Vikings would face Eagles in NFC Championship with win over Saints

It‘s too soon to book airline tickets. That has to wait another day. But Minnesota Vikings fans know where they‘re headed if the Vikings beat the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium in the NFC divisional round. 

Top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles maintained homefield advantage with a nail-biting 15-10 win over the No. 6-seed Atlanta Falcons at Lincoln Financial Field. 

But first things first: The Vikings have to handle business against the Saints, whom they beat in Week 1.That was long before the , and before the defense filled with new starters became comfortable.

NFC Divisional Round:

Who: No. 4 New Orleans (12-5) at No. 2 Vikings (13-3) at U.S. Bank Stadium

When: Sunday

Time/TV: 3:40 p.m. on Fox

This isn‘t to make assumptions or get too far ahead of things, but here are a few facts to note about the Philadelphia Eagles — just in case the Vikings meet them a week from now. 

— Quarterback Nick Foles wasn‘t given much of a chance to carry the weight of the Eagles‘ playoff hopes as the replacement for Carson Wentz. Wentz was an MVP candidate before suffering a season-ending knee injury. However, Foles is 3-1 in his four late-season starts, including completing 23 of 30 passes for 246 yards in the divisional playoff win over the Falcons.

— Running back Jay Ajayi was traded by the Miami Dolphins to the Eagles on Oct. 31 and has tag-teamed with LeGarrette Blount to make the Eagles‘ backfield more explosive and diverse. Ajayi is a reliable pass-catcher when needed and can pick up yards in chunks, averaging nearly 6 yards a carry. Ajayi rushed for 54 yards and had 44 receiving yards against the Falcons.

— The Eagles are 15-2 at home under coach Doug Pederson. That could be a tough out for the Vikings if they advance to that game. 

Here are the Dates, TV and Times for the rest of the NFL playoffs, all the way up to Super Bowl LII. 

NFC Championship:

When: Sunday, Jan. 21

Who: Vikings or Saints at Eagles

Time/TV: 5:40 p.m. CT on Fox 

AFC Championship:

When: Sunday, Jan. 21

Who: Jaguars or Steelers at Patriots 

Time/TV: 2:05 p.m. CT on CBS

Super Bowl LII

When: Feb. 4

Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis

Who: NFC Champion vs. AFC Champion

Time/TV: 5:30 p.m. CT, NBC

If the Vikings advance to the Super Bowl, they would be the . It‘s also interesting to note that while the NFC is technically the road team in this year‘s Super Bowl, the , and home locker room at U.S. Bank Stadium. 

 

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