My question to you is: who would you rather the Eagles face next weekend?
Here are some quick thoughts on each potential opponent.
- The biggest attraction to wanting to play the Vikings is Case Keenum. The journeyman backup just isn’t all that intimidating despite the fact he’s having a good season. Keenum is 11-3 as a starter. He’s completed 67.6% of his passes for 3,547 yards, 22 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and a 98.3 passer rating. But it just feels like Keenum could potentially turn into a pumpkin and struggle in the playoffs. It’s hard to fully trust him to be great given the lack of a track record.
- No one will be mistaking Keenum for Russell Wilson but he has flashed some mobility that kind of concerns me a little against the Eagles’ pass rush.
- The Vikings’ wide receivers are scary. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are really good. They seem like a bad matchup for the Eagles’ cornerbacks.
- Minnesota’s defense is really, really good. They rank second to the Eagles in stopping the run. Mike Zimmer’s unit ranks No. 2 overall in DVOA. It’d be tough for the Eagles to get the run going against them, which means they’d have to really rely on Nick Foles’ arm.
- Just like the Eagles, the Vikings had a first-round bye. So they’ve had extra rest.
- Can you imagine if Keenum got hurt and Sam Bradford had to come into the game. That’d be really something.
- Speaking of the Bradford trade, it’d be pretty cool if Derek Barnett had a big game against Minnesota. The Eagles drafted Barnett with the 2017 first-round pick they got from Minny. Reminder that the Vikings still owe the Eagles a 2018 fourth-round pick from that deal.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
- Before I start, read this argument from John Stolnis why the Eagles should want to face the Saints.
- Drew Brees isn’t having his greatest season ever, but he’s still having a pretty great season: 72% completion, 4,334 yards, 23 touchdowns, eight interceptions, 103.9 passer rating. Brees was the last quarterback to knock the Eagles out of the playoffs ... back in January 2014.
- The Saints’ running backs are very dangerous. Philadelphia is No. 1 at stopping the run but Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram can both contribute as pass catchers as well.
- New Orleans’ defense is improved from years past but it’s not a juggernaut. They rank No. 8 overall in DVOA and tied for 20th in opponent yards per play. The Eagles could probably move the ball on that defense.
- The Saints haven’t had a chance to rest their starters since they entered the playoffs as the No. 4 seed. New Orleans hasn’t had a week off since their Week 5 bye in early October.
So ... who do you want the Eagles to play in the NFC Championship Game? I think I’m leaning towards the Saints, but I’m not really terrified of either team. I think the Eagles can beat both of them in Philly.
Vote for your choice in the poll below. (Click here if you can’t see the poll.)
Who do you want the Eagles to face in the NFC Championship Game: Vikings or Saints?
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