Friday, December 26, 2014

Eagles-Vikings: Predictions, key matchups

Here are the staff predictions from the Daily News on Sunday's Eagles-Vikings game:

Eagles-Vikings: Predictions, key matchups

Here are the staff predictions from the Daily News on Sunday's Eagles-Vikings game:

LES BOWEN

There's always something to be a little queasy about, and in this case, it's the 14 1/2-point spread, for an Eagles defense that isn't going to fuel a lot of routs. Also, what if the Giants lose to the Packers earlier Sunday and the Birds take the field knowing they're already NFC East champs? How many snaps in the snow do Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson and company get, if that happens?

But we have to assume the game will be crucial and that the Eagles will treat it that way. If this Vikings offense lights up Sean McDermott's young secondary, the Birds don't deserve to be NFC East champs. Really don't think that's going to happen.

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Oh, and Andy Reid is 5-0 against the Vikes, including two playoff games.

Eagles 30, Vikings 13

PAUL DOMOWITCH

The Eagles are coming off an emotional win that has put them in the driver's seat in the NFC East. A letdown against the 5-9 Vikings certainly isn't an impossibility.

But I just don't see it.

For all intents and purposes, the Vikings appear to be a stick-a-fork-in-them-they're-done team. Brett Favre probably won't play. Adrian Peterson probably won't play. Most of the rest of the Vikings wish they didn't have to play.

Their offensive line has been decimated by injuries. Their pass rush, which led the league in sacks a year ago, has just 24 this season. Their secondary looks like easy pickings for Mike Vick, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.

Andy Reid clearly is concerned about the possibility of a letdown, because he's been preaching the dangers of it all week. But again, I just don't see it.

The Vikings are coming off a 40-14 beating at home, or sort of home, to the Bears. Now, they have to kiss their wives/girlfriends/mistresses and kids goodbye on Christmas Day and fly to Philadelphia to play what is, for them, a meaningless game.

Eagles 40, Vikings 20

Other selections:

Ed Barkowitz: Eagles, 37-14

Bill Conlin: Eagles, 38-10

Marcus Hayes: Eagles, 31-21

John Smallwood: Eagles, 27-10

Vegas Vic: Eagles, 31-18

Here are staff predictions from the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

Bob Sansevere

Eagles 34, Vikings 10: I would still hire Leslie Frazier as coach. He didn't create or cause this mess. 

Tom Powers

Eagles 56, Vikings 3: I hope you asked Santa for a new quarterback and a replacement for Bryant McKinnie so that the new quarterback doesn't get killed in his first game.

Jeremy Fowler

Eagles 35, Vikings 17: If the Vikings allowed the Bears to score 40, they shouldn't be very encouraged about stopping Michael Vick's high-octane attack with the Eagles.

Brian Murphy

Eagles 27, Vikings 6: Philly is bursting with confidence following its miraculous comeback victory over the Giants while its blitz-hungry defense is salivating at the chance to attack rookie quarterback Joe Webb, whose first NFL start could be his last.

In case you are wondering the guys at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune also have it as a clean sweep for the Eagles. 

KEY MATCHUPS

1. Eagles LT Jason Peters vs. Vikings RDT Jared Allen: The Vikings only have 24 sacks, but Allen's got 9 1/2 of them. Peters has been playing at a Pro Bowl level since returning from October knee surgery. Advantage: Eagles

2. Eagles WRs DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin vs. Vikings CBs Antoine Winfield and Asher Allen: Winfield is one of the league's top cover corners, but Allen's going to struggle on the other side with one of these dangerous receivers. Advantage: Eagles

3. Eagles MLB Jamar Chaney vs. Vikings TE Visanthe Shiancoe: Chaney still is a work in progress as far as his coverage skills. Shiancoe is a very athletic tight end. Advantage: Vikings

*

To see a video preview of the game from NBC, click here

 


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Eagletarian is your home for comprehensive coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
Paul Domowitch Daily News NFL Columnist
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