Game Review – PHI 38, MIN 7

Posted: January 29th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 57 Comments »

The Eagles had a quiet confidence about them all week long, as if they knew something the rest of the world didn’t. We heard stories about Nick Foles being more confident in practice and looking really good. Was this legit, or just players trying to support a teammate in a tough spot?

We saw on Sunday night that the Eagles were more than ready for the moment. Doug Pederson and his staff put together a brilliant gameplan. Nick Foles played the game of his life. The whole team functioned at a high level.

The result was the kind of beatdown you rarely see in a conference championship game.

The funny thing is that the Eagles were only up 14-7 with 90 seconds left in the 1st half. They added 10 points in those final 90 seconds and the game was essentially over. The 4th quarter was nothing more than an extended celebration period, for the guys in green. The Vikings were in a state of shock. They hadn’t been manhandled like this all year long. Their #1 defense kept them in just about every game. Back in Week 2 they trailed the Steelers 20-9 with five minutes left in the game. They ended up losing 26-9.

The Vikings had been consistently good all year long. Imagine finding yourself down 24-7 at halftime of the title game. That must have been a devastating gut punch. Then they gave up an early TD to fall behind 31-7. There would be no miracle comeback. The Eagles were the better team.

If you want to keep things simple, the Vikings turned the ball over 3 times while the Eagles didn’t have any turnovers. The Vikings were 0 for 3 in the Red Zone. The Eagles were 2 for 2.

3rd downs were also a huge part of the game. The Vikings had the best 3rd down defense in decades. Opposing offenses converted just 25 percent of the time. That is incredibly good. Minnesota only allowed 51 conversions all year long. The Eagles went 10 for 14 on 3rd down, marching up and down the field. No matter what the Vikings tried, they just couldn’t stop Foles and the Eagles.

The Vikings were in disbelief. They hadn’t struggled like this in a long time.

The outcome shouldn’t have been that shocking if you paid attention all season. The Eagles had 5 wins by 23 or more points during the season. As for facing good defenses, the Eagles had dominated them as well. Denver came to The Linc with the #1 defense in the league back in November and lost 51-23, in a game that wasn’t that close. The Eagles went 6-1 in games this year against Top 10 defenses. The only loss was the season finale to Dallas, with the starters watching and waiting for the postseason.

The Eagles won the game up front. Foles had good protection and was sacked only once. He took one really hard hit on a blitz in the 3rd quarter. The RBs had pretty good blocking and were 26-114 on the ground. The execution by the skill players was nearly flawless. Foles only had 7 incompletions all game. Receivers caught just about everything that got close to them. They made plays after the catch. That was some incredible offense.

The defense got off to a terrible start, allowing Minnesota to drive 9 plays, 75 yards for a TD on the opening possession. For the rest of the game, the Vikings had 258 yards and no points. The Eagles were sloppy on that initial drive, with missed tackles and a blown coverage on the scoring play. They settled in and played much better the rest of the game.

Case Keenum was only sacked once, but he was harassed all game long. That pressure led to the pick-six by Patrick Robinson that tied the game at 7-7. The pressure had a residual effect and even when Keenum had time he made some bad throws. Sacks look great on the stat sheet, but pressure can be every bit as effective.

The Eagles did the little things. They did the big things. They did everything.

The Vikings came up small in the biggest game of the year. Maybe there was a big letdown after the miracle finish against the Saints. The only miracle in this game was how so many star players suddenly looked mediocre. Harrison Smith, Everson Griffen, Adam Thielen, Steon Diggs…no impact on the game whatsoever.

It was almost as if the guys in green were, you know, better.


Doug Pederson didn’t have a ton of strategic decisions to make in this game. The biggest moment for me is when the Eagles got the ball back late in the half. There were 29 seconds left on the clock and they had the ball at their own 20. My thought…run the draw and then go into halftime up 21-7. Pederson thought differently. He had Foles throw the ball and move the Eagles down the field for a FG. That must have been crushing to the Vikings.

Pederson wisely stayed aggressive in the 2nd half. He didn’t want his team to let up. I think part of this was about keeping the Vikings from making a comeback, but part was also about keeping his team sharp. You don’t want to just run the ball every play and have the team get sloppy, knowing the next game will be the Super Bowl. Pederson had his starters in the game until the 2:00 mark.

Obviously Pederson gets huge credit for having the team ready to go mentally and emotionally. That was a sharp, focused team. They were ready for the moment. Pederson’s offense was so good he didn’t have to go for it on 4th down. There were no 2-point decisions. He did the heavy lifting for this game in the week of preparation leading up to kickoff.  

The offensive gameplan was brilliant. Pederson, Frank Reich and John DeFilippo put together a masterpiece. For the first time in a while, weather wasn’t a factor at The Linc. They were able to concentrate solely on the opponent. That allowed them to open up the offense and be more aggressive. There is something weird about Pederson. If a defense has a real strength, he is willing to attack it. I remember him throwing the ball at Aqib Talib in the Denver game. I was shocked by that. The Vikings had one of the top pass defenses in the league. To Pederson, that meant “Throw the ball.”

