NFC's top 2 seeds to meet in championship game

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NFC's top 2 seeds to meet in championship game

It will be the No. 1 seed vs. the No. 2 seed Sunday evening when the Eagles host the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game at the Linc at 6:40 p.m. on FOX. The winner is off to Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4.

The Eagles advanced Saturday with a 15-10 win over the Falcons. The Vikings advanced with a 29-24 win Sunday over the Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

The Eagles are 3-0 in postseason history against the Vikings, their best record against any opponent in playoff history. The only other team the Eagles have beaten three times in the postseason is the Falcons.

In 1980, on the way to the Super Bowl, the Eagles opened the postseason with a 31-16 wild-card win over the Vikings at the Vet. In 2004, the Eagles beat the Vikings 27-14 in the conference semifinal round at the Linc. And in 2008, they went to the Metrodome in Minneapolis and won 26-14 in a wild-card-round game. 

The Vikings are 6-16 in franchise history in road playoff games, with the 16 losses coming by an average of 31-14.  They’ve only won two road playoff games since 1989, 23-22 over the Giants in 1997, with Randall Cunningham besting Danny Kanell, and 31-17 over the Packers in 2004, with Daunte Culpepper outplaying Brett Favre at Lambeau Field.

The Eagles are 13-13 in franchise history against the Vikings, including a 9-6 mark in Philadelphia and a 3-1 record at the Linc.

The Eagles beat the Vikings 21-10 last October at the Linc, beating former Eagle quarterback Sam Bradford and handing the Vikings their first loss after a 5-0 start. 

Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur spent 13 years with the Eagles, 1999 through 2008 with Andy Reid and 2013 through 2015 with Chip Kelly. He's considered one of the leading candidates to become head coach of the Cardinals.

The Vikings ranked No. 1 in the NFL in defense this year, allowing just 276 yards and 15.8 points per game during the regular season. 

Vikings QB Case Keenum, who played with Kevin Kolb at Houston and Nick Foles with the Rams, completed 68 percent of his passes with 22 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 98.3 passer rating.

Adam Thielen was his favorite weapon, with 91 catches for 1,276 yards and four TDs. Stefon Diggs caught 64 for 849 with eight TDs.

Defensive ends Everson Griffen (13.0) and Danielle Hunter (7.0) combined for 20 of the Vikings' 20 sacks.

Why Jeff Lurie's response to national anthem policy was disappointing

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Why Jeff Lurie's response to national anthem policy was disappointing

On the latest edition of Roob Knows, an Eagles podcast, Reuben Frank discusses the NFL's new national anthem policy and why he was disappointed by Jeff Lurie's reaction. 

Roob also looks at the Eagles' linebacker situation, what's the next move after a couple losses and why you shouldn't bet against Carson Wentz.

Also, rookie cornerback Avonte Maddox joins the podcast. And a look at some Zach Ertz statistics that may surprise you.

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Roob's 10 observations: Anthem policy, Kendricks' career, Wentz

Roob's 10 observations: Anthem policy, Kendricks' career, Wentz

Some thoughts on the NFL’s new anthem policy, Mychal Kendricks’ release, Carson Wentz’s return to practice and — of course — the Joe Callahan Stat of the Day!

It’s all in this week’s OTA edition of Roob’s 10 random Eagles observations!

1. The NFL’s anthem policy banning players from peaceful demonstrations during the anthem bothers me for a few reasons. First of all, it’s a dangerous precedent for the league to unilaterally restrict any such form of personal expression. Legislating opinions never works. Players are going to find other ways to express their opinions, and the policy is only going to breed resentment between the players and the league, which is the last thing the league needs right now. But more than that, I really have problems with the word “disrespect.” When someone arbitrarily decides what is and what isn’t “disrespectful,” you really get yourself in a lot of trouble. Nobody who’s listened to Malcolm Jenkins so eloquently discuss his reasons for raising his fist during the anthem would ever accuse him of being disrespectful. And also, since this is a policy that affects mainly African-American players, it has strong racial implications. These are issues that aren’t going to just go away, whether or not the NFL tries to make them disappear.

2. And I found Eagles owner Jeff Lurie’s statement uncharacteristically tepid and vague. Lurie has been courageously supportive all along of Jenkins, Chris Long and all the players league-wide who’ve used their platform to fight for equal rights and social justice. All that statement did was avoid taking a stand on the new NFL policy. Disappointing.

3. Onto football matters! There’s no question the Eagles are a better football team with Mychal Kendricks on the field. Kendricks was solid last year and very good in the postseason. But the bottom line is Kendricks has felt unwanted and disrespected for a long time. The Eagles have been trying unsuccessfully to unload his contract for a couple years, and Kendricks knew he had no future here. If a team doesn’t want a player and the player doesn’t want to be with the team, it’s not a healthy relationship. And that’s why Kendricks is gone. But Kendricks handled what could have been an ugly situation with class and professionalism, and he’s got a Super Bowl ring to show for it. He never became the Pro Bowl player I expected when I first saw him play in 2012, but he was a decent player here for six years, and he leaves as a champion.

4. Jason Kelce announced the start of the 5K at the Eagles Autism Challenge at the Linc in terrible conditions and parodied his Super Bowl parade speech: “They said it was too cold! They said it was too rainy!” Hilarious.

5. Watching Carson Wentz actually participate in individual drills at practice Tuesday morning was pretty wild. For him to be out there looking comfortable and fluid taking drops and firing passes just 5½ months after hobbling off the field at L.A. Coliseum was awfully encouraging.

6. I’m really starting to think Wentz plays Sept. 6.

7. One note about the Eagles’ linebacker depth. The days where teams ran three linebackers out there on every play are long gone. The Eagles last year played three linebackers on about 12 percent of their defensive snaps. In the Super Bowl, the Eagles played a total of three reps with three LBs. So if Jordan Hicks can stay healthy and Nigel Bradham plays like he did last year, the Eagles will be fine. Big if with Hicks. When the Eagles do play three ‘backers, I expect Corey Nelson to handle that role. Really, it comes down to Hicks staying healthy.

8. Career completion percentages of current Eagles quarterbacks:

82.6 percent … Nate Sudfeld
71.4 percent … Joe Callahan
61.5 percent … Carson Wentz
61.1 percent … Nick Foles

9. Was fun watching Mike Wallace run around at practice on Tuesday. Excited to see what he brings to this offense. He’s 31, an age where many receivers are slowing down, but he was one of just two receivers in their 30s last year who caught 50 passes and averaged 14.0 yards per catch (Ted Ginn was the other). And with Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffery here, he doesn’t have to be THE GUY. None of them do. That’s the beauty of this offense.

10. Potentially, this is the best trio of receivers the Eagles have ever had. Would you rather have DeSean, Maclin and Avant or Jeffery, Agholor and Wallace? I think this group is more versatile and slightly more talented. It’s close.  

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