PHILADELPHIA ( - This isn't Phil Simms and Jeff Hostetler.

It might have been that before Sunday night but Nick Foles was no stop-gap against the No. 1-ranked defense in the NFL, he was a difference maker in the Eagles' 38-7 blowout win in the NFC Championship Game.

For a short time it looked as if the Minnesota Vikings would be the first team in NFL history to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium, taking the opening kickoff and marching down the field before Case Keenum found a streaking Kyle Rudolph for a 25-yard score.

The Eagles had chances to answer on their opening drive but Torrey Smith dropped a deep ball after beating Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes and Trey Burton short-circuited a sure first down by failing to drag his feet in bounds.

Minnesota then showed signs of moving the ball again until the clock struck midnight on the Cinderella that was Case Keenum.

The Vikings QB1 looked for his top target on third down, receiver Adam Thielen. As Keenum was set to release the football, Chris Long was bearing down off the edge and got the signal caller in the chest and arm, resulting in a wounded duck that landed in the arms of Patrick Robinson.

The Eagles' slot corner raced across the field and got a huge block from Ronald Darby before reaching the end zone.

"Well, really it was the D-Line," Robinson admitted. "... When I went out to the flat, I saw the ball coming out. I was like 'oh man, it's going to be an easy pick'. ... I was running down the sideline and I was like, 'No I definitely can't go out of bounds.' So I just cut it back upfield. Darby made a great block."

Lincoln Financial Field erupted and whether the Vikings knew it or not, they were finished, undone by an onslaught of 38 consecutive points.

"The turnover was a mistake that brought everyone [in the crowd] back," Keenum admitted. "{The Eagles] are good - the front is so good - that I have to step up and get away from the pass rush or be smarter. ... The Eagles are really good; one of the best -- the best -- fronts we faced all year.

From there Foles simply took over the game with a virtuoso performance, finishing 26-of-33 for 352 yards with three touchdowns and a 141.4 passer ranking against a defense that crumbled under the weight of Doug Pederson's RPOs.

Pederson fueled Foles' confidence early with quick hitters and when it was clear the QB was in the zone, the coach let Foles loose against a Vikings D that never knew what was coming next.

Whether it was Alshon Jeffery's 53-yard score on a broken coverage or Smith's 41-yard TD on a flea-flicker everything Pederson dialed up against one of the best defensive minds of the game -- Vikings coach Mike Zimmer -- worked.

Philadelphia amassed 457 yards of total offense, the most given up by the Vikings this season and somehow its fans made the "Skol" chant that overtook the football world this week into its own by putting its own spin on it.

You guessed it ... "Foles."


-Against the best third-down defense since the NFL began keeping such stats, the Eagles finished a mind-boggling 10-of-14. Minnesota allowed just a 25.2 conversion rate in the regular season.

-Foles was 13-for-13 on the night when targeting Zach Ertz and Jeffery, unbelievable production when you consider both receivers were often matched up with All-Pros, Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes.

-Foles had not been effective throwing the ball downfield this season but that changed against the Vikings after loosening things up underneath. He finished 4-of-6 on deep throws for 172 yards and two TDs with a 149.3 passer rating.

-Adam Thielen played for the Vikings but was not his typical self after suffering some minor fractures in his back during the divisional round. The second-team All-Pro hauled in just three of nine targets and both Keenum interceptions were on passes intended for him.

-The Eagles defense allowed a total of 36 points in its final five home games this season.

-According to Keenum was pressured on 48 percent of his dropbacks and has just a 60.4 passer rating when he was hurried.

-Former Eagles starter Sam Bradford was the backup QB for Minnesota while the two players Philadelphia got for him, Derek Barnett and Jay Ajayi, were big parts of Philadelphia's win.

-Eagles’ path to playing the Patriots in the Super Bowl back in 2005 was beating the Vikings and then the Falcons. This year, it was wins over the Falcons and then the Vikings to reach the Pats again.

-Minnesota is now 0-4 against the Eagles in the postseason and has lost in their last six NFC Championship Game appearances. The Vikings haven't been in the Super Bowl since 1977.

-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for You can reach him at or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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