Foles was 15-22-208 in the 1st half. The Eagles attacked them vertically and horizontally. They mixed up the attack and kept Minnesota off-balance. The Eagles had a strong plan for how to deal with all the fronts and blitzes run by the Vikings. The Eagles used a lot of different formations. They used motion and were creative in trying to dictate to the defense.

Here are some additional pieces on the gameplan and strategy.

The great Fran Duffy

Sheil Kapadia

Football Outsiders

Jim Schwartz had an interesting gameplan. If you go back to the preseason, he talked about being more likely to blitz a mobile QB. Early in the game he did mix in some blitzes, especially with Malcolm Jenkins. They worked perfectly and got the defense off the field. Schwartz was more passive in coverage. The defense ran some looks where the CB would retreat and the S would sink underneath, but wouldn’t be able to get wide enough to really affect a quick throw outside. Minnesota burned this look for a few 1st downs. 

Schwartz did not want to give up big plays. Poor Rodney McLeod looked like the lonely kid at the back end of the defense. He got to watch his 10 friends run around and play football. He stayed deep. McLeod did this a lot during the year, but seemed to stay deep even more this time out. Once the Eagles got the lead, they didn’t blitz much and really played to keep everything in front of them.

Minnesota had 3 plays of 20 or more yards. All of them came on blown coverages.

The Eagles played mostly Nickel, but it was interesting to see them play Dime on 3rd/2 early in the game. Schwartz did this last week as well, almost daring the offense to run the ball. They did on both plays and barely got 1st downs both times.


Nick Foles had the game of his life. Don’t talk to me about 7 TDs against a crappy Raiders team in 2013. What he did against the Vikings was far more impressive. Foles went out and shredded the #1 defense in the league. He was 26-33-352, with 3 TDs and no turnovers. He was efficient and explosive. Foles made excellent decisions. He was accurate. He was aggressive, and that was good to see. He checked the ball down at times, but threw downfield multiple times.

One of the things I liked most is that Foles was patient. His pocket presence was also outstanding. He let his line block for  him and gave his receivers a chance to get open. They did and that led to some of the big plays. You can’t always rush the ball out. You don’t want to hold it too long, but against a good defense, you have to give your guys some time. I also thought Foles showed good chemistry with his receivers. That is very encouraging. That allows them to improvise, which happened a few times in the NFCCG.

Foles went deep early. Didn’t make a good throw to Smith on the opening drive. Smith had to slow down for the ball and it also needed to be more to the inside. Still should have been caught. Foles first really good throw came in the early 2nd. Had Ertz open on 3rd/8, but 96 got his hand up so Foles had to double-pump. Struggled with that in prior weeks, but worked this time and hit Ertz for 15 yds.

Showed great pocket presence late in the half. The pocket was collapsing, but it was 3rd/10 and Foles wanted to find someone open. Saw AJ had broken free down the field and launched a deep ball his way. Foles was able to get enough on the ball to hit him in stride for a 53-yard TD. That broke the game wide open.

The Eagles got the ball back shortly after that. Foles hit Ertz down the sideline for 36 yards late in the half. He also threw screens to Ajayi on that drive and the Eagles were able to steal 3 points. That put them up 24-7 at halftime.

Foles and the offense came out aggressive in the 3rd Qtr. He threw his best pass of the season on that opening drive. The Eagles ran a flea-flicker and Foles hit Smith for a 41-yard TD. Put the ball right where it needed to be. Smith adjusted his route on the fly, but Foles was able to see that and still get him the ball.

Had a highlight moment in the late 3rd. Dropped back on 3rd/5. Didn’t see anyone open so he moved to his right. Then saw Agholor going down the sideline. Foles hit him with a perfect pass (touch, accuracy). Agholor caught it on the run and the play went for 42 yards.


LeGarrette Blount was 6-21-1. Came into the game in the late 1st Qtr. Ran downhill on his carries. Got the ball on 1st down from the 11. Got good blocking and then ran over the FS on his way to the end zone for the score. Beautiful. Be the hammer, not the nail. Had a couple of carries in the 2nd half.

Jay Ajayi had a big game. He was 18-73 on the ground and 3-26 as a receiver. Got his first carry of the game on the 2nd series. Went wide left for 13 yards. Griffen was unblocked and Ajayi had to use speed and power to get by him. Impressive run. Poor block of blitzing Kendricks allowed him to hit Foles as he threw and cause an incompletion. Made a crazy play in the late 2nd. Caught a screen pass with a defender on his ankle. Fought through that to get upfield for 2 yds. Caught a quick screen late in the half and got up the field for 11 yards. That jump-started the final drive. Got 13 yards on a screen on the final play of that drive. Really good burst on those plays. There was an odd run in the late 3rd. Got the ball and headed left. There wasn’t anything on the front side. There was some daylight on the backside. Didn’t cut back and lost 2 yards. No idea what he was seeing/not seeing on that one. Had a highlight run at the end of the game. Tried to go up the middle, but Kendricks came through and hit him. Ajayi got away from him and bounced it wide left. He used his speed to get upfield for a gain of 16.

