Police put Crisco on light poles in South Philly in case the Eagles won Sunday. After the Eagles throttled the Vikings, 38-7, they might want to put Crisco on everything.
The NFC championship started with an easy offensive touchdown drive for the Vikings, followed by two drops for Eagles receivers and a penalty on the ensuing punt. Then the Eagles woke up, and they played the best game they’ve played all season.
All the credit in the world for this game goes to head coach Doug Pederson, who should have been NFL coach of the year, and Howie Roseman, who was named executive of the year by the Pro Football Writers Association of America.
Roseman was responsible for bringing in Chris Long, who hit Vikings quarterback Case Keenum on his first-quarter interception. Roseman was responsible for bringing in Patrick Robinson, who picked off that pass and ran it back 50 yards for the score. Roseman was responsible for trading for Ronald Darby, who had a key block on the touchdown return.
Roseman brought in LeGarrette Blount, who rumbled for the Eagles’ second touchdown, a lead they never gave up.
Roseman drafted Derek Barnett, who stripped Keenum with the Vikings in field goal range that set up the Eagles’ next score. That ball was picked up by Long.
Roseman brought in Alshon Jeffery on a one year deal, then signed him to a long-term extension. Jeffery scored twice in the rout.
Roseman was the man who brought Torrey Smith in on a one-year deal to add some outside speed to the receiving corps.
And even though many of us (read: me) were questioning the move just two weeks ago, Roseman brought Nick Foles in to backup Carson Wentz. And that dude’s a hero now.
Roseman and his staff constructed a roster that dominated its competition, and managed to withstand injuries to the starting running back, Hall of Fame left tackle, starting middle linebacker, their best special teams player, starting kicker, backup middle linebacker and, oh-by-the-way, MVP-caliber quarterback.
With Wentz rocking a cane on the sidelines, Foles was 26-of-33 for 352 yards and three touchdowns, his best game by far this season and, given the circumstances and the defense he was facing, his best game as a pro. The Eagles were 10-for-14 on third down. For that part, the credit doesn’t go to Roseman. But it sure as heck goes to Pederson.
Pederson and his coaching staff have been remarkable all season, but since Wentz went down they’ve lost just one game, the meaningless season finale against the Cowboys. They absolutely dominated the second-best team in the NFC with the best defense in football.
How good was Pederson’s team against the Vikings? I wrote most of this just after halftime.
The Eagles are going back to the Super Bowl because Roseman filled the roster with quality people and fantastic football players and Pederson put those men in the right position to succeed time and time and time again. The Eagles were underdogs — you might have heard something about that this week — but they were top dogs in the NFC. And they showed it all over the field on Sunday.
Jay Ajayi, who the Eagles traded for at the deadline, led the Eagles with 73 yards rushing on 18 carries. Zach Ertz led the Eagles in receptions and yards with eight catches for 93 yards. The Eagles had five touchdowns against a team that gave up just over two touchdowns per game all season. The Eagles had no turnovers, forced three and had just four penalties all game, including one before the game was totally out of hand.
The defensive line was a key for the Eagles all night. They had just one sack on Keenum, but pressured him throughout the game. Per Pro Football Focus, Keenum faced pressure on 48 percent of his 48 pass attempts.
Philly will face the New England Patriots, again, as Tom Brady led New England over Jacksonville 24-20 to get to a record eighth Super Bowl. For the Eagles to win their first Super Bowl they’ll have to beat the greatest quarterback and coach in the history of football. But the way Pederson is calling plays on offense, Jim Schwartz is stewarding the defense and Foles is slinging the ball, honestly, who knows what might happen in two weeks.
The Eagles are going to the Super Bowl. Woof.