Despite only throwing 179 yards and a touchdown, Nick Foles opened the game up for the Eagles offense with his deep throw down the seam to Riley Cooper that went for 44 yards. The very next play Foles found Jackson in the endzone for the Eagles first score of the game. That play opened up the running game for LeSean McCoy because the Lions could no long stack the box to stop the run because they had to respect the pass.
McCoy took full advantage of the open field making Lions defenders miss in space regularly. Facing a Lions team that had allowed an average of 41 rushing yards over the last six weeks and had not allowed a rusher to rush for more than 62 yards over that span, McCoy put up 58 yards in the first half. He came back in a big way in the second half with 159 yards and two touchdowns. He finished with 29 rushes for a franchise-record 217 yards, breaking Steve Van Buren's record of 205 rushing yards set way back in 1949. As a team, the Eagles rushed for 227 yards in the fourth quarter alone.
The treacherous conditions last week made it difficult to get the passing game rolling. Riley Cooper led all receivers with 74 receiving yards on three catches while DeSean Jackson had four catches for 59 yards and a very big touchdown. This week in Minnesota the Eagles should have an easier time throwing the ball this week around thanks to the temperature-controlled dome and the 30th-ranked pass defense of the Vikings.
With the Vikings up 12-7 with 2:05 remaining, the Ravens would score to take a 15-12 lead. Over the final 1:27 of the game, each team would score two touchdowns with the Ravens coming out on top with a 29-26 victory dropping the Vikings to 3-9-1.
Matt Cassel gets the start at quarterback for Minnesota on Sunday. He threw for 260 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions against Baltimore. On the year, Cassel is 94-for-159 (59.1%) for 1,122 yards, seven touchdowns, and four interceptions. Cassel has faced the Eagles once before going 14-for-18 for 90 yards and two touchdowns but got the loss.
The Minnesota offense relies on it's seventh-ranked rushing attack featuring the league's second ranked runner Adrian Peterson, who trails the league's top runner - McCoy - by 84 yards. Peterson might not play Sunday due to a foot injury which would thrust backup Toby Gerhart into the spotlight. Gerhart had rushed just 36 times for 283 yards this season but has an 89-yard and a 91-yard performance in two of the last three games. Eagles coach Chip Kelly is familiar with Gerhart has Kelly coached against Gerhart while he was playing at Stanford.
On the outside, Cassel used Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson a lot against Baltimore. Jennings has been steady all season for Minnesota with 570 receiving yards. Patterson only has 395 receiving yards on the season but the speedster racked up 141 of those yards on Sunday. The team's leading receiver, Jerome Simpson is usually good for 30-60 yards but had big games against Detroit and Pittsburgh earlier in the season.
Foles, 24, is coming off of a solid start against the Lions in the snow but his numbers weren't as good as we've been used to seeing. Foles went 11-for-22 (50.0%) for 179 yards, one touchdown, and his first interception of the season. It was only the second start that he did not post a QB-rating of 104.3 or higher. He is facing the 30th-ranked pass defense on Sunday in Minnesota and the conditions in the dome should be ideal.
Greenway, 30, has been everything for the Vikings this season. He leads the team with 116 tackles, 75 solo tackles, 41 assisted tackles, three interceptions, and tied for second with three sacks. Greenway is a jack of all trades and Foles needs to be aware of him at all times. It is rare that a linebacker is a holds the team-lead in interceptions this late in the season which says something about his ability to jump routes underneath.