Few honestly can say they saw the thorough whipping the Philadelphia Eagles administered to the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game this past Sunday coming. The Vikings were a slight favorite when the game began in Philadelphia, but by halftime, the Eagles’ expansive 24-7 lead wasn’t nearly an accurate representation of how dominant the Eagles were.
After falling behind 7-0 on the game’s opening drive, the Eagles took total command, shutting out the Vikings for the remainder of the evening, cruising to Super Bowl LII (52) with a 38-7 victory. Perhaps the most unexpected occurrence was the prolific performance by Eagles quarterback Nick Foles.
Taking over the offense when starter Carson Wentz went down with a torn ACL in his left knee Dec. 10 versus the Los Angeles Rams, Foles was doubted by a plethora of Eagle fans and nonfans alike who determined the 29-year-old, six-year veteran as lacking the necessities to lead the Eagles past a Vikings defense that finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the NFL.
In the face of all the noise, Foles resoundingly silenced the naysayers by playing arguably the best game of his life in the most important game of his life. He ran the Eagles’ attack masterfully, completing 26 of 33 passes for 352 yards and three touchdowns while flawlessly avoiding committing a turnover. He rolled out, artfully maneuvered in the pocket and manipulated the Vikings’ vaunted defense like a puppeteer.
“I’m so happy for Nick and the offense,” said Eagles head coach Doug Pederson. “And for Nick, everything he’s been through and battled, he stayed the course and we all believed in him.”
“Words can’t describe what I feel like right now,” Foles emotionally expressed after the victory. “To be in this moment, and to be able to share it with our family, our fans. … It’s honestly unbelievable and words can’t describe it.”
The Eagles will now return to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2005 and for the third time in franchise history, where they will face the AFC champion New England Patriots Feb. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.