isn’t amazing — he finished the game with only six carries.
His one highlight, though, may have showed his true importance. In the red zone, Philadelphia gave the veteran back a chance against a tough defense. He took it up the middle and ran with a passion to reach the end zone.
That run may not have been the tipping point by any means, but it gave a lot of momentum to the Eagles side.
4) Case Keenum didn’t perform that great when it mattered
He definitely earned the right to start. There’s no question about that, but he struggled to move the ball in the biggest game of his life. Give credit where it’s due, as the Eagle defensive line ensured Keenum didn’t have much time. For much of the season, he had a stellar running game to rely on. It seemed once that was taken out of commission, the Vikings struggled to move the ball consistently. Keenum will start somewhere next year, but in some opinions, he’s still got a lot to prove.
5) Injuries cost Vikings the game
There are plenty of other reasons why Minnesota lost Sunday night. But losing Andrew Sandejo and Xavier Rhodes hurt too much. The replacements in Trae Waynes and Anthony Harris were not terrible by any means. Harris led the team in tackles with seven. But with both defensive backs missing, Foles was able to pick on the weak spot and extend the Eagles lead with ease.
It’s a hashtag the Vikings were using throughout the playoffs, as they would have been playing at home in the Super Bowl. Obviously, this didn’t happen and the streak of teams not playing at home in the big game will continue. But don’t count out next years hosts just yet. We could very well see another campaign to ‘Bring it home’ when the Atlanta Falcons host Super Bowl LIV.
Gerald Tracy is an assistant editor of Texas football for TexasHSFootball, covering prep football in the San Antonio region. Follow Gerald on Twitter, @GTracySports, and read more of his content here.
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