October 4, 2018 / 4:45 PM / in 2 years

Eagles, Vikes set for NFC Championship Game rematch

The Philadelphia Eagles will look to remain undefeated at home when they host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field in a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship Game.

Sep 30, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott (4) kicks a field goal to score first in overtime against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

In that contest, the Eagles routed the Vikings 38-7 on their way to the first Super Bowl championship in franchise history.

The Eagles fell to 2-2 when they were beaten 26-23 in overtime on the road against the Tennessee Titans last Sunday. Philadelphia owns home wins over the Atlanta Falcons and Indianapolis Colts.

Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz was solid against the Titans, going 33 of 50 for 348 yards and two touchdowns. But Wentz has been sacked nine times in the last two games against the Colts and Titans since returning from a nine-month layoff following anterior cruciate ligament surgery in his knee.

The offensive line, which was a strength last season, has struggled through the first four games in pass protection.

“We’ve got as good an offensive line as there is in the league, and I wouldn’t trade any of those guys,” Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh said. “The guys on the other side, they do a lot of studying too and they work hard. They had a couple good pressures. They have a good pressure scheme. We knew that going into the game.”

The Titans converted three fourth downs on the game-winning drive, including a fourth-and-15.

The lack of execution on defense was noticeable and could lead to lineup changes.

“They’re happening weekly, quite honestly, because we evaluate our players based on how they play and so there’s always these conversations each week, on Mondays and Tuesdays and making decisions that way,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said. “But again, we as a team offense, defense, special teams, need to be more efficient and so, again, it is not just a knee-jerk reaction, but these conversations do go on.”

Running backs Darren Sproles (hamstring) and Corey Clement (quad) each missed the game against the Titans and are being listed as “day-to-day,” according to Pederson.

After a 1-0-1 start, the Vikings have scuffled with an embarrassing 27-6 loss to the Buffalo Bills and a hard-fought 38-31 defeat on the road against the Los Angeles Rams.

In the loss to L.A., quarterback Kirk Cousins was terrific, going 36 of 50 for 422 yards and three touchdowns.

“There will be a tremendous sense of urgency,” Cousins told ESPN.com, referring to the rematch against the Eagles. “We’ll have an edge to us in our preparation, have an edge to us during our game. You know, they’re the defending world champs. We’re playing them in their place. They reloaded and added some talent. It’s going to be a challenge, but that’s really what this league is all about.”

The Vikings’ running game was virtually non-existent against the Rams as they rushed 17 times for only 54 yards. Dalvin Cook had 10 of those carries for 20 yards.

“We moved the ball — it is what it is,” Cousins told reporters. “We’ll certainly go back and look at what we can do better in all phases, but certainly with running the football.”

It’s still unclear how long defensive end Everson Griffen will remain sidelined while undergoing a mental health evaluation, though he has been ruled out until at least Week 6.

—Field Level Media

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