Jan 4th 2009 3:25PM by Bruce Ciskie (author feed)
Filed under: Eagles, Vikings, NFC East, NFC North, NFL Injuries, NFL Playoffs
The Minnesota Vikings have just announced game-day inactives for their Wild Card game against Philadelphia.
After a week of hope over the health of defensive tackle Pat Williams, who has missed two games with a broken shoulder blade, the Vikings have announced Williams is inactive.
The big question heading into the 3:30 pm EST kickoff is whether Eagles coach Andy Reid will try to take advantage of this. Long known as a pass-happy play-caller, Reid does have the talent in the backfield to exploit the Vikings defensive front, which has missed Williams each of the last two games.
His absence may also hurt the effectiveness of the Vikings’ other linemen, who aren’t used to getting tons of attention from blockers on running plays.
It’s also worth noting that starting end Ray Edwards is out, meaning Brian Robison starts opposite Jared Allen.
Jan 4th 2009 4:31PM by Shane Bacon (author feed)
Filed under: Eagles, Vikings, NFC East, NFC North
What? You really think FanHouse would go all weekend without a live chat during Wild Card weekend?
The last game of the day, with the Eagles on the road against the Vikings, will be sure to showcase some fun running backs and a couple of quarterbacks that can go either way.
Join us around 4:30 PM EST for the late game chat. It should be full of team spirit.Continue Reading
Jan 4th 2009 6:32PM by Enrico Campitelli (author feed)
Filed under: Eagles, VikingsThe Eagles take a 16-14 lead into the second half thanks in part to an Asante Samuel pick-six. The interception return was capped off by Eagles defensive lineman Chris Clemons pancaking Tarvaris Jackson, who made a weak attempt at trying to make up for a poor pass. Keep a look out for this hit on the weekly highlight reel.
While the Eagles hold a slim lead, the Vikings get the ball to start the second half and have had a good deal of success moving the ball against the Eagles defense. Adrian Peterson was right when he said earlier in the week that the Eagles can give up the big run play. AP broke a 40-yard run wide open and later plugged in a short three-yarder.
We’ve got a tight one in Minnesota and this game will likely come down to a battle of field position and who can win the turnover battle. With Jackson being banged up and AP’s tendency to cough up the ball, we’re betting on the Birds.
For live updates and hilarious banter check out the Eagles-Vikings Live Chat.
Jan 4th 2009 7:47PM by JJ Cooper (author feed)
Filed under: Eagles, Vikings, NFC East, NFC North, NFL PlayoffsSo Eagles fans, do you still want to see Donovan McNabb head elsewhere?
On a day when the Eagles’ running game was non-existent, McNabb threw for 300 yards, generally ran the Eagles offense efficiently and made only two serious mistakes. With an Eagles’ defense that’s good enough to get this team to the Super Bowl, that was enough.
The Vikings had almost everything happen according to plan and they still lost by 12. Adrian Peterson broke off a long run with a 40-yard touchdown run and scored two touchdowns. Bernard Berrian got deep for a 27-yard catch and the Vikings pass rush sacked McNabb three times.
Jan 5th 2009 8:30AM by Ryan Wilson (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Eagles, Ravens, NFL Fans, NFL PlayoffsSix weeks ago, the 2008 Chargers were effectively done. They were 4-8 after having lost at home to the Falcons, and worse, division rival Denver held a three-game lead with four games to play. Well, we know how the final month of the regular season played out: the Power of Norval Eugene compelled San Diego. The Chargers won out, finished 8-8, and the cherry on top: they smacked around the Broncos in what amounted to a Week 17 play-in game.
The Chargers, not content to just get to the postseason, kept hope alive against the Colts, many people’s favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl next month. And while the records suggested that Indianapolis would come into Qualcomm Stadium long enough to hang 30-plus on a suspect San Diego defense before making its way to Tennessee, it didn’t happen. Never got close, really. Sure, the Colts had won their final nine games to finish 12-4, and the Chargers backed into the playoffs, but there are a couple things worth considering.Continue Reading
Jan 5th 2009 8:38AM by JJ Cooper (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Eagles, Giants, Panthers, Ravens, Steelers, Titans, NFL PlayoffsWhen you get to the playoffs, it’s worth keeping one eye on the weather — Chargers fans rightfully believe they would have made it to the Super Bowl in 1981 if it wasn’t for a record cold snap in Cincinnati. And there are Cowboys players from the 1960s who still have frozen fingers from the Ice Bowl.
We shouldn’t see anything like that this weekend, but it appears that three of the four second-round playoff games could see some inclement weather.
The Titans-Ravens game could be a turnover-fest, as rain and potential snow showers are forecast for Saturday with a high of 38 degrees. And the Chargers should be ready to bundle up as the projected high in Pittsburgh on Sunday is 23 (with mild winds) and occasional snow showers are forecast.
