Brett Favre’s status is up in the air this Sunday after Chicago Bears’ defensive end Corey Wooton knocked Favre out of Monday’s game, which now leaves rookie Joe Webb as the starting quarterback if Favre is unable to go.
Whether it be Favre or Webb, the Vikings will need all of their playmakers ready to go in order to pull off the upset over the Eagles.
Adrian Peterson is, without a doubt, the team’s best offensive weapon, but after missing Monday’s game with injuries to his ankle and knee following a collision with Tarvaris Jackson two weeks ago, Peterson may not be able to perform up to his highest level.
If he can’t go, rookie Toby Gerhart will receive the majority of the carries.
Aside from Peterson, the Vikes have a terrific playmaker who will be utilized in every aspect of the offensive scheme. Second-year man Percy Harvin accounted for 72 yards and one touchdown on five receptions against the Bears on Monday Night Football and will look to carry over those numbers into the team’s meeting against the Birds.
Since entering the league last season, Harvin has compiled 11 receiving touchdowns and three return touchdowns.
He ran a 4.41 forty-yard dash, which ranked seventh among receivers at the combine, but he was rumored to run a 4.32 during his freshman year at Florida. Either way, Harvin is one of the best playmakers in the game today because of his vision and quickness.
Asante Samuel, who most likely will match up with either Sidney Rice or Harvin, runs a 4.49 forty-yard dash. He’s one of the few members of the secondary that may be able to match up with Harvin speed-wise. Samuel still leads the league in interceptions (7), even after missing three games, and is coming off a game in which he shut down Hakeem Nicks. His experience and aggressiveness will force Webb to look elsewhere.
But if Dimitri Patterson matches up with Harvin, who struggled against Mario Manningham and surrendered three touchdowns, then Harvin will be able to rack up some yardage.
The Giants didn’t test Samuel the entire game and continually targeted the right side of the field. Other teams will see this on tape, and you have to believe they will attempt to do the same against Patterson.
If Webb does enter the game as the starting quarterback, Harvin’s chances of making big plays on offense can be limited because Philadelphia should be inclined to send as many blitz packages as they can to disrupt Webb and force him to make bad decisions.
However, Harvin is also a threat on special teams. He didn’t record any returns against the Bears, but has averaged 23.3 yards per return this season after averaging 27.5 yards per return in his rookie season, which resulted in him earning a trip to the Pro-Bowl.
His lone return touchdown this season came against another NFC East team, the Dallas Cowboys, in Week 6.
On paper, the Eagles should have no trouble in capturing their fourth straight win, but as we’ve seen before, if the Eagles don’t start off fast (and strike first on their opening drive) they can be beaten.
Unless they’re playing the Giants…