View Full Version : Eagles vs. Vikings Playoff Preview

12-31-2008, 04:49 PM
For the better part of the season I've been told I had the Eagles rated way too high in my Power Rankings. But somehow, they did what they had to do to make it into the playoffs as a team that no one seemingly wants to face. This weekend, the Vikings get that task at home.

The Eagles bring an offense that revolves arounf the versatility of Brian Westbrook and a defense that blitzes every other play. They face a Vikings defense that stymies the run and an offense that goes as far as Adrian Petersens legs will take it.

The Breakdown

Let's start with the Eagles defense against the Vikings offense. The Vikes will try to pound the Eagles blitz with the NFL's leading rusher. But lets not forget that in addition to being amongst the league leaders in team sacks, the Eagles were also #4 against the run. A team that ranked second in the NFL with 14 fumble recoveries (4 in their final game) against a running back that fumbled the ball 9 times, losing 4 of them.

If Minnesota decides to go the passing route, there could be even more trouble. The Jim Johnson blitzing system against incumbent Vikings starter Tavaris Jackson. Forcing the young gunslinger to make quick decisions could lead to the Philadelphis secondary of studs having a field day.

Advantage: Philadelphia.

The flip side of the equation is a little more interesting. The Vikings defense is by far #1 against the run. However, they are 18th against the pass. Add to the fact that they allowed 233 total rushing yards in the final two games of the season. Nevertheless, they will have to account for Brian Westbrook out of the backfield regardless of his rushing or receiving. Thay'll also be given the task of trying to generate a pass rush against the quick passing West Coast offense of the Eagles.

Advantage: Philadelphia

Special Teams...Philly finished 3rd in points by a kicker and Minnesota was not far behind, ranked 7th. The difference is in points allowed by kicking, where Philly was 8th in fewest points allowed and Minnesota was 18th. Philly also has the advantage in team kickoff and punt returns as well as opponent return yards.

Advantage: Philadelphia.

When the intangibles of veteran experience and coaching experience are added in, the nod also has to go to Philly. There is a reason they play the games and anything is possible, but when the details are added up, Philly wins this game.

My prediction...Philly - 27 Minnesota - 13