Corey Clement didn’t get a lot of touches, but made them count. Made a critical play in the late 2nd. Caught a swing pass and was about to be tackled for a loss on 3rd down. Used a stiff arm and spin move to get by Barr and upfield for the 1st down. Only gained 8 yards, but it was huge because it kept alive a TD drive. Was the RB on the flea-flicker. Did a good job of getting the ball back to Foles. Got 14 yds on a toss play in the late 3rd. Read his blocks and then used a good burst to get up the field. Was 2-20 on the ground and 1-8 as a receiver.


Alshon Jeffery came up big in a big game. Had 2 catches for 17 yards late in the 1st half. That’s when he delivered a huge play. Was supposed to be running a dig route on the backside of a play when he decided to break it off and go downfield. Foles saw him and hit AJ with a deep ball for a 53-yard TD. Caught a short pass in the early 3rd that moved the chains and got the team near midfield. Caught a short TD in the early 4th. Simple concept the Eagles like in the RZ. Have the WR start the route wide, then cut back to the inside. Foles put the ball up high and AJ went and got it. Held on through contact for the score. Finished 5-85-2.

Torrey Smith had a big game, but it didn’t start off great. Went deep on the 2nd play and got behind the defense. Foles didn’t make an ideal throw, but it was catchable. Smith got his hands on the ball, but dropped it. Caught his first pass late in the half. Came on a WR screen and Smith almost broke that for a huge gain. Got tripped up, but still gained 11 yards. Caught a couple of short passes to open the 3rd Qtr. That moved the chains and got the drive off to a good start. Caught a quick screen on 3rd/7 and got upfield for the 1st down. That set up the back-breaker. On the next play, the Eagles ran a flea-flicker. Smith sold the play perfectly and the CB let him get open deep. The S rotated over late, but Smith was able to make a terrific catch right by the pylon and hold on for the score. This was much tougher than the catch he dropped early in the game, but Smith was able to hold on this time. 5-69-1 for the game.

Nelson Agholor was 3-59 as a receiver. Caught a pass on the opening play. Picked up 11 yards on a crossing route. Went in motion (fake jet sweep action) and then caught a short pass on the move. Slipped, but still got 6 yards on the play. Got the ball on a 1st Qtr jet sweep, but was held to no gain. Good pursuit on that. Dropped a pass in the early 2nd. Not an ideal throw and Nelson did make a good effort, but couldn’t bring the ball in. Agholor’s highlight play came in the late 3rd. The Eagles faced 3rd/5. Agholor ran an out, but looked back and saw Foles still had the ball. Agholor went up the field and Foles threw a perfect touch pass that turned into a gain of 42.

Mack Hollins didn’t catch any passes, but contributed on offense. Came into the game in the 1st Qtr. Lined up to the right on 3rd/1 and ran a pick for Ertz. Made this legal because he didn’t contact the DB and also made himself a target for Foles. Extended his hands out like a receiver and pushed his butt backward, to try and get in the DB’s way. Really well done by a rookie. Great coaching on that. Lined up tight to the formation on the next play and had a key block that helped spring Blount for a TD.


Zach Ertz had a terrific game, going 8-93. The Vikings had shut down TEs almost all year long. They had no answer for Ertz. Caught pass over the middle on 3rd/11. Was short of the sticks, but got upfield for the 1st down. Good effort. On the next play, caught a pass over the middle for 8 yards. Got 6 yds on 3rd/1 pass play in the Red Zone. Got a legal pick from Hollins and plucked the ball cleanly for the 1st. Ran a good route on 3rd/8 to create separation from the FS and come wide open. Foles hit him for a gain of 15. Made a huge play late in the half. Was being covered by Harrison Smith, possibly the greatest player in the history of the Milky Way Galaxy. Ertz ran and out and up, and Smith covered the out. That left Ertz wide open down the sideline. Foles hit him for a gain of 36. That was route-running at its best. Eagles faced 3rd/4 in the late 3rd. Ertz sold that he was going to block the DE, then just turned around and caught short throw. Got upfield for 6 yds and moved the chains.

Very up and down as a blocker. Had some legit run blocks and some “Watch Out!” blocks. Highlight was his block of 91 on toss play to Clement in the late 3rd. Ertz sealed the edge and let the play go for 14 yards. He had a good block on early Ajayi run. He and Big V doubled the DE. Then V went for a LB and Ertz stuck on the DE. Ajayi ran to that side for 7.

