The Eagles were underdogs against the Falcons. They were underdogs against the Vikings. They are sure to be underdogs against the Patriots, too.
Philadelphia has embraced the role.
The Eagles left no doubt who the best team is in the NFC, dominating the Vikings 38-7 on Sunday night. They didn’t even have to wait until time expired for the Gatorade shower, dousing coach Doug Pederson at the two-minute warning.
Philadelphia left Minnesota with no chance for a miracle comeback, with not enough “Seven Heavens” in the Vikings’ playbook for this. After the Vikings took a 7-0 lead, it was all Eagles, all the time.
The Eagles scored 38 consecutive points. They finished with 456 yards as Nick Foles completed 26 of 33 for 352 yards with three touchdowns and a 141.4 passer rating.
Eagles fans taunted the Vikings and honored Foles with a Skol chant of “Foles” during the second half. The backup quarterback has gone 4-1 in relief of Carson Wentz, who went on injured reserve after injuring his knee in Week 14.
Foles now has as many career playoff victories — two — as Tony Romo and Alex Smith — and one more than Jay Cutler and Carson Palmer.
While the understudy became the star Sunday, the entire Eagles team can take the curtain call.
Torrey Smith caught a 41-yard touchdown pass after dropping a pass on the Eagles’ first drive. Alshon Jeffery caught touchdown passes of 53 and 5 yards. Chris Long recovered a fumble and his hit on Case Keenum led to a 50-yard interception return by Patrick Robinson, who got a clearing block by Ronald Darby. LeGarrette Blount had an 11-yard touchdown run. Corey Graham had an interception. Derek Barnett had a sack and a forced fumble. Jay Ajayi had 73 yards on 18 carries.
The Eagles, who were 10 of 14 on third down, had no problem moving the ball and scoring points against the league’s top-rated defense. It was the most points, total yards and passing yards the Vikings have allowed this season.
Keenum and the Vikings offense has seen better days, too. Nothing went right after the first series when Minnesota marched right down the field to take an early lead on Kyle Rudolph‘s 25-yard touchdown catch. That was the sole highlight for the Vikings.
Keenum ended up with three turnovers, two interceptions and a fumble. He went 28-of-48 for 271 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
It marked the sixth consecutive loss in an NFC Championship Game by the Vikings and their fifth in a row on the road. They are 1-5 all time in road NFC title games.
The victorious Eagles are going to their third Super Bowl, trying to win their first against the team that beat them in their last appearance. They lost to the Patriots 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX to end the 2004 season. In Super Bowl XV, Philadelphia lost to the Raiders 27-10 to end the 1980 season.