When the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles battle for the NFC Championship tonight at 6:40 p.m. E.T. at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA both teams will be without their starting quarterbacks and both will be attempting to end their Super Bowl droughts. The Vikings have not been there since 1976 and the Eagles since 2004. Neither team has ever won a Super Bowl. This year, both teams enjoyed a bye in the first week of the postseason. Last week, the Vikings neat New Orleans 29-24 with one-second left in the game. In their playoff game, the Eagles beat Atlanta 15-10. Today’s Minnesota plays Philadelphia 2018 NFC Championship pick has the Vikings favored by either 3.0 or 3.5 and the over/under at either 38.5 or 39.0.
Minnesota is scoring 23.9 PPG. QB Case Keenum (67.6 COMP%, 22 TDs, 7 INTs) has played well. He’s accurate and makes solid decisions. Keenum’s top receiver, wideout Adam Thielen (91 REC, 1,276 YDs, 14.0 AVG, 4 TDs), is listed as questionable for today with lower back problems. The good news is WR Stefon Diggs and TE Kyle Rudolph, who each have eight TD catches, are healthy and ready to go. RB Latavius Murray (216 ATT, 842 YDs, 3.9 AVG, 8 TDs) anchors the NFL’s seventh-ranked running game. Kicker Kai Forbath is six-of-nine from 50-plus yards.
The Viking defense is the stingiest in the NFL, allowing opponents only 15.8 YPG. The Viking D is second versus both the run and the pass. They have made 14 picks and defended 69 passes. Also, the defense has brought down QBs 37 times. Safety Harrison Smith, with five picks and 12 PD, is a major player in the secondary.
- In top-quarter of NFL ground games
- QB Keenum has played well
- Game-winning defense
Everyone wondered how the Eagle offense would do without their star QB Carson Wentz. Backup Nick Foles may not have tossed a TD pass in the Atlanta playoff game, but also did not throw a pick while he completed 76.7% of his passes. A steady Foles able to hit a trio of pass catchers comprised of TE Zach Ertz and WRs Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholar will be an essential part of the Eagle offense. The rush attack needs a decent performance from one of its primary ball carriers, preferable LeGarrette Blount who did little against Atlanta. Placekicker Jake Elliot is five-of-six from 50-plus yards.
The Eagle defense is solid, allowing 18.4 PPG (4th NFL) and 72.9 YPG rushing (1st NFL). Their pass D is 17th in the league, allowing 227.3 YPG. Philly has some very impressive stats that include 19 picks, 16 FF with a dozen recovered, 87 PD, and 67 TFL. They also have made 38 sacks. All of these stats top Minnesota’s numbers. Corners Jalen Mills (3 INTs, 14 PD) and Patrick Robinson (4 INTs, 18 PD) take no prisoners.
- Foles needs to stay in control
- Fine collection of receivers
- Eagle defensive is impressive
Three 2018 NFC Championship Takeaways
Here are three takeaways for our Minnesota plays Philadelphia 2018 NFC Championship pick-
- Viking red zone D is 43.1% (2nd NFL), Philly is 53.66% (16th NFL)
- Elliot is 92.9% of FG, Forbath 87.2%
- Home field offers edge
Our Minnesota Plays Philadelphia 2018 NFC Championship Pick
We think that the Eagle defense is underrated. They will have a big effect on this game. We also like the Eagles at home and their edge in placekicking. Our Minnesota plays Philadelphia 2018 NFC Championship pick is the Eagles at +3.5. With that in mind, we’re taking the under at 39.5.