Monday, December 22, 2014

Eagles-Vikings: What We'll Be Watching

Bombs Away. The Vikings’ secondary has been hurt by injuries and has not been able to defend the pass. They’ve given up a league-worst 29 touchdown passes already and have a 95.7 opponent passer rating. Expect big numbers from Nick Foles and his receivers on a climate-controlled track.

Eagles-Vikings: What We'll Be Watching

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. (Matt Rourke/AP)
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. (Matt Rourke/AP)

Bombs Away. The Vikings’ secondary has been hurt by injuries and has not been able to defend the pass. They’ve given up a league-worst 29 touchdown passes already and have a 95.7 opponent passer rating. Expect big numbers from Nick Foles and his receivers on a climate-controlled track.

Run-Stoppers. The Vikings almost certainly won’t have Adrian Peterson and they also may not have backup Toby Gerhart (hamstring). Nevertheless, the Vikings still will try to run the ball, whether it’s with fullback Jerome Felton or even wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.

Give And Take. The Vikings are 26th in the league in turnover differential (minus-7). Their 25 giveaways are the fourth most in the league. That’s good news for the Eagles’ opportunistic defense, which has forced 12 turnovers in the last five games. The Eagles have a plus-10 turnover differential during their five-game win streak.

Getting Off The Field. The Vikings own the third worst third-down offense in the league. While the Eagles’ defense has improved by leaps and bounds over the last nine games, it still has struggled on third down and has allowed opponents to convert 30.5 percent of their third downs of seven yards or more.

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Coverage Issues. While the snow had a lot to do with it, the Eagles gave up a punt return and kickoff return for touchdowns last week against the Lions. Now, they’re facing a Vikings team that has the league’s top kickoff returner (Cordarrelle Patterson) and the fourth best punt returner (Marcus Sherels). They’ve combined for three return TDs.

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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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