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                === Streaking Eagles visit banged-up Vikings ===
 
 (SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings had enough
 time to defrost from their snow-bound Week 14 and will square off Sunday in
 the climate-controlled confines of Mall of America Field.
 
 The Eagles survived an afternoon blizzard to upend the Detroit Lions, 34-20,
 and rallied from a 14-0 deficit to record their fifth straight win. Running
 back LeSean McCoy set a franchise record for most rushing yards in a game with
 217 and two long touchdowns on 29 carries. The shifty McCoy had a 40-yard
 touchdown run and a 57-yard scoring scamper, and leads the NFL with 1,305
 yards, a 100.4 ypg average and 1,744 yards from scrimmage.
 
 A lot of credit goes to the Eagles' offensive line and its ability to slow
 down Lions interior linemen Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley.
 
 "I think the snow took everybody out of the game a little bit," Eagles center
 Jason Kelce said. "Those guys (Suh and Fairley), they survive on such
 explosion. So I think that slowed them down a bit. But I think overall, we
 went into the game knowing that those were their two primary guys that we
 needed to take care of. So all week we were preparing for that."
 
 Neither defense recorded a sack and Eagles quarterback Nick Foles didn't have
 to do much to keep the Eagles atop the NFC East. Foles completed 11-of-22
 passes for 179 yards with a touchdown and his first interception of the
 season. Foles sailed a ball over the head of Riley Cooper and into the arms of
 Lions defensive back Chris Houston, ending his streak of 237 consecutive pass
 attempts without an interception, a new franchise record.
 
 Foles threw 19 touchdown passes to start the season before throwing his first
 pick, which is the second-best mark in NFL history just behind Broncos future
 Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning tossed 21 touchdowns before
 his first interception earlier this season.
 
 The Eagles had lost 10 in a row at home dating back to last season and have
 ripped off three straight wins at Lincoln Financial Field. Now they will try
 to add to their 5-1 road record and are unbeaten in the past four games as the
 visitor, last winning on the road Nov. 10 against Green Bay.
 
 By virtue of Chicago's Monday night win over Dallas, the Eagles are in sole
 possession of first place in the NFC East. However, the Cowboys own the tie-
 breaker should the top two teams in the division finish with identical
 records. Dallas will host Philadelphia in the regular season finale Dec. 29.
 
 The 2013 season couldn't end any sooner for the 3-9-1 Vikings, who are last in
 the NFC North Division and coming off Sunday's heart-breaking 29-26 loss at a
 snowy M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
 
 A total of 42 points were scored in the fourth quarter, including 36 in the
 last 2:05. The lead exchanged hands several times and Minnesota took the lead
 on a 79-yard touchdown catch by Cordarrelle Patterson with 45 seconds on the
 clock. However, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco countered with a nine-yard TD
 pass to Marlon Brown with four seconds to go for the win.
 
 "The conditions were tough," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "The players,
 they competed, they played hard. Both teams battled right down to the very
 end."
 
 Patterson ended with 141 yards on five receptions and Matt Cassel passed for
 265 yards and a pair of TD strikes. Cassel will be under center once again
 versus Philly and gives the Vikings the best chance to win over Christian
 Ponder or Josh Freeman.
 
 But the biggest story was the foot injury to running back Adrian Peterson.
 Peterson underwent X-rays, which were negative, and there was no torn
 ligaments or tendons. Peterson, who was wearing a protective boot to promote
 faster healing, could miss Sunday's game, according to reports.
 
 Per Frazier, the Vikings are waiting the results of more tests before making a
 determination on Peterson's status for this week. Backup running back Toby
 Gerhart ran for 89 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries in relief of Peterson
 and is nursing a balky hamstring. Matt Asiata is next on the depth chart and
 could be in line for the start if both Peterson and Gerhart are out.
 
 Fullback Jerome Felton will see added carries if needed.
 
 "Nothing new to me. So if that's the case, I'll be ready," Felton said.
 
 Vikings right guard Brandon Fusco suffered a knee injury in the first quarter
 Sunday and did not return. He was replaced by Joe Berger.
 
