The Call: Philadelphia at Vikings

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 14, 2013 - 6:32 PM
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Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles did what he needed to do in Philadelphia’s 34-20 victory over Detroit last Sunday. His quarterback rating of 120.0 is the best in the NFL this season.

Photo: David Maialetti • McClatchy News Service,

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One man’s prediction: The Vikings, out of playoff contention, have continued to play hard. But they have injury concerns, highlighted at running back with Adrian Peterson (foot) and Toby Gerhart (hamstring) both questionable. The Eagles have one of the most dynamic offenses in the NFL. The Vikings defense faces a tough task in trying to contain Philadelphia’s skill players.

On the corner

The Vikings could be in trouble at the cornerback spot. Rookie Xavier Rhodes, who has emerged as their best corner, did not practice all week because of a sprained ankle and is listed as doubtful. Their other starting cornerback, Chris Cook, was added to the injury report on Friday (knee) and is listed as questionable. If neither plays, the Vikings presumably would start Marcus Sherels and converted safety Robert Blanton.

Air raid

The Vikings might be forced to rely on their passing game heavily with the uncertainty of Peterson’s and Gerhart’s health. Matt Cassel will make his fourth start of the season and second in a row in relief of Christian Ponder, who has recovered from his concussion but will serve as the backup. Cassel is facing the NFL’s 31st-ranked pass defense, but the Eagles have not allowed more than 21 points in nine consecutive games.

Big-play potential

This matchup features the league’s top two performers in all-purpose yards. Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy leads the NFL with 1,744 yards, while Vikings rookie Cordarrelle Patterson is second with 1,629 yards. Each player is capable of producing a highlight play every time he touches the ball. Patterson set a career high with 141 yards receiving last week. That total was the highest by a Vikings rookie since Randy Moss had 163 against Dallas on Thanksgiving Day in 1998.

MANO-A-MANO: MATCHUP TO WATCH

Vikings LB Chad Greenway vs. Eagles RB LeSean McCoy

About Greenway

Despite playing half the season with a fractured right wrist, Greenway leads the team in tackles (144) and interceptions (three). The wrist injury has clearly affected his play at times, but he refuses to miss a game.

About McCoy

Leads the NFL in rushing (1,305 yards) after setting a franchise record with 217 yards against Detroit last week. He’s rushed for 150-plus yards in four games this season. No other NFL running back has reached that mark more than once.

Who has the edge?

Greenway described McCoy as a “matchup nightmare” this week because he’s also so tough to defend as a receiver. McCoy is elusive in space and creates mismatches for defenses as a threat out of the backfield.

Advantage: McCoy

THE BIG NUMBER

400 Philadelphia has produced 400-plus offensive yards in 10 games. The Eagles can become the fifth team to reach that mark 11 times. New Orleans (2011) holds the record (13).

BREAKOUT DAY

Sharrif Floyd, Vikings: Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said the rookie defensive tackle has displayed “exponential” improvement the past few weeks. Floyd, a Philadelphia native, will be extra motivated to play well against his hometown team.

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  • Philadelphia Eagles’ LeSean McCoy carries the ball during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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Cleveland - LP: T. House 1 FINAL
Detroit - WP: A. Simon 4
Chicago Cubs 0 Postponed
Cincinnati 0
Kansas City 0 Postponed
Chicago WSox 0
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 9 FINAL
Oakland - LP: K. Graveman 3
NY Mets - WP: M. Harvey 8 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Sabathia 2
Washington - LP: S. Strasburg 0 FINAL
Miami - WP: T. Koehler 8
Toronto - LP: B. Cecil 2 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: E. Frieri 4
Atlanta - WP: S. Miller 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: D. Buchanan 2
Boston - LP: K. Uehara 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Matusz 5
St. Louis - WP: M. Belisle 5 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 3
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2 FINAL
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 1
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 5 FINAL
Colorado - LP: B. Brown 4
Los Angeles - WP: B. McCarthy 11 FINAL
San Diego - LP: I. Kennedy 8
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 1 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: V. Pestano 4
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Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 5
Atlanta 83 FINAL
Brooklyn 91
Chicago 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 92
Golden State 109 FINAL
New Orleans 98
Memphis 115 FINAL
Portland 109
Washington 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Detroit 4 FINAL
Tampa Bay 0
Nashville 3 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 4 FINAL
Calgary 7
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Columbus 4
Real Salt Lake 0 FINAL
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Houston 4
D.C. 2 FINAL
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