The Philadelphia Eagles take on the Vikings in Minnesota this week with the game starting at 1 PM EST. By now you've heard the "trap game" angle covered in every way possible.
As Mark wrote earlier today, Chip Kelly doesn't seem like the kind of coach to get caught up in a trap game. He's too focused on a week to week basis to allow his team to overlook the opponent at hand. The Eagles aren't in danger of losing this game because they took the Vikings too lightly. If the Eagles lose, it's likely because they make mistakes and the Vikings found a way to capitalize on those missed opportunities.
With the trap angle out of the way, let's get into some quick thoughts heading into this week's game:
• This isn't 2010. Joe Webb is not a quarterback anymore. It's not a re-scheduled game on a Tuesday night. Andy Reid isn't the Eagles' coach. These two situations aren't comparable.
• The Vikings are better at home (3-3) than they are on the road (0-6-1). The Eagles have been better on the road (5-1) than they have at home (3-3).
• Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart are dealing with injuries that have them listed as questionable on the injury report. If neither can play, depth running back Matt Asiata (who?) and FB Jerome Felton will handle carries. The Eagles have been solid against the run. This isn't looking like a great match-up for the Vikings.
• Minnesota is hurting beyond the obvious injuries to their running backs. Take a look at the Eagles-Vikings final injury report. The Vikings are missing a number of key players. Starting tight end John Carlson is out. Starting CB Josh Robinson is out. Starting OG Brandon Fusco is doubtful. Starting CB Chris Cook is questionable. CB Xavier Rhodes is doubtful.
• Considering all of those injuries in the Vikings seconday, it's hard not to think it could be a big day for DeSean Jackson and/or Riley Cooper. This is a game where Nick Foles shouldn't be struggling to complete his passes.
• The Eagles are relatively healthy heading into this game. Not only are they playing well, but they're coming at opposing teams with a near-full arsenal.
• Perhaps the Vikings are a little better than record says they are. As our friends at Daily Norseman point out, the Vikings would be 8-5 this year if games were 59 minutes long instead of 60. Minny has lost five leads this season in the final minute of the game. The Vikings certainly aren't a good team, but they aren't a free win.
• The Vikings are 6th in giveaways (25) and own the league's 6th worst turnover differential (-7). The Eagles have the league's 6th best turnover differential (+9).
• The Eagles have gone nine straight games without allowing more than 21 points. The Vikings average 24.2 points a game. The Eagles average 25.7 points a game while the Vikings allow 30.4.
• Special teams: the Eagles struggled in kick and punt coverage against the Lions but some of that can be blamed on the snowy field. Still, the Eagles will need to watch out for Vikings rookie Cordarelle Patterson on returns. Alex Henery and Donnie Jones need to be at their best on kicks and punts.
• This is a very winnable game for the Eagles. It's up to them to take care of business and escape Minnesota with the victory.
Eagles-Vikings Podcast Preview:
- All-22: Dashing Through the Snow
- Eagles vs. Vikings 2013 Odds: It's A Trap
- Eagles vs. Vikings 2013: Game time, TV schedule, online streaming, channel, and more
- The Linc - Riley Cooper Wants to Re-Sign With the Eagles
- Aaron Rodgers Injury: Packers QB Ruled Out for Cowboys Game
- LeSean McCoy named FedEx Ground Player of the Week