PHILADELPHIA — One team has a suffocating
Two of the league's elite
"They have a great
The Vikings allowed the fewest yards (275.9) and fewest points (15.8) per game. The Eagles were fourth in yards allowed (306.5) and fourth in points (18.4).
May the best
"Typically, when you're good defensively, you're going to stay in the ballgames," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. "Then you have a chance to win them at the end."
Minnesota has three Pro Bowl players on
"It's just a smothering
Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and safety Malcolm Jenkins are Philadelphia's Pro Bowl picks. Defensive end Brandon Graham had an excellent season and cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills are solid.
Hearing about Minnesota's
"When you've got the No. 1
Here are things to watch for in the NFC championship game:
BATTLE OF THE BACKUPS: Case Keenum and Nick Foles were teammates in St. Louis in 2015 and began this season as backups. Keenum had a breakout season for the Vikings after Sam Bradford was injured. Foles is 3-1 since MVP candidate Carson Wentz tore his ACL. Expect
"We've got to make Nick Foles win the game," Griffen said. "We've got to make him win the game but we've got to stop the running game, affect him and give the ball back to our
OWNING MINNESOTA: Eagles receiver Alshon Jeffery has more catches (45), yards (685), and touchdowns (7) against the Vikings than he has against any other team. But Jeffery, who spent his first five seasons with the Bears, did most of his damage against other cornerbacks while also being the featured guy in Chicago's
BROTHERLY LOVE: The Kendricks family from Northern California is guaranteed to have a son playing linebacker in the Super Bowl. Eric Kendricks is in his third season with the Vikings, and Mychal is in his sixth year with the Eagles.
Eric had his best season with 136 tackles to lead the team for the third straight time, nine passes defended and one interception return for a touchdown. Mychal was fifth on the Eagles with 72 tackles in 2017, adding two sacks.
Both were second-round draft picks, Eric out of UCLA with the 45th overall selection in 2015 and Mychal from Cal with the 46th overall pick in 2012. Their father, Marvin, was UCLA's leading rusher in 1970 and 1971 and went on to play in the CFL.
With both teams at the top of the NFC and both
"I always make jokes: I feel like my brother gets a little bit of the advantage as far as who the family roots for, because he's the first born," Eric said. "It's all love, though."
FIND THEIR FOOTING: The Eagles laid fresh sod between the hash marks this week to help improve the conditions at Lincoln Financial Field. The weather should help, with a dry forecast and expected temperatures in the 40s, but the Vikings have been preparing for the worst.
Zimmer had a video put together of Falcons players sliding and slipping on the field last weekend. Players have been encouraged to try seven-stud cleats in pregame
NOT YET: The Vikings are 0-3 against the Eagles in the
AP Pro Football Writer Dave Campbell contributed.
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Rob Maaddi, The Associated Press