 The all-time series between the Vikings and Eagles is even at 12 wins apiece,
 while Minnesota won the previous encounter, 24-14, on Dec. 28. 2010 at the
 Linc. That game was pushed back to a Tuesday because of inclement weather.
 
 Philadelphia had won the last five meetings, including the playoffs, before
 the loss almost three years ago. The Eagles have won two straight games in the
 Twin Cities.
 
 
 WHAT TO WATCH FOR
 
 The Vikings have pride and respect to play for at 3-9-1, so look for them to
 throw early and often against Philadelphia's inept secondary. Yes, the Eagles'
 defense has played well the past month or so and was able to contain Larry
 Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson, but Sunday's game is indoors and a trio of
 Minnesota receivers could come into play.
 
 Patterson is coming off a strong game against Baltimore, while leading
 receiver Jerome Simpson and veteran Greg Jennings will also see some passes
 thrown their way. The Vikings are only 22nd in passing yards per game (214.8)
 and can still cause issues for opposing defensive backfields. Patterson is the
 one to watch and Eagles CB Cary Williams will most likely see plenty of him.
 
 Patterson leads the NFL in kickoff return yardage (1,199), kickoff return
 average (33.3) and kickoff return touchdowns (two), and is a solid candidate
 for Offensive Rookie of the Year. The Vikings, who finished 3-13 in 2011,
 cannot turn the ball over and give the Eagles' potent offense a chance.
 
 The Eagles have not allowed more than 21 points in a game since Week 4 against
 the Denver Broncos. They are, however, 30th in total yards allowed (398.1) and
 31st in passing yards allowed (285.3).
 
 When it comes to the Eagles lately, it has been all Foles and McCoy. Foles,
 who is on the recent cover of Sports Illustrated, leads the NFL with a 120
 passer rating to go along with 20 TD and one interception. Look for Foles to
 take advantage of Minnesota's 30th ranked passing defense (282.5). Minnesota
 is also 31st in both yards allowed (401.2) and points allowed (30.4).
 
 The Vikings and Cowboys are the only teams to give up more than 400 yards,
 while Minnesota and Washington are the only clubs to allow 30-plus points.
 Vikings defensive ends Jared Allen and Brian Robison both have seven sacks
 this season, but have to beat a conditioned and talented Eagles offensive
 line. Eagles rookie tackle Lane Johnson could struggle this week and there
 should be no worries for his teammate and fellow tackle Jason Peters.
 
 Robison has a sack in each the last five games (6 total). The Vikings need
 their front line to get hot and disrupt Foles' timing in the pocket and with
 receivers DeSean Jackson and surprisingly Cooper. Jackson needs 77 yards to
 surpass his career high of 1,156 yards set back in 2009. He has eight TD
 receptions this season and had a career-best nine in 2009.
 
 The Eagles have been using their tight ends (Brent Celek, Zach Ertz) lately
 and that could work in their advantage Sunday.
 
 "I think it's an unselfish group," Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur
 said of the receivers. "We're really all focused on trying to win the game. We
 like to run the football, and there are a lot of times when we choose to hand
 it off or it might be a zone read and all of a sudden the ball is out on the
 perimeter. They all have opportunities to catch balls, so they all have to
 block for each other. It's a very unselfish group. They just like to try to
 contribute any way possible."
 
 
 OVERALL ANALYSIS
 
 While it appears the Vikings could play it safe by not thrusting Peterson back
 onto the field with a bum foot, they are still banged up at the running back
 position and will have to rely on the pass attack. Peterson said the foot is
 still sore and hasn't swelled up too much.
 
 The Eagles, though, must not underestimate Minnesota's backup running backs
 and force the Vikings to beat them through the air. Philadelphia has the
 advantage with its impressive road record (5-1), which is tied for the best in
 the league, and McCoy, who has five games with 100-plus rushing yards this
 season and is hoping to go against the great Peterson on Sunday.
 
 Minnesota is allowing more than 100 yards rushing a game (118.8) and McCoy
 could hit that mark by the third quarter.
 
 Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Eagles 34, Vikings 23
 
 
 
 12/13 09:35:22 ET