The Eagles have been struggling in the red zone; the Vikings have a good red zone defense. Sounds like a field goal game. I really do expect Donovan McNabb to throw for over 300 yards against the Vikings, but for the Eagles to still score fewer than 21 points.
To win, then, the Vikings need to establish the running game and stick with it. That may be a cliche, but for this team, it's true: If Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor combine for 35+ carries, the Vikings can win. If Peterson and Taylor combine for under 20 carries, the Vikings will probably lose (though that's more correlational than causal). We should be quite content if Kelly Holcomb drops back to throw no more than 20 times.
The Vikings really need to win this game. At 3-4, with 5 more home games, they'd have a chance to salvage a respectable season and just maybe fight for a playoff spot. At 2-5 after a home loss to what appears to be a mediocre Eagle team, the Vikings would really look like a team without hope.
Finally, I like Donovan McNabb: I think he's a good quarterback and a good person that has faced a lot of undue criticism. I really wish him well in his career, and if I weren't rooting against him, I'd really enjoy getting to watch him play live (which I still might). But if the Vikings hasten McNabb's departure from Philadelphia--and eventual arrival in Minnesota--by beating up on the Eagles, then by all means, beat up on the Eagles. Give me my fantasies of the 2008 Vikings with Donovan McNabb (fully recovered from his ACL injury) faking a handoff to rushing leader Adrian Peterson and throwing deep to Larry Fitzgerald. We all need our fantasies.
Week Eight Matchups
Randy Moss has been a man possessed this season, but let's remember something about the Randy Moss we know: he doesn't like to get hit. On those two spectacular TD catches against the Dolphins, did you notice that the defensive backs were basically bystanders? If Tom Brady throws passes like that against Washington, I don't think Sean Taylor is going to prance about watching it happen. And when Moss starts taking hits, he starts not going after those jump balls with quite the blasé intensity.
I'm not saying Washington will beat New England--Randy Moss could stand on the sidelines all day and the Pats would still be the better team. But watch for Moss' performance when the game gets physical.
World Series = No Sunday Night Football
Why? There are 17 regular season Sundays a year; why does one of those Sundays have to feature less televised football because of baseball? Some football fans don't care about baseball. I would guess the majority of football fans don't care about two particular baseball teams. Why does the NFL need to give MLB Sunday night?
Starting your fantasy players against your favorite team is like having sex with a sadist: sure, you'll probably get an orgasm out of it one way or another, but you're not going to come out of it unscathed.
Sunday is the first time this season one of my fantasy players faces off against the Vikings. I'm sticking with the Donovan McNabb experience, even against my beloved Vikings. And I get to watch it all happen live. Obviously team loyalty trumps fantasy loyalty and always does, but it's still a mildly unpleasant experience.
Other wacky fantasy football situations
What do you root for when your fantasy quarterback starts against your fantasy defense? What do you root for when your fantasy quarterback is throwing to your opponent's fantasy receiver? I always liked when Bart Simpson said "George Burns was right: show biz is a horrible bitch goddess." So is fantasy football: it will turn your mind into a bakery twist.
Pro-football-reference.com asks "what does 2007 say about Randy Moss?"
According to Cold, Hard Football Facts, the Vikes still lead the league in big plays and big play differential.
The Vikings signed punter Chris Kluwe to an extention (blah, blah, blah) (ESPN).
I don't care if the Lions or Bears beat each other (ideally they tie), and the Packers play Monday night. So enjoy your weekend everybody. Except Eagle fans.
Do you want to know why Eli Manning said "Screw you San Diego: I play where I want"? It's explained by birth order. What was that bang? explores more at Epic Carnival.