The NFC Championship Game features a showdown between the conference’s No. 1 and No. 2 seeds. On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles will face off at Lincoln Financial Field in Pennsylvania. The winner will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl in Minneapolis on February 4th.
At first glance this matchup appears to be a defensive battle. While that could be the case, all eyes will be on the quarterbacks, both of whom started the season as backups.
Last week, Eagles quarterback Nick Foles went 23 of 30 for 246 yards with zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. He had a passer rating of 100.1. According to NBC Sports he’s the first quarterback in NFL history to have a passer rating of over 100 in his first two postseason starts.
In his first career playoff start, Vikings quarterback Case Keenum went 25 of 40 for 318 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the 29-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints. He had a passer rating of 85.2.
Both teams won in dramatic fashion last weekend. Philadelphia hung on to beat the Atlanta Falcons 15-10thanks to a late goal-line stand by the Eagles defense.
The Vikings game ended with a pretty wild finish as well.
The teams are similar in a number of ways. Both teams finished with 13-3 records in the regular season, both have top-five defenses (including the top-2 NFL run defenses), and both teams feature balanced offensive attacks.
However, both teams have their strengths and weaknesses. Let’s take a look at how the teams stack up by the numbers.
The Vikings away record in 2017 is 6-2.
Total offense = 11th (356.9 YPG)
Passing = 11th (234.6 YPG)
Rushing = 7th (122.3 YPG)
Scoring = 10th (23.9 PPG)
Total defense = 1st (275.9 YPG)
Passing = 2nd (192.4 YPG)
Rushing = 2nd (83.6 YPG)
Scoring = 1st (15.8 PPG)
Passing – QB Case Keenum: 3,547 yards with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions
Rushing – RB Latavius Murray: 842 yards with eight touchdowns
Receiving – WR Adam Thielen: 1,276 yards with four touchdowns
Tackles – MLB Eric Kendricks: 113
Sacks – DE Everson Griffen: 13
Interceptions – S Harrison Smith: 5
Including the playoffs, the Eagles home record this season is 8-1.
Total offense = 7th (365.8 YPG)
Passing = 13th (233.6 YPG)
Rushing = 3rd (132.2 YPG)
Scoring = 3rd (28.6 PPG)
Total defense = 4th (306.5 YPG)
Passing = 17th (227.3 YPG)
Rushing = 1st (79.2 YPG)
Scoring = 4th (18.4 PPG)
Passing – QB Carson Wentz: 3,296 yards with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions
Rushing – RB LaGarrette Blount: 766 yards with two touchdowns
Receiving – TE Zach Ertz: 824 yards with eight touchdowns
FYI – QB Nick Foles: (7 GP, 3 starts) 57 of 101 (56.4%) for 537 yards with five touchdowns and threeinterceptions
Tackles – LB Nigel Bradham: 88
Sacks – DE Brandon Graham: 9.5
Interceptions – CB Patrick Robinson: 4
- Minnesota’s offense was third in the NFL in third-down completion percentage (43.5%)
- Philadelphia’s offense was eighth (41.7%)
- Minnesota’s defense was first in the NFL in third-down completion percentage (25.2%)
- Philadelphia’s defense was third (32.2%)
- Minnesota’s offense was ninth in the NFL in red zone percentage (57.9%)
- Philadelphia’s offense was first (65.5%)
- Minnesota’s defense was third in the NFL in red zone percentage (40.0%)
- Philadelphia’s defense was 20th (55.3%)
- Minnesota has 15 offensive turnovers including the playoffs (the Vikings won every game this season in which the offense did not commit a turnover)
- Philadelphia has 22, including 2 fumbles last week in the Eagles win over the Falcons
- Minnesota’s defense allowed 12 passing TD’s to opposing QB’s during the regular season (1st in NFL)
- Philadelphia’s defense allowed 24 (T-18th)
- Minnesota’s defense allowed 1,095 yards and 7 TD’s to opposing RB’s during the regular season
- Philadelphia’s defense allowed 949 yards and 6 TD’s to opposing RB’s
- Minnesota’s defense allowed 2,239 yards and 9 TD’s to opposing WR’s during the regular season
- Philadelphia’s defense allowed 2,485 yards and 14 TD’s to opposing WR’s
- Minnesota’s defense allowed 591 yards and 3 TD’s to opposing TE’s during the regular season
- Philadelphia’s defense allowed 745 yards and 5 TD’s to opposing TE’s
- Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.
- Sunday’s game is at 5:40pm (CST).