Super disappointment: Vikings fall apart in NFC championship loss to Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA — Unlike last week, there was no miracle. Unlike the last 20 years, there was no soul-crushing moment that fans will replay in their nightmares for years to come.
Instead, it was a disaster almost from the start.
The Minnesota Vikings, with a chance to play for their first world championship in their home stadium, were blown out by the Philadelphia Eagles 38-7 in the NFC championship game Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles (15-3) advanced to play the New England Patriots (15-3) in Super Bowl LII at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The Vikings (14-4) will be forced to watch as one of those two teams celebrates on their home field, hoisting the Lombardi Trophy that has eluded their grasp.
After last week’s dramatic 29-24 win over the Saints in a divisional playoff game, when Keenum threw a 61-yard TD pass to Stefon Diggs as time expired, many called these Vikings a team of destiny.
That turned out not to be the case.
No, there was no missed field goal. No interception on an ill-advised pass late in regulation. No dropped pass near the end zone.
But this one will be as painful as the rest.
The Vikings were three-point favorites, and although they were on the road, they were playing against a team missing their MVP-caliber starting quarterback. They marched right down the field on the opening possession, scoring on a 25-yard pass from Case Keenum to Kyle Rudolph for a quick 7-0 lead.
But that was all that seemed to go right for Minnesota. On the next possession, Keenum threw an interception that the Eagles’ Patrick Robinson returned 50 yards for a touchdown, the first of 38 unanswered points scored by the Eagles.
Nick Foles, who came in late in the season to replace Carson Wentz as the Eagles’ starting quarterback, threw for 352 yards and three TDs on 26-for-33 passing, dicing up what many considered to be the NFL’s top defense.
Keenum threw two interceptions and lost a fumble for the Vikings.
He finished with 271 passing yards.
The Vikings last played in the Super Bowl in 1976. They are 0-6 in NFC championship games since.