NFL fared: Keenum leads Vikings to NFC title game

The Eagles may struggle to find success against the Vikings' secondary.

-Defensive end Everson Griffen isn't anxious about Lincoln Financial Field's slippery outdoor surface.

Las Vegas has set the over-under at 38 points. "You looked out the windows and there was a bunch of egg shells and egg yolk on the bus". This game has a better chance of becoming a defensive duel.

Playing as a home team has to be an incredible thought for the Vikings, but they can not overlook the Eagles on Sunday. That's a winning formula.

Back in early November, when the season was halfway done, I postulated that the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles were on a "collision course" to meet in the playoffs. But no team is better at scheming for an opponent than the Patriots, who are playing in a seventh consecutive AFC title game and are gunning for a sixth Super Bowl championship.

They have talent at all levels.

Chip Kelly took the National Football League by storm when he was hired to coach the Eagles in 2013. The final pieces of the defensive line are veterans Linval Joseph and Tom Johnson.

That's not true. The other three have four playoff wins. In the secondary, cornerback Xavier Rhodes and safety Harrison Smith were both named first-team all-pros. That's even better than their 32 minutes and 31 second average from previous year. Injured superstars Aaron Rodgers and Carson Wentz will also be back next year so the NFC is about to get a lot tougher.

"She was amusing", Diggs said.

All that now stands between the new purple people eaters and their heroic quarterback is a road game against the Philadelphia Eagles which will likely be played in the brutal cold.

If Wall's beloved Vikings go all the way, they could have a big home field advantage. It took only one touchdown and 15 points to win in the divisional round.

Cox played 57 snaps last week, a handful fewer than the 62 he appeared in to help the Eagles defeat the Oakland Raiders and win the No. 1 seed in the NFC a few weeks prior.

"They're passionate, educated fans", Shurmur said. "It's easy to forget about the game and say, 'Hey, we've got to go prepare and put our best foot forward for the Eagles.' You don't get that opportunity every year".

If the Eagles offense is going to succeed, they are going to have to establish the run. Zimmer's Vikings boast the top ranked defense in the NFL.

I know some publication called The New York Times recently announced that New Orleans is going to be the travel destination of 2018, but I'm not buying it.

Foles and Keenum have both demonstrated high character both on and off the field and spoke highly of one another, but come Sunday, each will be looking to advance to the biggest stage in the NFL. He's really competitive. He's got an edge about him.

Told that the Vikings believe they have the best defense in all the land, if not the universe and beyond, Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham laughed, figuratively bit his tongue as most present-day athletes are taught so well to do, and said: "If they think that, that's good for them". Bradford was sacked six times and hit 13 times. Getting Alshon Jeffery going could be the key to scoring against the Vikings. Ever since the defense allowed 29 points to the New York Giants in Week 15, defenders have made the end zone almost impenetrable.

Jacksonville (12-6) at New England (14-3): The Jaguars proved they were real long before last weekend's 45-42 win at Pittsburgh.

"Hopefully, I can show it to my grandkids one day", Diggs said.

The Vikings blew a 17-0 halftime lead and allowed the Saints to score 17 points in the fourth quarter.

About the series Tribune columnist Kurt Kragthorpe introduces the four teams in the Sunday's National Football League championship games.

  • Julie Sanders