The Giants-Eagles game will be played in very mild conditions for a Giants-Eagles’ game in January — 30 degrees and sunny, while the Panthers-Cardinals game may see rain — as the early forecast is for 52 degrees and rain. While rain might affect the Cardinals’ passing game, they surely would prefer to have 52 degrees and rain to another snowstorm like the one that buried them in New England last month.
These are forecasts for six or seven days in the future, so there is a chance that they will change over the next week. But if they don’t change we could see some interesting weather this weekend, which usually makes playoff games even more interesting.
Jan 3rd 2009 5:25PM by Bruce Ciskie (author feed)
Filed under: Eagles, Vikings, NFC East, NFC North, NFL Fans
Threats of a blackout for the Minnesota Vikings’ first home playoff game since 2000 have officially gone away. The team announced Saturday afternoon that they have sold their remaining tickets, and Sunday’s date with the Philadelphia Eagles is now officially considered a sellout.
The team’s cause certainly wasn’t helped by the failing economy, and it was really hurt when some 45 percent of Viking season-ticket holders passed on playoff tickets, apparently choosing to believe that coach Brad Childress or quarterback Tarvaris Jackson would find a way to blow his team’s chances.
Of course, the near-miss apparently was enough to cause Vikings owner Zygi Wilf to again complain about the team’s stadium situation. That seems like a really good idea. I’m sure plenty of people in a state that is facing a huge budget deficit are going to be sympathetic to a sports owner whining for public dollars to build a new stadium.
(I don’t mean to dismiss the role that the Vikings’ crappy stadium plays in their struggles to sell tickets, but come on.)
Good thing they had Jared Allen make that video, huh?
Jan 2nd 2009 1:30PM by Tom Mantzouranis (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Ravens, Vikings, NFL Playoffs
It’s an interesting week to begin shaking the Magic 8 Ball here, as these games each have interesting storylines but no clear-cut favorite. Not only are, shockingly, all of the road teams favorites in Vegas, but none of the spreads venture past three points.
That indecision amongst oddsmakers and bettors is reflected in our picks; very rarely is the same four-team combination picked, there’s a nice variety in the selections. It’s hard not to imagine a myriad of possibilities in all of these contests, and that’s the way the playoffs should be — competitive and intriguing.
See who we all picked, and add your own predictions, after the jump.Continue Reading
Jan 2nd 2009 3:45PM by Matt Snyder (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Giants, Panthers, Ravens, Steelers, Titans, Vikings, AFC East, AFC North, AFC South, AFC West, NFC East, NFC North, NFC South, NFC West, Fantasy Football, NFL PlayoffsThere are several different fantasy playoffs models, so it’s difficult to accommodate everyone when doing any set of fantasy advice for the real playoffs. Most common models require you to do a bit of prognosticating as far as the actual game winners. To that, I say good luck. This isn’t like last year, where we all knew the Patriots were going to the Super Bowl. This season the playoffs are wide open, and no, I don’t think the Giants are a sure thing to make the big game. They are the surest bet, but it’s still a bet.
Anyway, we’re going to analyze some of the players.
First, here are the regular-season defensive rankings for the teams playing this postseason.
Pittsburgh Steelers (1, 2, 1, 1)
Baltimore Ravens (2, 3, 2, 3)
Philadelphia Eagles (3, 4, 3, 4)
New York Giants (5, 9, 8, 5)
Minnesota Vikings (6, 1, 18, 13)
Tennessee Titans (7, 6, 9, 2)
Indianapolis Colts (11, 24, 6, 7)
Miami Dolphins (15, 10, 25, 9)
Carolina Panthers (18, 20, 16, 12)
Arizona Cardinals (19, 16, 21, 28)
Atlanta Falcons (24, 25, 22, 11)
San Diego Chargers (25, 11, 31, 15)Continue Reading
Jan 2nd 2009 4:15PM by Will Brinson (author feed)
Filed under: Eagles, Vikings, NFL Fans, NFL Playoffs, NFL Coaching, FanHouse Previews.
It would not be bizarre of you to ask “How did the Eagles get here?” or, “Is this not Donovan McNabb’s wonderful house?” Well, the second question might be weird to say out loud. But, yes, it seems odd that the Eagles are in the playoffs. After all, they had one of those controlling destiny things going on as they headed into a game against the Washington Redskins in Week 16. The result, of course, was a serious choke-job that left them all but, um, left for dead.
Then they paddled the Dallas Cowboys to embarrass their rivals and sneak into the playoffs, despite some sort of weird conspiracy that was supposed to have them not play hard. Or something. Either way, how did this happen? A miracle, mannnn, that’s how.
Which is sort of the same thing that seems to be affecting Tarvaris Jackson recently, considering that he’s playing “not horrible.” Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he has Adrian “McFumbles” Peterson running the ball behind him, a beastly offensive line, and an even more beastly defensive line to keep other teams in check.
Anyone with any sense (you know who I’m talking about) is picking the Eagles to win, because, well, Brian Westbrook is amazing and McNabb can take a game over. Of course, the Vikings can stuff the run and McNabb can totally collapse, so maybe it’s not as clear cut as it might seem.Continue Reading