Tha Sports Junkies 101

Vikings One Road Test Away From The Super Bowl

one road test away Keith Allison via


Vikings One Road Test Away From The Super Bowl

The Vikings are one road test away from playing in the Super Bowl at U.S Bank Stadium. The road to this point has been tough and challenging, and it will take another solid effort this Sunday to stay alive in the postseason.

After last week’s miracle walk-off finish for Minnesota, you can assume they will be playing with added motivation. Every player on the sideline versus New Orleans had the feeling that they were going to be eliminated and they do not want that feeling again.

To keep that from happening the Vikings are going to have to travel to a very hostile environment in Philadelphia and play an excellent Eagles team that has a lot to prove. Some experts and fans have written the Eagles off as an afterthought, but if the Vikings do this on Sunday, they could be in for a rude awakening.

History Versus The Eagles

The Vikings and Eagles have met 26 times throughout each team’s history with both winning 13 games; however, in the postseason the Eagles have had Minnesota’s number posting a perfect 3-0 record all time. The last one was in 2008 when the Eagles beat the Vikings in Minnesota 14-26 in the wildcard round.

History is not on Minnesota’s side this season, but if last weekends miracle win tells us anything, it is that these Vikings are not going to choke in the playoffs like those in years past. I have said it many times, this team is very talented, and they do not take any team lightly.

Case Keenum

Case Keenum is the hot topic on the market for every reporter now and should be rightfully so. In the Divisional Round Case went up against future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees and played lights out.

Now Keenum gets his chance to prove his worth on the road. He has shown he has the tools to be a capable starter in this league and now has a playoff win to prove it.

Going up against the number one run defense in the NFL, Keenum will have to be effective in the passing game to open up running lanes for Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon. With the team just one road test away from making it, Case will have to perform well. This weekend is do or die for Keenum. He is going to have to throw the ball to win; it is just a matter of how successful he is doing it.

Matchup Of The Week

Nick Foles Vs. Vikings Secondary

Just like Keenum, Nick Foles is going to have to produce for the Eagles to beat the Vikings this week. Minnesota’s defense shuts down opposing teams quarterbacks, including a two-interception performance against the Saints in the divisional round.

Nick Foles is not a player of Brees’ caliber, so Foles will have to play a near-perfect game for the Eagles offense to get going. Mike Zimmer has been extremely effective at shutting down some of the best quarterbacks in the league this season.

Foles will have to keep a level head throughout the game. If he gets down on himself early, the Vikings defense will eat him alive. Expect Foles to struggle mightily in the first half, but the real test will be how he responds in the second half.

For Foles to have success, running backs Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount will have to get moving downfield. This is no easy task going up against an outstanding run defense led by Linval Joseph. The Eagles will probably turn to a lot of their run-pass option plays that they had success with in Atlanta. The only problem is that the Minnesota corners are a lot better in one on one situations than the Falcons corners are.

This matchup will undoubtedly be the ultimate decider in the game. If Foles plays sub-par, I do not think the Eagles stand a chance against the balanced attack of the Vikings, but if Foles finds success, the Eagles could very well win this game.


Vikings: 24

Eagles: 17

No fancy endings this week; just a hard-fought football game between two great teams. Eventually, the Vikings defense will become too much for Philly. The Vikings are one road test away from the Super Bowl, and I think they will get there.

Photo by Keith Allison