The Linc - Eagles vs. Vikings Game Day!

Elsa

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/15/2013.

It's game day!

Don't forget to follow the wonderful BGN writers on Twitter:

Brandon Lee Gowton - @BrandonGowton

Mike E. Kaye - @mike_e_kaye

James Keane - @JeromesFriend

Brent Cohen - @EaglesRewind

Mark Saltveit - @taoish

Josh Collacchi - @PFF_JCollacchi

BGN Radio - @BGN_Radio.

Let's get to the links...

Report: Vikings Running Backs Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart Out Against Eagles - BLG, BGN
In case you missed it from late last night.

Eagles-Vikings Game Preview - Tommy Lawlor, Iggles Blitz
The Eagles head to Minnesota for Sunday’s game. The Vikings made the playoffs last year, but have fallen on hard times in 2013. They’re just 3-9-1. What happened? Looks like there are 2 big factors. First, QB instability. Last year Christian Ponder started all 16 games and played reasonably well. This season the Vikings have used Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman as starters. None of them has played well. Secondly, close games have been a problem. Last year the Vikings were 5-1 in games decided by a TD or less. This year they are 3-4-1. The problem with running the ball and trying to get by with a mediocre QB is that you don’t leave yourself with much room for error. This year’s team isn’t able to limit mistakes and overcome the ones they do make.

How did Shady get so shifty? - Jeff McLane, Inquirer
His name was Zeus. He was big, mean (to a 6-year-old), and he scared LeSean McCoy into running for his life. The Eagles running back doesn't quite know how he got his elusive moves, although he has his theories. But his older brother, LeRon, traces McCoy's ability to cut on a dime back to Zeus.

Behind the dramatic turnaround of Birds' defense - Zach Berman, Inquirer
"I’m asking you to trust me, even though there are not results. … It will turn."
- Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis, Oct. 1

NFL coaches on the hot seat: Is Mike Shanahan, Greg Schiano or Leslie Frazier next? - SB Nation NFL
Gary Kubiak is out in Houston, so who's next? Mike Shanahan, Greg Schiano and Leslie Frazier seem like the likeliest suspects.

Nothing Is Off-Limits With Evan Mathis - PE.com
Evan Mathis was interviewed on NFL Network’s "NFL AM" show Thursday morning by Steve Wyche and Mark Kriegel. The three touched on a variety of topics, from the Snow Bowl to Nick Foles’ demeanor, Chip Kelly’s sense of humor, a potential Pro Bowl nomination, Sunday’s game against the Vikings, why he fits in Philadelphia, and… Selena Gomez?

Roob's 25 random points: Foles, McCoy & more - Reuben Frank, CSN Philly
It’s fascinating that for the last 25 years the Eagles haven’t just had terrific running backs, they’ve always had a terrific receiving back. From Keith Byars to Ricky Watters to Duce Staley to Brian Westbrook to LeSean McCoy, they’ve always had one of the best receiving backs in the league. This has been under five different head coaches and various GMs, even two owners, so there’s obviously no real reason for this. But if you like a versatile back who can make plays running or coming out of the backfield, you’re in the right city. From 1988 through 1992, Byars was second among all NFL backs with 339 receptions (three fewer than John L. Williams). From 1995 through 1997, Watters was fourth among RBs with 161 catches, and from 1998 through 2002, Staley was seventh with 237 receptions, even with all the time he missed with the lisfranc injury. From 2003 through 2008, Westbrook led all NFL backs with 392 receptions (and 28 touchdowns), and since 2009, McCoy is fourth (behind Ray Rice, Darren Sproles and Matt Forte) with 260 catches. Since 1988, Byars, Watters, Westbrook rank fifth, 13th and 14th in the NFL in receptions by running backs, and over the past 10 years, Westbrook and McCoy rank fourth and 10th. And one cool aspect about all this is how these guys overlapped. Watters and Duce were teammates for a year, Duce and Westbrook played together from 2002 through 2003, and Westbrook and McCoy were teammates in 2009. So there’s a lineage from Ricky to Duce to Westbrook to Shady over a 19-year span. Very cool.

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