NFL Conference Championship Vegas Sports Lines & Expert Predictions Sunday January 21st, 2018
Minnesota at Philadelphia, the Two Tops Seeds in NFC Meet with Super Bowl Visit on the Line
Minnesota won one of the most memorable games in NFL history last week, coming back after leading big in their 29-24 win over New Orleans. The deciding points came on the Hail Mary that is still the talk of the NFL with Case Keenum connecting with Stefon Diggs for a 61-yard touchdown as time expired. Now the question is, will the Minnesota defense that shutout New Orleans through the first half show up this week, or will it be the one that couldn’t get off the field in the second half as the Saints came all the way back from 17-0 down to lead twice down the stretch?
Minnesota had one of the best defenses in the NFL and they’ll be taking on an Eagles team that’s been great at protecting the quarterback even with the loss of starting left tackle Jason Peters early in the season.
They’ll be facing one of the most improved offenses in the league with the makeover at both running back and wide receiver paying off in spades. But of course, the general leading the show is no longer Carson Wentz, rather it’ll be backup Nick Foles who finally looked like a competent backup QB in last week’s 15-10 win over Atlanta.
He helped lead the team to 338 yards of total offense and looked crisp and made lots of big third down plays in completing 22 of 36 passes for 210 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions.
He gave their defense, also one of the best in the league just enough to pull out the win. It was a game very much in doubt as Atlanta had a chance to win in the final moments with Matt Ryan’s pass sailing through the hands of Julio Jones on fourth and two as time expired.
The Eagles were able to sack Ryan three times in the game.
Keenum is the backup who is now a star after leading the Vikings to an 11-3 regular season record, before his playoff heroics. He’s been duly supported by one of the best receiving tandems in the league in Diggs (64-849-8) and Adam Thielen (91-1276-4).
This game will likely be decided in the secondary. Both the Vikings and Eagles are stout in their backfield and the receivers that can make the most out of the little they’ll be given will likely make the difference.
Minnesota is -3.5 road favorites, the second week in a row the Eagles are home underdogs. This should be a grind it out affair between two of the best defenses and opportunistic offenses. I think it’ll be a field goal in the final moments that wins it. Philadelphia 17-14.