Brent Celek had a good game as a blocker. Had a 1st Qtr pass thrown his way over the middle. LB knocked it away for the incompletion. Drew a holding call in the early 4th.

Trey Burton played 13 snaps. Was wide open on early 3rd down. Play design had him all alone in space. Needed to slow down as he got near the sideline. The throw was late. For some reason, Burton jumped to catch the ball and came down on the line. He and Foles both made that more complicated than it should have been. Had a wham block on DT on Blount’s run. Not the most violent block you’ll ever see, but effective. Caught a pass over the middle on 2nd/12 in the late 3rd. Got away from 2 defenders and got 12 yards on the play.


Lane Johnson had a good game at RT. Good seal block of Robison on Blount’s TD run. Gave up the only sack of the game. Got his foot tangled with inside rusher and fell down, leaving Hunter a free run at Foles. Got serious movement in the late 3rd on run near the GL. Ajayi got down to the 2.

Halapoulivaati Vaitai played his best game of the year. Faced Everson Griffen (13 sacks for the year) most of the game and basically shut him down. Got help on some plays, but give V a ton of credit. I was worried that he might struggle with power rushes, but he anchored well. He would give some ground, then re-set and stop Griffen. V played with confidence and good technique. Good run blocking game as well. Had a good block on Ajayi run. Went and got a LB and stuck with it so Ajayi had room to run at the 2nd level. Very good on double teams. Hunter drove him backward on a 3rd Qtr run. Play lost 2 yards.

Jason Kelce had a good game. Joseph got by him and hit Foles late in the 1st Qtr. Made a good block of Barr on Blount’s TD run. Had a terrific block of LB in space to free Ajayi for a gain of 13 on a screen pass. Had a great reach block on Joseph on 3rd Qtr run that went for 4 yards. Just a maestro on the toss play to Clement in the late 3rd. Engaged Joseph and started moving laterally with him. Passed him to Wiz and then went and got a LB. That block was over 15 yards downfield and out of bounds. Kelce just destroys guys in the 2nd half.

Stefen Wisniewski had a solid game. He and Big V had some outstanding double-teams in the run game. They were able to get serious movement. Wiz was used on traps to the right side in the 3rd Qtr and those were solid gains.

Brandon Brooks had his usual good game. Got upfield and blocked Kendricks on Blount’s TD run. Got movement vs Joseph in the early 3rd and let Ajayi get free to that side for 5 yds. Pulled and got just enough of Smith to let Clement get free on a toss play. Smith wanted a flag for blocking in the back, but Brooks didn’t give him a 2-hand shove right in the back. One hand was on the front of the shoulder and the other in the back. The refs aren’t calling that in a 31-7 game.



The Vikings put an emphasis on protection early. They used 6 and even 7-man protections on a lot of 1st Qtr pass plays. Once they fell behind and had to open up the offense, the Eagles DL took control of the game.

Vinny Curry was in on a couple of tackles. Used a hard inside move to get by the LT and get a solid shot on Keenum in the early 2nd. Lost contain on an end around in the mid-2nd. Love this guy’s effort. There was a pass play while the Eagles were up 38-7. Curry tried to bull rush the LT. Then the LG and C got shots on him. Keenum scrambled and Curry chased him down and got in on the tackle. The game was over, but Curry’s motor was still going full blast. Lined up at RDT in the 4th. Exploded off the ball and into the backfield. Chased Keenum to the other side of the field and tackled him half a second after the ball was out.

Fletcher Cox had 3 solo tackles. He got plenty of attention from the Vikings. Just shoved the RG out of his way and got the RB on a draw play for no gain. Played a cutback run perfectly and limited Murray to 2 yards. Read the play quickly and fought off blockers to make the play. Got some pressure up the middle on a pass play late in the half. Collapsed the pocket on the next play, which forced a bad throw and incompletion. Got free up the middle in the early 3rd and forced Keenum to dump the ball off. Blew up a 4th/2 pass play. Keenum threw the ball away rather than take the sack. Engulfed Keenum on 4th Qtr pass play, but no sack.

Brandon Graham had a quiet start to the game, but really got things going after halftime. Wasn’t credited with any tackles. Still had impact in the game. Forced an incompletion in the mid-2nd. Beau got Keenum moving and BG came off his block to force Keenum to throw the ball away. Got pressure late in the half while rushing up the middle. Got pressure on pass play in the early 3rd and then almost got a sack on the next one. Used a good dip to get by the RT. Keenum was able to move up just enough to throw the ball away. Just missed a sack in the early 4th.

Tim Jernigan disrupted an early run by driving the C backward and hitting the RB in the backfield. Couldn’t finish the play, but threw it off. Exploded off the ball and drove the RT into the backfield on a run. Didn’t really affect the play, but that was impressive burst off the ball. Got off his block and helped stuff a run in the early 2nd. Didn’t play as much after halftime when pass rushers got a lot of snaps.

