Eagles Crave More Turnovers

Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson is aggressive with the blitzing, but his defense still hasn't created enough turnovers.

The Eagles defense has played very well this season, allowing just seven touchdowns in six games. What has been missing, though, has been turnovers.

Heading into Sunday's must-win battle against the Minnesota Vikings, they have just eight takeaways — five interceptions and only three fumbles. Just three other teams in the league have fewer.

They haven't forced a fumble in the last three games and have had more than one takeaway in just two of their first six games.

"I hope it comes," defensive coordinator Jim Johnson said. "We emphasize it quite a bit. We were hoping last week ... we needed a couple, but didn't get them.

"All you can do is continue to be aggressive. It comes from pressure and guys making plays too. It's going to come. We need turnovers. That's what we're lacking."

Johnson's pass-rush has cooled off a bit too. They've got just five sacks in the last three games, including one in last week's loss to the Chicago Bears.


  • The Vikings clinched their first division title in team history after defeating the Eagles, 24-17, on Dec. 15, 1968 at Franklin Field. According to the Vikings media notes, the team had to listen to the Chicago-Green Bay game in the locker room after the game, needing the Bears to lose. They did, 28-17.

  • The Vikings and Eagles last met during the 2004 season, when they faced each other twice at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles beat the Vikings, 27-16, on Sept. 20 and then beat the Vikings again, 27-14, on Jan. 16, 2005 in an NFC divisional playoff game. Minnesota is 0-2 against the Eagles in postseason meetings.

  • The Eagles cruised to a 31-16 victory over the Vikings on Jan 3, 1981 at Veterans Stadium in an NFC divisional playoff game. The Vikings scored 14 unanswered points in the first half but Philadelphia forced eight turnovers in the second half.

  • The Vikings won the first seven meetings between these clubs. That spanned a stretch that started in 1962 and lasted through the 1978 season.

  • DE Kenechi Udeze and LB E.J. Henderson both posted the first sacks of their NFL careers when they brought down Eagles QB Donovan McNabb on Sept. 20, 2004 at Philadelphia.

  • RG Artis Hicks was acquired by the Vikings in a trade with Philadelphia in April 2006 after spending four seasons (2002-05) with the Eagles.

  • Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier was a defensive backs coach with the Eagles from 1999 to 2002.

  • FS Brian Dawkins participated fully in practice Thursday for the first time since suffering a neck stinger in the second game of the season, but he won't play on Sunday.

  • LB Takeo Spikes, who missed Wednesday's practice with an AC sprain of his shoulder is expected to play Sunday against the Vikings.

  • S Sean Considine (ankle) is expected to play Sunday against Minnesota.

  • TE L.J. Smith, who has missed three of the Eagles' first six games with a lingering groin injury, practiced fully this week and is probable to play, though his snaps may be limited.

  • RT Jon Runyan, who played last week with a fractured tailbone, is questionable.

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