Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Why the Eagles win, or don't

From Bob Cooney:

Why the Eagles win, or don't

From Bob Cooney:

5 reasons the Eagles win:

1. Jim Johnson vs. Tarvaris Jackson. Do we really need to go into detail here? Johnson is about as welcomed a sight to young quarterbacks as rain is to the Mummers. Jackson is at his worst when teams blitz. He'll never see as many types of blitzes in one game as he will on Sunday. Also, the Vikings allow a lot of sacks (43) and have turned the ball over 31 times.

2. Something has to be said about the experience factor. The Eagles' roster is sprinkled with veterans who have not only been to the playoffs but know how to win there. This is the first playoff appearance for the Vikings since 2004.

3. Speaking of Johnson's defense, they've allowed only three running backs (Brandon Jacobs, Frank Gore and Clinton Portis) to run for more than 100 yards in a game all season. With the lack of a true threat at quarterback, the defense will key on Adrian Peterson all game.

4. Maybe Donovan McNabb's favorite color is purple, because he certainly plays great against Minnesota. In his four career starts against the Vikings, No. 5 has won them all, completing 65 percent of his passes, averaging 272 yards a game and has thrown eight touchdowns and zero interceptions.

5. Do you remember how the Eagles got into the playoffs? Has anything like that happened before? And will it ever happen again? After those improbable outcomes on Sunday, the Eagles can't lay an egg in the first playoff game. Right?

5 reasons the Vikings win:

1. In his last four road starts, Donovan McNabb has won just once, completed only 53.3 percent of his passes and has thrown two touchdowns and five interceptions.

2. In case you haven't noticed, Brian Westbrook has been in a running slump. In his last three games, he has totaled 41 carries for 148 yards, a 3.6 average. He also hasn't gotten into the end zone. That very well could continue against the Vikings' stingy run defense that allows just 3.3 yards per carry and has given up only 10 rushing TDs this season.

3. This probably will be a close, low-scoring game. That's not good news for the Birds. In games decided by seven points or less this season, the Eagles are 1-4-1.

4. Adrian Peterson put up sick rushing numbers again in his second season in the league (363 carries, 1,760 yards, 10 TDs). He'll get the ball close to 30 times and could break some long runs.

5. They will get plenty of pressure on Donovan McNabb, who will probably throw the ball close to 40 times. Jared Allen (14.5) and Kevin Williams (8.5) are two of the best pass rushers in the league.

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