Derek Barnett played 33 snaps and had a good game. Used a good spin move to beat the LT and get some pressure in the mid-2nd. Made a huge play in the late 2nd. Flew off the edge and got by an attempted block of the backside TE. Got to Keenum and knocked the ball out before he could start his throwing motion. The Eagles recovered. MIN had driven inside the RZ so that play likely saved points. Tackled McKinnon after a catch and run when Barnett was in coverage on a zone blitz.

Chris Long had quite an impact on the game. Created the play of the night in the mid-1st Qtr. Used a good dip move to get by the RT. Extended his arm and made contact with Keenum. Long didn’t hit him hard, but caused Keenum’s motion to be off and the ball went…right to Patrick Robinson. That was run back for a TD and tied the game at 7-7. Showed great hustle when he chased down McKinnon on a screen and made the tackle 15 yds downfield. Was Johnny on the spot in the late 2nd. Barnett got a strip-sack and Long was there to fall on the ball. Just missed a sack late in the half. Cox destroyed the pocket and Long hit Keenum, but not before the ball was gone. Long was on the field for all 3 takeaways and had a direct hand in 2 of them.

Beau Allen played well. Got in on one tackle. Got some push on pass play on the opening drive. Took on a double-team on the opening drive and held his ground. Forced the run to bounce wide. Then hustled to get in on the tackle. Got some pressure up the middle in the mid-2nd and helped to move Keenum off his spot. Took on a double-team and held his ground on run that came at him. Got off the blocks and in on the tackle, only giving up a yard. Dropped into coverage on a zone blitz in the 4th Qtr. Keenum was too gutless to throw his way. Did that a 2nd time and Diggs caught a crosser on him. He fell down and then Allen put the tag on him. Best DT/FS on the Eagles.

Destiny Vaeao got on the field in the 2nd Qtr. Was in on a tackle on run up the middle.


Mychal Kendricks had a very active game. Was all over the field. Finished with 8 tackles (6 solo). Had tight coverage on Rudolph on pass play and the throw had to be off-target due to pressure and coverage. Good job on 2nd Qtr run. Ball came at him. Kendricks filled the gap and made the stop for just a yard. Made a terrific play in the mid-2nd. MIN ran an end around to his side. Kendricks fought off the block of the LT and made the stop, only giving up 4 yards. Great effort on that. Good discipline as well. Missed tackle of McKinnon on screen and gave up an extra 9 yds on the play. Stuffed a run play that came at him in the late 2nd, giving up only a yard. Forced McKinnon out of bounds after short gain on pass play.

Nigel Bradham had 4 solo tackles. Most, if not all, came after halftime. Played well, but the ball just didn’t come his way on many plays. Did have a 15-yard facemask penalty.

Najee Goode played MLB in the base D. He was better on tape than I anticipated. Was in the wrong gap on the opening play and MIN ran up the middle for 6 yards. Tackled Murray on an inside run that came right at him. Limited that play to 3 yards. Goode was one of several defenders that were confused on the TD pass to Rudolph. McLeod and the LBs were moving around, trying to adjust to the formation. Goode seemed to be on the right guy, but let Rudolph get by him and wide open for the score. Got a solid shot on Diggs on short throw over the middle. Hit him from behind as the ball got there and Diggs dropped it. Diggs also reached for his back and it seemed to bug him for the rest of the game. Tackled Murray on an off-tackle run to open the 3rd possession. Did give up 4 yards.

Nate Gerry was the #4 LB in the game. He was on the field on the opening drive when the Vikings went to a jumbo formation.


Malcolm Jenkins was in on 4 tackles. He definitely had an impact on the game. Missed a tackle on the opening drive. Had the RB pinned against the sideline, but somehow let him get by and gain 11 yards on the play. Blitzed off the edge in the mid-1st Qtr and forced an overthrow. Made a great play in the mid-1st. Was 3rd/6. Mills had a WR and MJ had the TE. The WR went inside and the TE picked Mills. Jenkins went outside with the WR and tackled him as he caught the ball. Diggs only gained 1 yard and MIN had to punt. Great awareness by Malcolm. Blitzed off the edge on 3rd/2 and forced an errant throw to end a drive. Looked like he had a busted coverage in the mid-2nd. Went upfield for RB and let WR get wide open behind him. Mills had taken another WR. MJ did hustle and make the tackle on the play.

Rodney McLeod spent most of the game playing deep. Made his first tackle in the early 3rd, when a draw play got loose up the middle. Came up aggressively on run plays, but the runner was normally down by the time McLeod got there. Credited with 2 tackles.

Corey Graham quietly had an outstanding game. Forced McKinnon out of bounds after a quick pass late in the half. Did the same thing on the very next play to force 3rd down. After a conversion, Graham forced McKinnon out again after a short catch. Picked off a pass late in the game. Darby broke it up and Graham swooped in to grab the ball. Finished with 5 solo stops.


