Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Eagles vs. Vikings - Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

Attack of the clones is not far from the truth. These two teams are almost a mirror image of each other. And really it shouldn't be surprising. Having Brad Childress and student of the school of Big Red. The Eagles are favored by 1 in this game which is surprising to some considering they have not covered a single game this season. The Vikings are not favored I believe because of how close these teams are in what they do, and the fact that Vikings may have pulled out all stops to win last weeks game vs. the Cowboys but came up short by ten. As an Eagles fan, I really have no faith in them at all right now. I pray and hope they win but I would not bet a dime on it. They should win this game, but they also should have won at least two other games this season. The keys to the Eagles winning this game. Number one is that they have to force some turnovers and let the offense start with the ball on the Vikings side of the field. The Vikings do have a turnover ratio of +8 which is not good for the Eagles. The Eagles are a +1. The second and most obvious thing is, contain Adrian Peterson. It is that simple. Next is pass the ball early and often to soften the defense so Brian Westbrook has room to run. Also it wouldn't hurt to give Buckhalter some more carries. Oh yea and execute in the red zone which is a whole other problem. I was able to dig up some stats I thought were interesting. Another factor that is not getting talked about to much this week is that Brad Childress ran the Eagles offense for 6 seasons. He knows the weakness' in the offense and in McNabb. Expect him to have a good game plan against the birds.

NFL rank in parenthesis.

Vikings Def. vs. Run: 76.5 ypg (4th) Rush TD's Allowed: 1 (1st) YPC: 3.0 (2nd)
Eagles Def. vs. Run: 88.0 ypg (8th) Rush TD's Allowed: 2 (2nd) YPC: 3.7 (9th)

Vikings Def. vs. Pass: 282.5 (32nd)
Eagles Def. vs. Pass: 220.2 (18th)

These teams are almost dead even on paper with the Eagles taking the edge against the pass. With that the Viking do have a TO ratio of +8 to the Eagles mediocre +1.

Rushing Yards on 1st & 10

Adrian Peterson, Min: 300 yds (1st)
Brian Westbrook, Phi: 283 yds (2nd)

I thought that was telling. As much as people cry for the Eagles to run the ball, they are ranked second only to the Vikings on 1st and 10.

Games on Turf

Buckhalter, Phi: 21 carries for 126 yards at 6 YPC (2nd-t)
Westbrook, Phi: 20 carries for 120 yards at 6 YPC (2nd-t)
Peterson, Min: 63 carries for 344 yards at 5.5 YPC (5th)
Both of these teams are extremely well on turf. The Eagles backs sitting at 6 YPC is very good, with Peterson having an amazing 5.5 YPC with 20 more carries.

YPC in 1st half of games

Peterson, Min: 54 carries for 367 yards at 6.8 YPC (2nd)
Westbrook, Phi: 49 carries for 312 yards at 6.4 YPC (3rd)
Buckhalter, Phi: 23 carries for 142 yards at 6.2 YPC (4th)

YPC in 2nd half of games

Peterson, Min: 54 carries for 303 yards at 5.6 YPC (3rd)
Westbrook, Phi: 40 carries for 178 yards at 4.5 YPC (14th)
Buckhalter does not make the list.

At this point Peterson has run for exactly 54 carries in the 1st and 2nd halfs of his games this season. He is dominant in the first half, while his YPC carry drops 1.3 yards in the second half which really is not bad at all. Westbrook on the other hand drops almost 2 yards from 1st half to 2nd half. Still, that's not bad. Again it appears the Eagles and Vikings are almost the same team on paper. You may say we have the edge at QB, but after you look at McNabb's QB rating during away games you might say they are even at QB.

What I thought was interesting.

McNabb's QB rating: at home: 106.1 (4th) away: 69.4 (24th)

McNabb's completion %: inside the 20: 40% (28th) inside the 10: 20% (32nd)

Wow. Once the Eagles get into the red zone they really do fall apart. I mean 20% inside the 10 yard line. Add to that the fact that he is not playing well on the road, and it could be another long day for the birds. Now keep in mind the Eagles WR's tend to drop the ball in the red zone. See Reggie Brown.

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