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Eagles Preview

What to look for when the Eagles visit Minnesota Sunday.

Who: Eagles (8-5) at Vikings (3-9-1)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m.
Where: Mall of America Field, Minneapolis
TV: Fox
Radio: WIP (94.1-FM, 610-AM)
Weather: Domed stadium
Injury report: Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (right foot), questionable
Game Line: 51.5
Over/Under: Eagles -4
1. Playing well indoors: After Sunday's snowy mess in which the Eagles took some time to get going, Nick Foles and Co. will have more favorable conditions, playing inside. The Eagles will not have to face slippery conditions, cold temperatures or snow-covered uniforms, but must deal with a loud, indoor crowd. If the Eagles are to win their sixth straight game, they must do so against a team that has won its only three games this season at home.
2. Taking advantage of Peterson's injury: In the Vikings' 29-26 loss in Baltimore on Sunday, star running back Adrian Peterson was carted off the field with a sprained right foot. Peterson, who is wearing a walking boot this week, had an MRI and CT scan on Monday that showed no fractures or structural damage. His status for Sunday is uncertain. If Peterson is unable to play, he'll be replaced by Toby Gerhart, who rushed for 89 yards on 15 carries against the Ravens. Gerhart's longest run was a 41-yard touchdown.
3. Don't take the Vikings' offense lightly: The Eagles knew they had their work cut out for them with Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson and the Lions' offense coming to town last Sunday. The unit received some help from the elements, and Detroit managed just 11 first downs and 148 yards through the air. The Eagles can not take Matt Cassell and the Vikings' offense lightly after Minnesota scored 26 points and compiled 379 total yards against the defending Super Bowl champions. The Eagles, who have put together nine consecutive game allowing 21 or fewer points, must continue their pass rush and force turnovers.
Weather obviously was a factor for Matt Stafford and the Lions' offense, but the numbers simply do not lie. The Eagles held Detroit, one of the NFL's top offenses, to 11 first downs, four on the ground, and just 228 yards of total offense. The Eagles' defense held Stafford to 148 yards through the air, as he completed only 10 passes on 25 attempts. In addition, the Eagles held star wide receiver Calvin Johnson to three receptions for 49 yards
LeSean McCoy
It is hard to put into perspective the fourth quarter McCoy put together against Detroit. Bolstered by a standout performance from the offensive line, McCoy rushed for a franchise-record 217 yards, touchdowns of 40 and 57 yards, and 7.5 yards per carry.
Special teams
LeSean McCoy was not the only star at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, as Detroit wide receiver Jeremy Ross returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns. The Eagles' special-teams units allowed 202 yards on kick returns and 71 on punt returns — 243 of which were earned by Ross. After a poor day against Detroit, the Eagles will be faced with another challenge when they face Vikings kick returner Coraderrelle Patterson, who averages 33 yards per attempt and has taken back two kickoffs for touchdowns this season.
With 28 points in the fourth quarter against Detroit, the Eagles tied a franchise record set during "The Miracle at the New Meadowlands'' when they defeated the New York Giants, 38-31, in December 2010. That 28-point fourth quarter was capped off by a game-winning punt return by DeSean Jackson on the final play of the game.


Position: Running back
Age: 25
Birthdate: July 12, 1988
Hometown: Harrisburg
College: Pittsburgh
Acquired: Second round of the 2009 draft (53rd overall)Position: Running back

Age: 25

Birthdate: July 12, 1988

Hometown: Harrisburg

College: Pittsburgh

Acquired: Second round of the 2009 draft (53rd overall)

Career: McCoy, who already has rushed for 5,171 career yards, has become one of the NFL's elite backs with his unique style and ability to create something out of nothing. Prior to McCoy's career day last Sunday, he ranked fourth among active running backs with 40 total touchdowns and 6,032 yards from scrimmage since 2010. McCoy also ranked fifth since 2010 with 4,317 rushing yards and sixth with 31 rushing touchdowns. Until this season, McCoy's best statistical year came in 2011, when he rushed for 1,309 yards, with 17 touchdowns. This season he already has rushed for 1,305 yards and, with three games remaining, has a good shot to break Wilbert Montgomery's franchise record of 1,512 set in 1979.

Sunday with Eagles: McCoy not only set his personal record with 217 rushing yards on 29 carries, but also shattered the franchise record set in 1949 by Steve Van Buren (205). Through three quarters, McCoy had 69 yards on 18 carries; in the fourth, he had 148 yards on 11.

Did you know? McCoy regained his position as the NFL's leading rusher on Sunday, passing Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, who left his game because of a foot injury. With three weeks remaining in the regular season, McCoy has 1,305 yards, in front of Peterson (1,221) and Kansas City's Jamaal Charles (1,162).