Ronald Darby had a good game. Gave up a 12-yard completion to Thielen on the opening drive. Had a chance to tackle McKinnon for a loss on the next play, but lost contain and let him run for 10 yards. Broke up a pass to open the 2nd drive. Drove on the ball very quickly and knocked it away from Diggs. Played soft on Diggs on 3rd/10 and gave up easy 12-yd completion. Made the key block on Robinson’s pick-six. Got blown up in the process, but kept the Viking from making the tackle so that goes down in the books as a great block. That might be the hardest Darby has ever been hit in his career, but it was worth it. Came up and made a good tackle on run play in the mid-2nd. Limited the play to 2 yards. Gave up a 12-yd completion to Thielen on 3rd/6. Was playing off and just didn’t get to the WR before the ball did. Had tight coverage of a pass thrown to Thielen in the early 3rd. Pinned him against the sideline so Thielen couldn’t come down in bounds. Had tight coverage on Thielen on on 2nd down pass play and the ball went out of bounds. Almost beaten for junk TD on 4th down, but Thielen couldn’t hold onto the ball and replay showed it was incomplete. Broke up a pass to Thielen in the 4th. Couldn’t get his hands cleanly on the ball and it bounced off…right to Corey Graham. A couple of old Buffalo teammates combined for an INT in the NFC title game. Pretty cool. Credited with 7 tackles and 3 PDs.

Patrick Robinson made the play of the game. Dropped back into zone coverage on 3rd/8. Was underneath the WR and the ball came right to him. P-Rob caught it and took off upfield. Then cut across the field and directed traffic until he got free down the sideline for the score. Made a good play in the early 2nd. Was covering slot receiver who started to cross the field on 3rd/2. Rob saw the blitz force a quick throw and got out to that spot to cover the RB. Ball was incomplete, but he was there to make the tackle if the pass had been accurate. Jarius Wright beat him for an 11-yd gain over the middle late in the half. Good coverage, but a better throw and catch. Was in on a couple of tackles.

Jalen Mills didn’t have much action come his way. Credited with 3 tackles and a PD. Gave up a 7-yd completion to Diggs on a quick slant in the early 2nd. Tackled him immediately. Broke up a pass to Wright that was thrown his way in the RZ in the early 3rd Qtr.



KOR – Both KOs were touchbacks.

PR – Kenjon Barner returned one punt for 10 yards.

Donnie Jones – Averaged 43.3 yards on 3 punts. All of them were downed inside the 20.

Jake Elliott – Nailed his only FG and all 5 of his extra points.


Shelton Gibson ran into the PR who was trying to make a fair catch. Free 15 yards for the Vikings.

Beau Allen and Brent Celek got into a shoving match with Smith and some other Vikings after the final extra point.




57 Comments on “Game Review – PHI 38, MIN 7”

  1. 1 RobNE said at 9:42 PM on January 29th, 2018:


  2. 2 daveH said at 10:06 PM on January 29th, 2018:

    Rob did you grab that first for yourself or for all of us ?

  3. 3 RobNE said at 10:11 PM on January 29th, 2018:

    All of us. We all we got. We all we need.

  4. 4 daveH said at 10:16 PM on January 29th, 2018:

    We ALL we need INDEED

  5. 5 daveH said at 10:27 PM on January 29th, 2018:

    Best answer ever. .I’m glad i asked and sorry i jammed a comment in below

  6. 6 A_T_G said at 11:15 PM on January 29th, 2018:

    I spent most of today going through 2014 posts and adding a “last” comment to each thread.

  7. 7 xeynon said at 11:57 PM on January 29th, 2018:

    2014, eh? I bet that was a fun trip down memory lane. Back when the Sanchize reigned?

  8. 8 A Roy said at 5:26 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    You lead an exciting life.

  9. 9 Fufina said at 10:04 PM on January 29th, 2018:

    Damn Minnesota fans are salty. I need the superbowl win so we can open up the 2018 season at the Link against the Vikings and give their salty ass fans another beat down on opening night.

  10. 10 kajomo said at 10:44 PM on January 29th, 2018:

    I love how this little rivalry has started with the Vikings.

    They sure do find lots of things to complain about rather than just accepting their team got beat down. Now I just want to beat them again since their fan base is full of pansies.

  11. 11 ColorSgt said at 1:48 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    Its not like it was even close, like the refs cost them the game, or the Eagles got lucky because a rookie safety missed a tackle on the last play of the game. The Vikings were already playing on borrowed time.

  12. 12 Philadelphian said at 11:40 PM on January 29th, 2018:

    One thing good out of how Minnesota is reacting is this most likely will be the last time the NFL allows that city to host a Super Bowl.

  13. 13 Masked Man said at 1:03 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    I hear it’s cold out there too!

  14. 14 Philadelphian said at 1:17 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    Someone asked a Minnesota resident what there is to do if you aren’t watching the Vikings. His answer was freeze.

