TODAY'S BIG THREE: NUMBERS THIS WEEK
12: Sacks the Eagles allowed Sept. 30 against the New York Giants. Consider it an inside job by Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, an Eagles assistant from 1999 to 2006; Philadelphia has given up only nine sacks in their other five games. So could Vikings coach Brad Childress, another longtime Eagles assistant, have a few tricks of his own? You can safely assume that Childress has been thinking of this day for a long time.
2: Number of highly paid offensive linemen expected on the field today who were brought in to change the attitude of their position group. The Eagles signed RT Jon Runyan in 2000 to a $30 million contract in hopes he would spread his nasty attitude to their line. Runyan was so successful the Vikings tried to emulate the move by grabbing LG Steve Hutchinson in 2006 for $49 million. Hutchinson's efforts are still a work in progress. Runyan will play today despite having a fractured tailbone.
51: Minimal percentage of offensive plays that RB Adrian Peterson will be on the field for today. Childress said last week that Peterson's playing time will begin to increase, and a groin injury to RB Chester Taylor might be just the excuse. The Vikings are expected to change starting quarterbacks again today, making QB Kelly Holcomb the likely starter and perhaps giving the Vikings their best chance to win in the short-term.
GAMEBREAKER: ONE GUY WHO COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING
Philadelphia RB Brian Westbrook
Westbrook, the Eagles' leading rusher and receiver, possesses just the sort of skills that could expose the Vikings' defensive underbelly. He is a shifty runner and a legitimate threat to beat linebackers and safeties while split out as a receiver. The Vikings had better be on their best tackling behavior today or Westbrook could help the Eagles move up and down the field.
Kevin Seifert firstname.lastname@example.org