Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

Eagles crush Vikings, will meet Patriots in Super Bowl LII

Scott McLaughlin
January 21, 2018 - 9:39 pm

The Patriots won’t have to worry about facing a team at its home stadium in Super Bowl LII. The Eagles saw to that Sunday night, as they crushed the Vikings 38-7 to punch their ticket to Minneapolis, where they’ll meet the Patriots on Feb. 4.

The Vikings were looking to become the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl on its home field, and they actually managed to get on the board first with a nine-play, 74-yard opening drive that ended with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Case Keenum to Kyle Rudolph.

But it was all downhill from there. The Eagles tied the game later in the first quarter when former Patriot Chris Long’s pressure forced a bad throw from Keenum that Patrick Robinson picked off and took 50 yards to the house.

Philadelphia built up a commanding lead before halftime with 17 points in the second quarter. LeGarrette Blount, another former Patriot, scored on an 11-yard run and then Nick Foles connected with Alshon Jeffery on a 53-yard bomb after another Keenum turnover, this one a fumble forced by Derek Barnett that Long recovered. Jake Elliott added a field goal just before halftime.

The Eagles didn’t let up after halftime, as they connected on another big touchdown pass on the first drive of the third quarter, this one a 41-yard flea-flicker from Foles to Torrey Smith. After stopping the Vikings on a fourth-and-goal, they marched down the field again and Foles found Jeffery for his third touchdown pass of the game.

Foles, who took over for the injured Carson Wentz in Week 14, lit up the Vikings’ top-ranked scoring defense to the tune of 352 yards, three touchdowns and a 141.4 passer rating on 26-of-33 passing. How he’ll do on the biggest stage of all remains to be seen, but Sunday’s performance should certainly quiet any talk of him being a pushover.

This will be the second time New England and Philadelphia have met in the Super Bowl. The Patriots beat the Eagles 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville to capture their third Super Bowl title in four years, and second in a row. Tom Brady, the only player left on either team from that matchup, was 23-of-33 for 236 yards and two touchdowns in the game.

Thirteen years later, the Patriots’ path to a third Super Bowl in four years and another repeat once again goes through the Eagles. Philly, meanwhile, is looking to win its first Super Bowl.

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