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Eagles at Vikings, Open Thread

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Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Minneapolis, Minnesota

  1st 2nd 3rd 4th+OT F
Eagles 3 14 3 3 23
Vikings 7 3 3 3 16
Philadelphia Stat Minnesota
129.7 ypg (12th) Rush Offense 163.7 ypg (1st)
219.7 ypg (14th) Pass Offense 151.8 ypg (30th)
349.3 ypg (8th) Total Offense 315.5 ypg (23rd)
19.3 ppg (21st) Scoring Offense 19.2 ppg (22nd)
88 ypg (8th) Rush Defense 76.5 ypg (4th)
220.2 ypg (18th) Pass Defense 282.5 ypg (32nd)
308.2 ypg (11th) Total Defense 359 ypg (26th)
16.8 ppg (8th) Scoring Defense 19 ppg (14th)

Well, folks, after what seems like about 3 months on the road, the Vikings finally get to return to the comfy confines of the Metrodome this afternoon to take on a team that's been just as disappointing as the Vikings in Andy Reid's Philadelphia Eagles.  The Vikings haven't played at the Metrodome since their game against the most overrated franchise in professional sports back on 30 September, so it will be nice to see them back in Minneapolis again.

On paper, the Eagles should be a much better football team than they've shown through their first six games.  From the limited action I've seen of Donovan McNabb, it doesn't look like he's fully recovered from the injuries he's suffered last season, and the Eagles' offense has suffered a bit as a result.  The Eagles also seem to be having a problem with the turnover bug.  They currently have a +/- ratio of +1 for the season, but they've still turned the ball over much more frequently than an Andy Reid-coached team is accustomed to.  Their offense still features one of the most dynamic performers in the game in RB Brian Westbrook, and the Vikings will definitely need to know where he is at all times.  Westbrook will line up in the backfield, he'll motion outside, and he'll line up out wide depending on what the Eagles feels gives them the best matchup.

On the Vikings' side, Kelly Holcomb will again (apparently) be given the start at quarterback.  That might mean a slight improvement in the passing offense, but the game will still be won or lost for the Vikings on the legs of Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor.  The two backs saw a combined 22 carries for 110 yards (5.0 ypc) last week against Dallas, and for most teams that's not too bad.  For the Vikings' offense, it's not nearly enough.  Look for Minnesota to attempt to get the rushing attack going early in an effort to get the play-action passing game going.  Philly's defensive backfield is talented, but slightly more vulnerable without Brian Dawkins lurking deep.  Hopefully, Minnesota can take advantage of his absence.

This one's going to be a slugfest, and a pretty low-scoring one at that, I think.  Of course, the last time I said that about a Vikings' game, Minnesota and Chicago went on to score a combined 65 points.  As most NFL games do, I think it's going to come down to who makes the fewest mistakes.  Holcomb's familiarity with the Eagles might help him out a little bit, but in the end, I'm afraid I have to give the nod to the visitors in this one.

Gonzo's Final Score Prediction:  Eagles 19, Vikings 16

My picks for this week will be in the comments section.

An hour and a half until kickoff. . .let's see if I can write an effective English paper and cheer on the Vikings at the same time, shall we?

SKOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL VIKINGS!!!!