  15. 15 Masked Man said at 2:06 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    Umm… Yeah. Easy to freeze in Minny. Gotta keep active!

  16. 16 Guy Media said at 5:33 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    I’m pretty sure “go fuck yourself” is good advice for how a Vikings fan could keep warm.

  17. 17 Guy Media said at 5:33 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    That’s true either way; it was a one time bribe for building a new stadium with a massive theft of tax dollars.

  18. 18 xeynon said at 11:56 PM on January 29th, 2018:

    The thing that annoys me is that so many Vikings fans have been acting like miserable, poor sport a-holes and somehow the only stories about bad fan behavior that make the national media are about Eagles fans.

  19. 19 Philadelphian said at 1:28 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    That’s because it’s fashionable to criticize Philadelphia sports fans.

  20. 20 Guy Media said at 5:32 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    My preferred victim for a nationally televised beat down starting the Eagles 2018 season with a win would be any of the 3 division teams, chump ass Carolina, and then either/or Atlanta/Vikings.

  21. 21 kajomo said at 10:38 PM on January 29th, 2018:

    Super Bowl week prediction. 27-17 Birds

  22. 22 RobNE said at 8:15 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    Why do you hate the Eagles?

  23. 23 ChoTime said at 12:12 PM on January 30th, 2018:

    That was some bad ju-ju.

  24. 24 kajomo said at 12:22 PM on February 1st, 2018:


  25. 25 Philadelphian said at 11:37 PM on January 29th, 2018:

    Without a doubt Belichick will devise a plan to exploit Foles weaknesses and minimize the effects of Eagles pass rush. I only hope that Pederson and Schwartz have the ability to counter his moves.

  26. 26 xeynon said at 11:46 PM on January 29th, 2018:

    Belichick can scheme all he wants. The fact of the matter is, he doesn’t have many good players on that defense. There are no great pass rushers on the Patriots’ DL. Their linebackers are slow and can be had in coverage. Their starting DBs are decent, but depth is lacking and again there is no depth. They have weaknesses at all three levels of the defense.

    People have to realize that Belichick is just a coach. A great one, to be sure, but there is only so much you can do to scheme yourself out of personnel issues. Pederson has proven himself to be a pretty damn good coach too. He just thoroughly outclassed one of the best defensive coaches in the game. I’m sure he respects Belichick but I see no reason to think he’d be afraid of him.

  27. 27 Masked Man said at 1:02 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan will have a field day this Sunday!

  28. 28 Philadelphian said at 1:25 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    I know I said it a few weeks ago, but I think Jernigan is the key. We know what Cox brings to the table, but the earlier part of the year, Jernigan was playing lights out forcing teams to limit their double teaming of Cox. He has played better, but I hope he returns to his early season form.

  29. 29 Philadelphian said at 1:21 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    Believe me when I say it, no one wants you to be right more than me. At 65, this might be my last shot. I know many say with Wentz the Eagles will have multiple chances, but too often those predictions don’t come true.

  30. 30 Philadelphian said at 1:26 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    This will be a great test for Pederson, who I believe is up to the challenge, to show his ability to make multiple adjustments on the fly.

  31. 31 ChoTime said at 12:13 PM on January 30th, 2018:

    I think we need to get away from this dichotomy of either being afraid of the Patriots or thinking we’re going to stomp them.

    For all the so-called lack of talent on the Patriots, they made it to the Superbowl without that much difficulty. They were also there last year. They’re doing something right.

  32. 32 xeynon said at 2:54 PM on January 30th, 2018:

    I don’t think anybody thinks we’re going to stomp them. I certainly don’t.

    I’m actually reasonably confident we win the game (I think our chances are 50-50 or even slightly better), but I expect it to be a close game either way.

    As for the Patriots making it to the SB this year – (1) they had objectively one of the easiest paths ever and (2) I wouldn’t say they made it “without much difficulty”. They were down by double digits in the second half in the divisional round.

  33. 33 RobNE said at 7:06 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    Good article on the Ringer. When we win people will realise we had the best OL this year. In his prime Wolfork isn’t walking thru that door.

  34. 34 xeynon said at 8:33 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    The coverage of this Super Bowl is kind of a microcosm of casual fandom of this sport – people habitually overrate the importance of skill position players, especially QBs, and underrate the importance of line play.

    As an Eagles fan I’m worried about the mismatches Brady creates. But if I were a Pats fan I’d be worried about the mismatches between the Eagles’ OL and Patriots’ DL and the Patriots’ OL and Eagles’ DL, which are just as significant.

  35. 35 SteveH said at 11:57 PM on January 29th, 2018:

    We were robbed. If you are an Eagles fan without a grudge against the Pats in that game then you must not have been alive for that super bowl.

  36. 36 Guy Media said at 5:30 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    I’m more annoyed at the bad blocking, poor QB rating from McNabb, lazy pass rush, and stupid coverage of RBs on swing passes.

