Minnesota Vikings @ Philadelphia Eagles Tips | Sunday 21st January 2018
NFL boffin Tom Selwyn analyses the weekend’s NFL Championship play-off matches, concluding on Sunday night from Philadelphia.
Minnesota Vikings @ Philadelphia Eagles | Sunday 21st January 2018, 23:40 | Sky Sports
What a finish last week in Minnesota.. I doubt we’ll see anything quite like that again in some time. Even getting to that point was pretty incredible in itself given how little time was left when the drive started.
Getting a little lost because of all the noise surrounding the Minnesota’s final drive was Atlanta’s final one against Philadelphia. They had the ball at the nine and four chances to get it into the endzone, but came up short.
Two examples of how close games can be at the business end of the season and I don’t think anyone would be surprised if this was the case again this week.
The Vikings are slightly favoured here – just 3 points at the moment – and I think that’s about right. My inkling would be to go that way too.
But Minnesota fans have to be worried about the matchup between their OL and Philadelphia’s DL. Fletcher Cox and the rest of the Eagles DL had their way with the Falcons last week and if it wasn’t for Vikings QB Case Keenum’s ability to deliver the ball under pressure there’s no way the fairytale ending happens as the Saints constantly victimised the Vikings up front in the second half.
If New Orleans was able to do this on the road then you have to worry about what Philadelphia can do at home. The Vikings defence is no slouch either though and despite giving up a 17 point lead in the second half last week, I’d peg them for a bounceback game against QB Nick Foles and the rest of the Eagles offense.
Give Foles credit for shaking off a bad start and getting the win last week, but the offense still looks stuck in a rut with him under centre and is a far cry from the Carson Wentz-led attack. In fact, if you took the 227.5 yards a game the Eagles averaged with Wentz out and extended it for the whole season it would have given them the league’s worst offense.
Given they will be facing the Vikings league best defence, that doesn’t seem like it will work out well for Philadelphia.
The Vikings have the edge in my view, but if last week’s NFC games are anything to go by this game could come down to the final possession.
Player to Watch – Minnesota
Everson Griffen – DE: Griffen is Minnesota’s best pass rusher and he’ll be going against Philadelphia’s backup LT in Halapoulivaati Vaitai (copy + paste). Since being the starter, Vaitai hasn’t cost the Eagles yet, but he’s given up his fair share of sacks and Griffen will be looking to add to that total.
Player (Coach!) to Watch – Philadelphia
Frank Reich – Offensive Coordinator: Credit Reich for the 2nd half in last week’s game but he has to try and get Foles settled early with some high percentage throws this week. A poor 1st half showing again this time out would not bode well.