Minnesota Vikings (14-3) at Philadelphia Eagles (14-3)
Sunday, January 21 st , 8:15 PM EST.
Every week that the Eagles win with a backup quarterback, it becomes increasingly likely that they can continue to do so. Want proof?
The Vikings went 13-3 this year with their third-stringer Case Keenum at the helm. Think of a football team like a race car. The QB is the driver. Yes, a great driver can make a mediocre car perform at its absolute top potential. But a really great car can also get a modest driver to the finish line really, really quickly. If he can control it. Are the Eagles better without Carson Wentz? No, but the things that made them a great team with him are still in play. Let’s not forget, Nick Foles is about as good a backup as you’re likely to see. The guy’s a former pro bowler and he’s getting more familiar with this new version of the Eagles every day. The defense doesn’t allow the run. They have a tandem of dangerous running backs who can be used to exhaust even the best defenses and underrated receivers who can make big plays when called upon. Foles has everything he needs to win this Sunday; he just needs to keep from crashing under the pressure.
The other backup-turned- starter, Minnesota’s Case Keenum doesn’t even feel like a backup any more, with almost a full season under his belt. The biggest factor for Minnesota might be the health of two key starters. Keenum’s top target, WR Adam Thielen is dealing with a lower back injury and is questionable. If he can’t go, Stefon Diggs, the star of last week’s walk-off touchdown will look to pick up the slack. On defense, the Vikings are likely to be without safety Andrew Sendejo, who remains in the concussion protocol. He’ll need to pass more tests before he’s eligible to return. The loss of either player will cause some scary ripples for Vikings fans everywhere.
Winning begets winning and the Eagles and Vikings have both done that a lot this season. I just feel like the chance for the Vikings to play a Super Bowl at home is just too magical. But, if Thielen can’t play, that might swing the odds towards the Eagles.
Image source: twitter.com/eagles
Tom Capo writes about sports, parenting, food, wine and travel; but seldom all at once. He’s currently working on his first novel and collection of shorter fiction. He lives in the Bay Area with all of his girls; wife Allison, daughter Liliana and dog Artemis.