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Eagles Thrive On Underdog Role
It’s time to give Nick Foles some serious props.
The Philadelphia quarterback has been under fire since taking over for the Eagles’ young injured star Carson Wentz, especially after a few poor games at the end of the regular season.
But no more. This guy is good. Foles has done a fantastic job under the highest levels of postseason pressure. Sure, he will lose his job at the beginning of next season, but this is his time right now.
The Eagles, who have never hoisted the Lombardi Trophy, stormed into the Super Bowl with a convincing 38-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field in the National Football Conference Championship game.
Philadelphia, the No. 1 seed in the NFC, will square off against New England in the 52nd league final indoors at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET. The Eagles (15-3) head into the final playoff game of the season as underdogs for the third straight game — this time by five points (odds provided by bovada.lv).
They beat the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round as three-point underdogs and the Vikings in the conference final as 3.5-point dogs.
The Eagles are the biggest Super Bowl underdog since 2009.
The Vikings opened the scoring in the conference final on their first drive of the game. They never scored a single point after that and the game seemed over at halftime as the Eagles led 24-7.
Foles completed 26-of-33 passes for 352 yards and three touchdowns. But, most importantly, he had no turnovers. Jay Ajayi led all runners with 18 carries for 73 yards. Zach Ertz led all receivers with eight catches for 93 yards.
Conversely, Case Keenum had one of his worst games of the season since he took over the starting job for the Vikings in Week 2. Keenum connected on 28-of-48 passes for 271 yards and one touchdown. But he had two interceptions and a fumble, which are killers in this league, especially the playoffs.
The Philadelphia Eagles have made two Super Bowl appearances. They lost them both, but were 1-1 against the spread.
Super Bowl XV at New Orleans: Oakland (+3) over Philadelphia 27-10
Super Bowl XXXIX at Jacksonville: New England (-7) over Philadelphia 24-21
The Eagles won in every category on Sunday: first downs (27-22), total yards (456-333), third-down efficiency (.714-.462) and time of possession (34:04-25:56).
Another effort like this in two weeks and the Eagles will dethrone the giant and win their first Super Bowl title.
The NFC leads the AFC 26-25 in Super Bowl victories. The first Super Bowl was played in 1967. Favorites have gone 35-16 straight up and 27-22-2 against the spread (ATS) in the league championship. The over/under sits at 26-24.
The conferences are tied 5-5 straight up in the last 10 NFL championships, while the NFC went 6-4 ATS.
The Eagles were 10-6 ATS during the regular season, but 2-0 in the playoffs. They were 6-2 on the road this year and 5-3 ATS.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have the most Super Bowl wins at six, while the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers all have five.
VGB’s Top 10 NFL Teams
(Current odds to win Super Bowl LII listed after team record. Odds provided by bovada.lv.)
New England (15-3) -240 — Patriots going for third crown in four years.
Philadelphia (15-3) +200 — Eagles seek first Super Bowl win in three tries.
Minnesota (14-4) — What happens to Keenum after MVP-caliber season?
Jacksonville (12-7) — AFC title loss proves Jaguars among elite teams.
New Orleans (12-6) — Saints’ seven Pro Bowlers ties franchise record.
Pittsburgh (13-4) — Quarterback coach promoted to offensive coordinator.
Atlanta (11-7) — No knee surgery for Devonta Freeman, coach says.
Tennessee (10-8) — Vrabel becomes 19th head coach in franchise history.
Los Angeles Rams (11-6) — Goff, Gurley and Donald all Pro Bowlers.
Carolina (11-6) — Norv Turner joins Panthers as offensive coordinator.