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What: Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings
When: Sunday, October 13 at 1:00 pm ET
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota
How (TV): CBS
Eagles +3, Vikings -3
This NFC showdown between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings could very well be a preview of how these two same NFC teams will fight it out in the playoffs at the end of this season.
Both of these franchises are 3-2 and coming off large wins against weak teams in Week 5, the Eagles defeating the New York Jets by a score of 31-6 and the Vikings beat the New York Giants 28-10.
This matchup could come down to being the battle of the Eagles’ deep threat receiver, DeSean Jackson, versus the Vikings’ dual-threat running back, Dalvin Cook, a well-matched showdown between two playoff-worthy teams.
Let’s take a quick look at how these two teams are set up to face each other in Week 6.
Read also NFL Week 6: Point Spreads, Picks, Predictions and Odds
The 3-2 Philadelphia Eagles are battling for their divisional life these days, going into Week 6 tied with the Dallas Cowboys and just a game ahead of the mysterious New York Giants.
The Eagles’ defense has become a top-ten unit in the league, and last week they had 10 sacks against the New York Jets, with defensive end Brandon Graham responsible for 3.0 of them, so getting after Cousins in this Week 6 matchup on Sunday will be job one for them.
As always, the key to this Eagles team is maintaining a healthy Carson Wentz under center, his giant arm responsible for 10 touchdowns this season with just 2 interceptions, and if banged-up wide receiver DeSean Jackson (see below) can go, this will be an interesting clash on both sides of the ball.
For more on the Eagles, check out also: Philadelphia Eagles 2019-20 Postseason Odds
The 3-2 Minnesota Vikings quieted all the receiver drama that seemed to haunt them lately by having quarterback Kirk Cousins connect with Adam Thielen 7 times for 130 yards and 2 touchdowns in Week 5, their longest a 44-yarder.
Except the Vikings’ offense is truly about the run game, the team averaging 166.4 yards on the ground per game right now, all featuring running back Dalvin Cook, who has been establishing his presence early on, which open up lanes for the receivers as the game progresses.
Minnesota is undefeated at home, so expect their fans to get loud enough to affect this outcome if Cook can continue to do what he does against a giant wall of Eagles, that is.
These two teams have met 28 total times (including 4 postseason games), with Minnesota winning 14 of those games and Philadelphia winning the other 14 times.
The last time these two teams played was in October of the 2018 season when the Vikings beat the Eagles in Philadelphia by a close score of 23-21.
If the Eagles win this matchup, they’ll move to 4-2-0 and stay apace the sputtering Dallas Cowboys atop the NFC East.
But if the Vikings come out winners in this one, they’ll be 4-2-0 and they could sure use that kind of boost in the challenging NFC North, where all four teams have a decent chance to win the division.
Who’s favored to win this Week 6 Eagles-Vikings matchup?
Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?
Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?
We’re going to briefly compare the Eagles and the Vikings next and attempt to answer those questions and more.
Passing attack: The Philadelphia Eagles have the 21st ranked passing offense in the league right now, averaging 227.4 yards per game through the air after five weeks.
Quarterback Carson Wentz is healthy and is currently ranked the 17th most productive passer in the league having completed 105-of-174 passes for 1,152 yards and 10 touchdowns with 2 interceptions and a completion percentage of 60.3.
The Eagles leading receiver after five weeks is tight end Zach Ertz, who is currently 34th in the league with 29 catches for 312 yards and 1 touchdown.
Rushing attack: The Eagles’ rushing attack is ranked 18th in the NFL after averaging 111.8 yards on the ground per game.
Jordan Howard is the Eagles’ best runner and he is currently the 24th best in the NFL with 53 carries for 248 yards and 4 rushing touchdowns, averaging 4.7 yards per carry.
Philadelphia has scored 141 total points this season, or 28.2 per game, which is the 6th best total in the NFL.
Listed as questionable for Week 6: wide receiver DeSean Jackson (abdomen) and running back Darren Sproles (quadriceps).
Injury notes: offensive tackle Jordan Mailata (back) and tight end Alex Ellis (knee) have been placed on injured reserve.
Passing attack: Minnesota has the 29th best passing attack (or 4th worst) in the league right now after averaging 191.0 yards through the air each game.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins has completed 86-of-126 passes for 1,041 yards and 5 touchdowns with 2 interceptions and a completion percentage of 68.3.
The Vikings’ best receiver is currently Adam Thielen, who has caught 20 passes for 409 yards with 4 touchdowns in five weeks, ranked 36th among NFL receivers right now.
Rushing attack: Minnesota has the 3rd ranked rushing attack, so far averaging 166.4 rushing yards per game.
Dalvin Cook is the Vikings’ best runner and now he is the 2nd best in the NFL with 92 carries for 542 yards and 5 touchdowns, averaging 5.9 yards per carry.
Minnesota has scored 112 points in 2019, averaging 22.4 per game, which is the 15th highest average in the NFL right now.
Listed as questionable for Week 6: no offensive Vikings players are currently listed as questionable for Week 6.
Injury notes: tight end David Morgan (knee) is listed as PUP-R, and wide receivers Chad Beebe (ankle) and Josh Doctson (leg) have both been placed on injured reserve.
The Vikings’ overwhelming rushing game gives them the offensive advantage on Sunday, though the Eagles’ superior air attack keeps it almost even.
Pass coverage: The Eagles have the 27th best pass defense in 2019 so far, allowing opponents to throw for 271.2 yards through the air per game.