  37. 37 Bert's Bells said at 8:32 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    Yeah, whatever dirty deeds transpired on the part of the Patriots, the Eagles were still in the game and could have won if they executed. OR DIDN’T HAVE THEIR WIDE OUT WHO WAS RUNNING FREE ALL HALF LEAVE THE GAME WITH CRAMPS.

  38. 38 CrackSammich said at 5:41 PM on January 30th, 2018:

    I love how cramps are always treated as some sort of non-issue, like the mouth breathers listening to WIP could run routes like a probowler with one of their legs painfully locked up.

  39. 39 Bert's Bells said at 5:48 PM on January 30th, 2018:

    Meh. Don’t defend Pinkston.

  40. 40 Jernst said at 3:07 PM on January 30th, 2018:

    The thing that infuriated me the most is that despite being caught red handed cheating on multiple occasions everyone just puts on blinders and pretends that Brady and Belichick didn’t just cheat themselves to multiple Super Bowls. I’m not saying they wouldn’t have been great without the cheating, but if I hear one more media pundit talk about how they’re the greatest of all time, legendary, have more career accomplishments than anyone else, without mentioning the cheating as a huge glaring asterisk, I might lose my mind. It’s as if the entire collective media have decided that the cheating doesn’t matter, made no difference and it’s fine to just treat them like gods as if they accomplished all they did fair and square. It’s sickening!

  41. 41 Ryan Rambo said at 12:30 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    If the media doesn’t get off Brady’s nuts, he won’t be able to run on Sunday.

  42. 42 Guy Media said at 5:29 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    Fine by me.

  43. 43 Philadelphian said at 1:39 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    I originally posted this on another site, but with Mike Lombardi constantly making himself look like an idiot, thought it was worthwhile repeating.

    The quote below is from Brett Favre. It should give people an indication why a guy like Mike Lombardi lacks the ability to think outside the box. For those that get lost on how a coordinator’s success is a prerequisite to becoming a successful head coach, ask yourself how many coordinators had the background and knowledge Favre makes clear Pederson has.

    “When Doug was with me, I hate to say he was a lot like a coach, but he was. Very instinctive. He thought the way I thought. He knew me. He knew what I was thinking, and he was able to relay that to the coach, or the play-caller. Not a lot of the backup QBs have the headset on, but I wanted him talking to the coach. He’d tell the play-caller, Mike [Holmgren] or Sherm [Lewis, offensive coordinator] or Mike [Sherman, a Holmgren successor], ‘Think checkdown.’ Or, ‘Third-and-three, expect this.’ He was right so often. Some quarterbacks don’t want anything in their ear but the play. I did. I would say, ‘Make sure to give me reminders.’ So he’d say, ‘Hey, Merton Hanks likes to come from the weak side here,’ or ‘Brad Culpepper is tilted on the nose here—be careful for the weakside blitz.’ He just knew how I thought.”

  44. 44 Masked Man said at 2:02 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    That’s a great quote by Favre. Where’s it from?

  45. 45 sonofdman said at 3:00 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    MMQB – Peter King

  46. 46 Philadelphian said at 3:32 PM on January 30th, 2018:

    I read it on some link a guy posted on Philly Voice, but I can’t remember where it was.

  47. 47 Guy Media said at 5:29 AM on January 30th, 2018:


  48. 48 anon said at 4:59 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    “Jalen Mills didn’t have much action come his way. ” What a difference a year makes

  49. 49 Dave said at 7:37 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    Odell Beckham would disagree.

  50. 50 xeynon said at 8:35 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    You know we’re talking about the Vikings game, right?

    Or has your irrational dislike of Mills caused you to forget that?

  51. 51 Guy Media said at 5:35 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    I really love these game breakdowns from Tommy. On one hand, it was nice to go back through an amazing win. On the other, the coaches have tape on just about every guy to challenge them to be better on Sunday. Especially with some of the bad tackling on the runs early in the game and/or dropped passes.

  52. 52 eagleyankfan said at 7:57 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    Ditto…except this week :). Vikes are old news. It’s SuperBowl Week Baby! (Joey Tribianni reference)

  53. 53 meteorologist said at 5:44 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    Game breaking strategic advice for the Eagles! How can we get this to Doug?

  54. 54 A_T_G said at 7:43 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    It might help his credibility if there wasn’t a typo in the title, but interesting stuff. I will be watching how often we run from 3-WR sets.

  55. 55 Bert's Bells said at 8:28 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    There are a few typos, but he’s clearly a math geek and not an grammar nerd.

  56. 56 A_T_G said at 10:59 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    Absolutely, and I can relate. The very first word of the title is kind of an important one to get right though.

  57. 57 Tdoteaglefan said at 7:52 AM on January 30th, 2018:

    interesting stuff, would be even better if he discussed the defensive personnel the patriots used in those situations. I’m assuming nickel but I wonder exactly which players they had on the field.