The Eagles were underdogs last week, the first time ever a conference’s No. 1 seed was not favored to win in the divisional round.
The Eagles are underdogs again this week for the NFC championship game, as Minnesota is laying 3 or 3.5 points. This also is unusual, but it’s not unprecedented.
Since the current playoff format started in 1990, the Eagles are the fifth top seed not to be favored for the conference championship game. Just once has that underdog team gone on to win the game.
After the 1997 season, San Francisco was a 2.5-point underdog and lost to No. 2 seed Green Bay, 23-10. After 2004, Pittsburgh was a 3-point ’dog in a 41-27 loss to No. 2 New England. In the 2012 playoffs, Atlanta was a 3.5-point underdog and lost to second-seeded San Francisco, 28-24.
The only No. 1 seed to win a conference championship as an underdog was Peyton Manning and the Broncos, who beat No. 2 New England, 20-18, after the 2015 season. Manning then went on to win his second Super Bowl and retired a month later.
The upshot is that if then-39-year-old Peyton Manning can beat Tom Brady in this spot, Nick Foles can do the same to Case Keenum.
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