Philadelphia’s defense has 6 team picks and they have 13 sacks total.
Run coverage: The Eagles are the best NFL team against the run right now after allowing opponents to run for just 63.0 yards per game.
Philadelphia has allowed its opponents to score 11 total points, or 22.2 per game, which is 15th lowest in the NFL.
For more on NFL Week 6, check out also: NFL Power Rankings for Week 6
Watch for Philadelphia’s leading tackler, free safety Rodney McLeod, who has 29 tackles right now, plus an interception and 4 passes defended.
The best quarterback sacker for the Eagles so far this season is defensive end Brandon Graham, who has 3.0 sacks and a recovered fumble plus 10 tackles.
Kirk Cousins best watch out for Philadelphia linebacker Nate Gerry, who covers passes like a cornerback, so far with 2 interceptions (T-3rd most in the NFL) with one of those going for a 51-yard pick-six and 4 passes defended plus 7 total tackles.
Listed as questionable for Week 6: defensive tackle Tim Jernigan (foot).
Injury notes: cornerback Jalen Mills (foot) is listed as PUP-R, cornerback Avonte Maddux (concussion) is listed as doubtful, while cornerback Cre’von LeBlanc (foot), defensive tackle Malik Jackson (foot) and defensive end Joe Ostman (knee-ACL) have all been placed on injured reserve.
Pass coverage: The Vikings’ defense is 6th best against the pass, allowing their opponents to throw for an average of 204.2 yards per matchup.
Minnesota’s defense has 4 interceptions on opposing quarterbacks and they have 15 total sacks after five weeks.
Run coverage: The Vikings are 9th best against a rushing attack, allowing opponents to run for an average of 88.2 yards per game.
Minnesota has allowed their opponents to score 73 total points this season, or 14.6 per matchup, which is 5th fewest in the NFL.
Runners beware of Vikings’ middle linebacker Eric Kendricks, already with 39 tackles (1 for loss) plus 5 passes defended and a quarterback hit.
If you like watching opposing quarterbacks go down, keep your eyes on Minnesota defensive end Danielle Hunter, who is tied for the 6th most sacks in the NFL right now with 5.0 of them, plus he has 28 total tackles.
You gotta check out Vikings defensive back Anthony Harris, who is tied for the second-most NFL interceptions (2) and has 5 passes defended, a fumble recovery and 22 total tackles.
Listed as questionable for Week 6: cornerback Mackensie Alexander (elbow) and linebackers Kentrell Brothers (hamstring) and Ben Gedeon (concussion).
Injury notes: defensive end Tashawn Bower (Achilles) is listed as NFI and cornerback Holton Hill (suspension) is listed as OUT with no new players placed on injured reserve.
The Minnesota Vikings have a clear defensive advantage in this one, even in Philadelphia where the fans will definitely ‘participate’ verbally.
Philadelphia’s punter, Cameron Johnston, has been with the Eagles since the 2018 season, and this year he has punted 19 times for a net average of 44.7 yards per punt, 5th best in the NFL.
Minnesota’s veteran punter, Britton Colquitt, is in his tenth NFL season, his first with the Vikings, and this season he has punted 19 times for a net average of 43.1 yards per punt, which was the T-17th best in the league.
Philadelphia’s placekicker, Jake Elliott, is in his third NFL season, all with the Eagles.
Elliott has made 5-of-5 field goals this year, his longest a 41-yarder, and he has missed zero extra point attempts (14/14).
Minnesota’s placekicker, Dan Bailey, is in his ninth NFL season, second with the Vikings.
Bailey has made 7-of-8 field goals this season, his longest a 50 yarder, and so far, he has missed one extra point attempt (11/12).
Philadelphia’s punt returner, running back Darren Sproles, is ranked 17th in the league in return average.
Sproles has returned 9 punts for 84 yards, averaging 9.3 yards per return, his longest for 17 yards.
Minnesota’s punt returner, running back Ameer Abdullah, is replacing the injured returner, Chad Beebe, the wide receiver who has been placed on injured reserve due to an ankle injury.
In his four NFL seasons, Abdullah has returned 60 kickoffs for 1,646 yards, averaging 27.4 yards per return, and he has yet to return a punt in 2019.
The Eagles’ placekicker has been perfect this season, the Vikings’ kicker has not, so the special teams’ advantage here goes to Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Eagles will steal this road win if and when Carson Wentz decides to carry his team and have a big game through the air against a Vikings team that’s no slouch on defense.
Philadelphia may be lousy against the pass, but they are the best in the league against the run, which will come in handy against these run-heavy Minnesota Vikings, but if they can at least slow down Dalvin Cook then they will have a chance to win.
It wouldn’t hurt to have Jordan Howard show up to help distract from Wentz’s passing attack, Howard’s average per attempt right now at 4.7, which is above his career average of 4.4 yards per carry.
The Vikings will win this one if their offensive coordinator, Kevin Stefanski, can figure out how to game plan his running back, Dalvin Cook, to where he rises above the Eagles’ number one overall rush defense.
Minnesota ranks higher than the Eagles on both offense and defense right now, so if they just play their game and do their jobs, they should come out on top in Week 6.
Plus throw in the boisterous Minnesota hometown crowd messing up the Eagles offense with their noise and this one looks like a surefire win for the home team.
Minnesota Vikings by 4, their rushing attack at home will be just a bit too much for the Eagles to handle on the road.
John Breech of CBS Sports predicts the score as Vikings 27, Eagles 23
My prediction for the final score is Vikings 24, Eagles 20.
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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