A timeline of Sunday, which got an extra early start thanks to some overserved folks not too far from Lincoln Financial Field.
2:30 a.m. – Awakened by Eagles chants by a dozen well-lubricated fans making the best of things after the bar just kicked them out. South Philly’s heating up.
6:10 a.m. – Local news stations catch South Jersey’s Jim Cobb as the first fan to arrive at FDR Park to scout out a tailgating spot.
9:34 a.m. – Tom Brady shown walking into Gillette Stadium with his injured hand stuffed in his jacket. While it’s all Eagles/all the time around here, the AFC Championship Game is pretty interesting, too.
11:24 a.m. – Michael Irvin predicts on the NFL Network that Adam Thielen would tear up the field at Lincoln Financial Field and that the Vikings would be in the Super Bowl. A few minutes earlier, Terrell Davis says that Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette would have 19 carries for 76 yards and that it would not be enough to beat the Patriots. He had 76 yards on 24 carries. Way to go, T.D.
11:53 a.m. – Irvin says Nick Foles will be sacked eight times and throw for less than 88 yards.
12:00 p.m. – Fellow colleague Erin McCarthy spots a tailgate where a poker game has broken out. Guys brought their own table and everything. Anything to pass the time.
12:38 p.m. – The puck drops on the Flyers-Caps game. Oh yeah, the Flyers are playing.
1:14 p.m. – Run into Underdog (Dave Schreiner of Manayunk) in the Holiday Inn parking lot. Says he feels good about this one, that the Eagles will win. Woof, woof.
1:51 p.m. – A check of the line at Treasure Island in Vegas has the Eagles as 2.5-point underdogs. They had been 3-point underdogs, which means some folks out there are laying heavy on the Eagles. Going from 3 to 2.5 is a significant move.
2:15 p.m. – The Roots do a quick rehearsal on a stage set up in the northeast corner of the field (where the Jalen Mills/Julio Jones play took place last week). They’re doing the halftime show.
2:17 p.m. – Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz casually strolls onto the field and curiously stops at the 1-yard line. Omen?
3:05 p.m. – Travis Konecny scores in overtime to give the Flyers a 2-1 win and a two-game sweep of their weekend.
Just watched two grown men in Eagles jerseys and dog masks bark incessantly at another grown man walking down Sansom in a Vikings jersey. I love Philly.
— Patricia Madej (@PatriciaMadej) January 21, 2018
4:24 p.m. – The Jaguars surprisingly take a 14-10 lead over the Patriots at the half. NBC’s gotta be sweating out the prospect of Blake Bortles in the Super Bowl instead of Tom Brady.
5:47 p.m. – Get a text from my sister that the streets around South Philly are “eerily quiet.” Wonder what condition my friends from 2:30 a.m. are in. Guessing comatose.
6:04 p.m. – The Patriots rally (of course) for a 24-20 win and await the winner of our game, which is about a half-hour from kickoff. The NBC folks can breathe again.
6:23 p.m. – The Treasure Island line goes back up to 3. The sports books are going to clean up on the juice. Again.
6:27 p.m. – First Eagles fight song booms over the frenzied crowd at the Linc just before the Vikings take the field.
6:37 p.m. – Referee Ed Hochuli stumbles during the coin toss but gathers himself in time to announce that the Eagles have won the toss. They defer, and Minnesota elects to take the ball.
6:46 p.m. – Case Keenum’s 25-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph has taken a lot of steam out of the joint, as the Vikes grab a quick 7-0 lead. Hoping to get the crowd reenergized, former Eagles tight end Chad Lewis leads the place in an E-A-G-L-E-S chant.
6:53 p.m. – Trey Burton is unable to stay inbounds on an out-route that would have been a first down. The Eagles commit a penalty on the subsequent punt. Vikings have serious momentum.
7:03 p.m. – Patrick Robinson’s 50-yard interception return for a touchdown flips the Linc upside down. It could go down as one of the great defensive plays in Eagles postseason history, depending on how this game plays out. The play was set up by Chris Long getting around the edge and hitting Case Keenum as the Vikings quarterback was ready to throw.
7:24 p.m. – LeGarrette Blount scores on an 11-yard run, thanks largely to a crunching block by Trey Burton. It’s 14-7 Eagles, and the momentum has swung big time in the Eagles’ favor.
7:46 p.m. – Derek Barnett’s strip-sack of Keenum is recovered by Long and thwarts what would have been at least a Vikings field goal. The Eagles take over at their own 24 yard line. Quite a huge play.
7:55 p.m. – Foles keeps his calm despite the pocket closing and heaves a 53-yard touchdown to Alshon Jeffery to give the Eagles a 21-7 lead. Earlier in the drive, Foles hit Torrey Smith with an 11-yard pass to put him over the 88 yards that Michael Irvin projected. The Eagles add a field goal at the gun to take a 24-7 lead into the half. Oh, Foles had 50 more passing yards on that field-goal drive to give him 208 for the half.
8:27 p.m. – Doug Pederson reaches into his bag for a flea-flicker, and Foles hits Smith for a 41-yard touchdown to give the Eagles a 31-7 lead. All three of the Eagles offensive touchdowns were in the same end zone that Jim Schwartz curiously stared into six hours ago.
8:38 p.m. – Vikings receiver Adam Thielen is unable to make an acrobatic catch on a 4th-and-8, and the crazies at the Linc can smell a Super Bowl trip.
8:55 p.m. – On the second play of the fourth quarter, Foles hits Jeffery for a 5-yard touchdown and a 38-7 lead. The two most notable things from the 92-yard drive is that Foles had 65 more passing yards and the Linc broke out in a mock “Skol” chant. Absolute bedlam here.
9:02 p.m. – “We want Brady” chants break out. These people have delightfully lost their minds.
9:22 p.m. – Corey Graham finishes off an interception started by Ronald Darby to put the final stamp on things. There are six minutes left of what will basically be a party at the Linc. The Vikings are the latest team to get hammered after winning with a miracle the previous week.
9:35 p.m. – Guessing Nate Sudfeld has never gotten a larger ovation for entering a game. Foles was lifted after the two-minute warning, finishing with 352 yards and three TD passes.
9:37 p.m. – Sudfeld takes one final knee and flings the ball joyously into the stands. People are crying — especially the bookies who took action on the Eagles and the over.