Quarterback Nick Foles led the Philadelphia Eagles to their third Super Bowl appearance tonight, steering a dominating offensive performance to shock the Minnesota Vikings 38-7 in the NFC Championship.
Foles threw for more than 350 yards and three touchdowns, carving up the Vikings by using seven different receivers. He ended the game by completing 15 straight passes. Minnesota entered the game with the league’s top-rated defense, finishing the regular season allowing the fewest yards (275.9) and points (15.8) per game. But they were no match for Foles, a backup who seized control of the quarterback position after starter Carson Wentz went down with a knee injury.
By losing, Minnesota also lost the opportunity to become the first NFL team to play in a Super Bowl in their home stadium. After tying the game at 7-7 at the end of the first quarter, things spun out of control for the Vikings, and Philadelphia built a commanding 24-7 halftime lead. They poured it on in the third quarter, spurred on by roaring home fans who were, in the words of announcer Joe Buck, “Having a blast.”
Minnesota quarterback Case Keenum made a game try to lead his team back, but the Vikings had too big a lead to surmount, and he wound up with two interceptions to go with a lone touchdown pass. In the end, Eagles fans in the parking lot of Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, who rioted before the game and had to be quelled by the Pennsylvania State Police, put up more of a fight than Minnesota, which entered the game as the conference’s No. 1 defense.
The Eagles (15-3) now move on to Super Bowl 52, which will be held on Sunday, Feb. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota against the defending champion New England Patriots (also 15-3). The Pats will be making their 10th Super Bowl appearance, the most of any NFL team.
Minneapolis last hosted a Super Bowl in 1992. The game will be hosted by NBC, with Al Michaels doing play-by-play and Cris Collinsworth as the analyst. Michele Tafoya and Heather Cox are the sideline reports.