TV Schedule: Sunday, Dec. 15, 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Stadium: Mall of America Field
Weather: High 4, Low -8
Line: Philadelphia (-4.5)
After winning the snow bowl a week ago, the Philadelphia Eagles have improved to 8-5 on the year and have been one of the hottest teams in the league. Overtaking first place in the division wasn’t all too easy, but a change in quarterback for Philadelphia can be attributed to the success. Nick Foles has taken over for Michael Vick at QB, passing for 1,970 yards and 20 touchdowns on the season with just a single interception. Foles has been everything the Eagles have hopes for and more, connecting with both Riley Cooper and DeSean Jackson more than anyone else. Jackson has 1,080 yards and eight touchdowns while Cooper has 714 yards and seven touchdowns. LeSean McCoy adds another 439 receiving yards and a score to go along with his 1,305 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.
Coming into the 2013 campaign, the Minnesota Vikings were expected to do big things after winning 10 games in 2012 and missing out on the playoffs. However, the Vikings have been anything but impressive and successful this season, posting just a 3-9-1 record on the year. Christian Ponder is expected to play this Sunday, since he has just been cleared, as he has passed for 1,648 yards seven touchdowns. Jerome Simpson leads all receivers with 43 catches for 670 yards and just one score while Greg Jennings has struggled since joining the team, catching just 48 passes for 570 yards and three scores. Adrian Peterson is ruled out for Sunday’s game, but he still remains one of the best running backs in the league, rushing for 1,221 yards and 10 touchdowns on the year.
Defensively, the Eagles have improved as the season has gone on. Although ranking 30th in total yards allowed and 31st in passing yards allowed per game, they have held teams to less points in the past couple months than they had to begin the season. Philadelphia ranks 13th in points allowed per game. Minnesota has struggled mightily on defense this season, ranking 31st in both points allowed and total yards allowed while also ranking 30th in passing yards allowed per game.
PREDICTION: Eagles 34, Vikings 23
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.