Eagles will face Vikings in NFC championship

Saints Vikings Football
Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon (21) runs in for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the first half of an NFL divisional football playoff game in Minneapolis, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018.

The Eagles will host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday in the NFC championship game after the Vikings beat the New Orleans Saints, 29-24, in the divisional round. The game will be at 6:40 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field and will be televised on FOX.

The Eagles and Vikings were the two best teams in the NFC this season, both finishing 13-3. The Eagles secured the top seed and home-field advantage based on their record against common opponents. That will be important on Sunday, although the Vikings are playing for a different type of home-field advantage: If they beat the Eagles, they’ll be the first team in NFL history to play the Super Bowl in their own stadium.

The winner of the Eagles-Vikings game will play the winner of the New England Patriots-Jacksonville Jaguars in the Super Bowl on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis.

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Similar to the Eagles, the Vikings lost their starting quarterback this season. Sam Bradford, who was acquired from the Eagles, re-injured his knee and played in only two games this season. Case Keenum filled in and has been one of the NFC’s biggest surprises, throwing for 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Keenum is a former teammate of Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, who lost his job to Keenum in St. Louis in 2015. That will be one of the most-discussed storylines of the week. They also lost rookie running back Dalvin Cook, but backup Latavius Murray has provided solid production for the Vikings. Wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen form one of the best duos in the NFL. Their offensive coordinator is former Eagles assistant Pat Shurmur.

The strength of the Vikings is their defense, which ranked No. 1 in the NFL in total yards (275.9) and points allowed (15.8). Cornerback Xavier Rhodes and safety Harrison Smith were first-team All-Pros, and defensive end Everson Griffen made second-team All-Pro. Head coach Mike Zimmer has taken the Vikings to the playoffs in two of his four seasons in Minnesota.