Philadelphia Eagles: 3 Key players to beating Vikings in NFC Championship

The Eagles now have a 13-3 record and have a 7-1 record at home.

When you dig deeper into the numbers, the breakdown of how the points are distributed in all cold vs. warm games favors the warmer temperatures even more. A touchdown instead of a field goal wins in the playoffs. Minnesota is 1 for 7 on fourth down, fewest attempts in the league. That's a insane number. The Vikings trailed the Eagles for most of the season in terms of seeding, replacing them as the number one seed for a week late in the season but losing that spot the next week after losing to the Carolina Panthers. I think [Rhodes] is a much better player. Eagles have the better TEs and offensive line. But, the Eagles defense is absolutely superb.

At the beginning of this season, we launched our Sports on Earth Confidence Pool, which allows you to compete against me (and Vegas and Five Thirty Eight, ESPN's smart analytics site). They forced the legendary Drew Brees into two picks last week, and must now face the not-so-legendary Nick Foles. "You can look at it at both sides". Those would be my three keys to victory. For this one, I'll go with the Eagles.

First, the defense must keep Keenum in the pocket.

And with Fletcher Cox and co. they have the potential to get to Keenum. Both are excellent route runners with exceptional hands. Keenum is listed at 6-1. My 42 years as a Vikings fan are screaming at me to not believe that this team will win on Sunday, to just admit right now that some weird heartbreak will occur once again. Vaitai will be tasked with containing defensive end Everson Griffen. The lost possession due to the special teams miscue against Atlanta led to the Falcons' only touchdown. Part of that is building a good defense is hard, the other part is some franchises still prefer to win games with points. And yet they combined for the NFL's No. 3 passing game in Football Outsiders' DVOA efficiency metric, and that's how Minnesota became so much more than a defense and a running game while constrained by the same salary cap and draft structure as everyone else.

ESPN Images Chris Berman and Tom Jackson remain best friends in retirement (or semi-retirement, in Berman's case), regularly calling one another during football games. He's a power back.

The reasons are many. Eagles have the run game advantage.

It makes for great bulletin board material for the Jaguars and Eagles. The Eagles' strength is taking away the run.

If Agholor is able to get some space, he could have a big game. Let's turn the other cheek and, instead of rooting for the Vikings, wish the Eagles luck. "I just hope we don't get thrown off the horse". Minnesota knows all about Ertz and will try to limit his freedom.

This Sunday's viewing will even feature a drum so that the fans who gather can perform the Sköl chant. In fact, Cunningham might be his favorite Eagle of all time.

The Patriots are 14-3 SU and 12-5 ATS, but coach Bill Belichick and QB Tom Brady are facing a Jaguars defense that was No. 2 overall and first against the pass by a fair margin. Fill-in QB Nick Foles did well enough going 23-30 for 246 yards. "I've always thought that". We really work well as a staff together in game planning.

"The thing about he's very versatile", said Patriots safety and defensive captain Devin McCourty.

"I wish I could just wake up tomorrow and feel like I did September 9", Robinson said, "but I understand it's going to be a process".

Had the Saints won last Sunday, I probably wouldn't think that. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

  • Julie Sanders