Brought to you by: Big Shucks
By Zach Walker
Minnesota Vikings vs Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday – January 21 – 5:40 p.m.
Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia – PA
The Minnesota Vikings
What to like: The Vikings have the defense to gain access to the first ever home Super Bowl appearance and then give the home crowd something to get rowdy over. That duo of Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter is an incredible pair of pass rushing behemoths. Anthony Barr could be one of the most underrated left in the playoffs, and the secondary that will have Doug Peterson keeping Nick Foles in full protect the ball mode.
What to hate: “The Miracle in Minnesota” be damned, it’s still Case Keenum. As much as he has played well in the regular season and in the first half of the Saints’ game, but in the second half he played a closer game to the chest. It’s a hell of an ask to have Keenum throw them to the big game, because Latavius Murray is not going to have room to run.
What to expect: The Vikings’ secondary to dictate this game.
The Philadelphia Eagles
What to like: Like the Vikings, the Eagles defense is no joke. They have waves of pass rushers, and the way that Jim Schwartz rotates them all is so they can stay as fresh, focused, and fired up to get after the quarterback. Fletcher Cox is a juggernaut in the middle, the rotation of faces around him is a pain tornado of talent. Vinny Curry and rookie Derek Barnett are very twitchy off the edge. This must be when the trade for Jay Ajayi must pay serious dividends. Ajayi didn’t have a strong game against the Falcons, and it doesn’t look to get any easier to take some heat off of his quarterback, but he’s going to need to break out.
What to hate: Everyone just take a step back and imagine if Carson Wentz was in this game. This game would be a premium viewing experience. That isn’t happening and we were all robbed of that. Nick Foles is going to look scared out there and will be playing very sheltered to combat the Vikings defense. There is going to be an emphasis to get the ball out and away quickly, and allow the receivers to wiggle loose in the secondary.
What to expect: A very sideline-to-sideline gameplan on offense, and a Jim Schwartz blitzing gameplan to get after Keenum.
This isn’t a game that you bring home to your family. This is an ugly matchup. Both defenses are going to look good. I say the Vikings win because they’re quarterback is more accustomed to it all, but I say that the team with the ball last, needing a touchdown win it, is going to turn it over and lose.
Minnesota 15 – Philadelphia 12