Game Snapshot: Vikings at Eagles

<B>KICKOFF: </B>Sunday, 4:30 ET <BR><B>GAMEDATE: </B>01/16/05 <BR><B>SURFACE: </B>Grass <BR><B>TV: </B>FOX, Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Cris Collinsworth

Minnesota Vikings (9-8) at Philadelphia Eagles (13-3)


SERIES

This is the 21st meeting. The Vikings lead 11-9 but lost the last meeting 27-16 in a Monday Night Football game on Sept. 20 of this season. QB Daunte Culpepper threw for 343 yards and a touchdown but was sacked four times and lost a fumble at the goal line in the loss.

2004 RANKINGS

Vikings: offense 4th (18th rush, 1st pass); defense 28th (21st rush, 29th pass).

Eagles: offense 9th (24th rush, 6th pass); defense 10th (16th rush, 12th pass)

KEYS TO THE GAME

The Vikings were their own worst enemy in their regular-season loss to the Eagles, which is a common theme that runs through most of Minnesota's losses.

With their defense likely to struggle, the Vikings can't waste offensive possessions. Look for Minnesota to attempt to establish the ground game early to keep the Eagles' pass rushers at bay. But the big issue is the health of WR Randy Moss' ankle and how effective he can be.

For the Eagles, it's overcoming the loss of WR Terrell Owens and trying to gear it back up after not playing a meaningful game for a month. The first half will be very telling in how accurate QB Donovan McNabb is. But with Owens out, RB Brian Westbrook becomes the team's top playmaker.

FAST FACTS

  • RB Brian Westbrook has 6.6 yards per touch and has eight touchdowns in his last six starts.

  • The Vikings lead the series 11-9, which includes a playoff win by the Eagles in 1980 and Philadelphia's 27-16 win this season in Week 2. The teams have played just six times since 1989, but the Eagles have won five straight games over the Vikings in Philadelphia.

  • Including their win over the Packers Sunday, the Vikings are 4-5 on the road this season.

  • The Eagles are 7-1 at home, with the only loss in the season finale against Cincinnati. Their seven wins were by a combined total of 109 points, a 15.6-point average margin of victory.



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