A common post the SB Nation NFL team sites have done throughout this years asks the question: “Which [opposing team’s] player would [your favorite team’s] fans take?” With the Philadelphia Eagles set to play the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, it’s time to address the question and familiarize yourself with the opponent’s roster.
So here’s a fun question right off the bat, who would you rather have: Case Keenum or Nick Foles? If you’re Jeff Fisher, the answer is “both of them.” But we’re not playing by 7-9 rules here.
Seriously, though, who are you taking? Foles is the devil you know. But Keenum’s undoubtedly had a really good year.
The thing about taking Keenum is that you just feel like there’s that possibility the shoe is going to drop. He’s going to show up and be a very bad version of Keenum, as we saw with the Rams. Maybe that doesn’t happen. The chance that it does, though, is exactly why some aren’t so scared of the Vikings.
Who would you rather have as the Eagles’ QB: Case Keenum or Nick Foles?
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A big reason why Keenum has been successful is because his top two wide receivers are awesome. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen are really, really good. They can make contested catches. They can create separation. They can make explosive plays. They can do it all. Together, they’ve combined for 155 receptions for 2,125 yards and 12 touchdowns. Either player would be a big upgrade over Torrey Smith, who is averaging 23.5 yards per game in his last 11.25 games (the quarter comes from Eagles vs. Cowboys in Week 17). By comparison, Thielen is averaging 79.8 yards per game and Diggs is averaging 60.6.
Thielen and Diggs have had a lot of success when Keenum has been able to use his mobility to evade pressure and keep plays alive. The Eagles’ cornerbacks have their work cut out for them on Sunday.
The Vikings’ rushers aren’t overly impressive. That’d be a different case if former future Eagles running back Dalvin Cook was healthy, but it’s not. Latavius Murray is averaging 3.9 yards per carry. Jerick McKinnon is at 3.8. McKinnon ranks fourth on the team in receiving with 421 yards, so he can also contribute as a receiver. But overall, meh. Philadelphia’s top-ranked run defense should be able to handle these guys. The only concern is some of those runs to the outside. The Eagles struggled with that; Tevin Coleman had 79 yards on 10 carries.
Kyle Rudolph is a quality tight end, especially in the red zone. But no need to take him over Zach Ertz.
Minnesota’s offensive line isn’t good, so there’s no one to consider there.
The Vikings have no shortage of impressive defenders.
Harrison Smith is arguably the best safety in the league. Pro Football Focus had something about him being the best player in the league, which is probably just a little bit of a stretch. Anyway, he has five interceptions this year. The combination of Smith and Malcolm Jenkins would be pretty sick. Minnesota’s other starting safety, Andrew Sendejo, is also one of the better players at his position. The Eagles will need to take some shots down the field, but it won’t be easy to complete those passes. The safeties can also play in the box.
Xavier Rhodes has made the Pro Bowl two years in a row now. The FSU alumnus was also named 2017 AP All-Pro first-team. A number of teams opt to throw at the Vikings’ other starting cornerback, Trae Waynes, instead of Rhodes. He’d be an upgrade at corner for the Eagles.
Doug Pederson labeled Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen as a “game wrecker.” He’s not wrong. Griffen has 13 sacks this season. He’s going to present a huge challenge for Halapoulivaati Vaitai. The Eagles are already deep at defensive end, but the combination of Griffen and Brandon Graham would certainly be fearsome.
Defensive tackle Linval Joseph probably doesn’t get enough credit; he only has one Pro Bowl to his name. The Eagles won’t take him lightly, though. He’s very disruptive on the interior.
The Vikings have quality linebackers. One of them happens to be Mychal Kendricks’ brother: Eric Kendricks. The younger Kendricks brother would be an upgrade over Dannell Ellerbe in Philadelphia’s base defense.
Returner Marcus Sherels has some speed and is probably an upgrade over Kenjon Barner. Not intriguing enough to be my main pick here, though.
I’m taking Sam Bradford. Not.
I think I’m actually leaning with Keenum, though the uncertainty about the sustainability of his success is a concern.
So if I’m not taking him, I’m going with either Diggs or Thielen. Give the Eagles either one, I’m not picky.
If you were deciding for the Eagles, who would you take? Vote in the poll below (click here if you can’t see it).
Pick one Vikings player to steal for the Eagles
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