Breaking down the Eagles-Vikings game--
The Eagles have a resurgent Donovan McNabb, who when the play calling allows for it, is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. The Vikings will start Tarvaris Jackson, who has only made 5 starts this season, but does have 9 touchdowns to 2 interceptions. McNabb has much more playoff experience and very good numbers against the Vikings.
The Vikings feature what might be the best running back in the game right now in Adrian Peterson, who led the league with 1760 rushing yards this season. The Vikings also have a good 2nd running back in Chester Taylor, who can come in and spell Peterson when need be. The Eagles also feature two solid running backs in Westbrook and Buckhalter. While the Vikings simply run Peterson over and over, the Eagles use Westbrook in a variety of ways, running the ball, and splitting Westbrook out wide to run receiving patterns. While Westbrook is one of the best in the game, it's hard to pick against the NFL's leading rusher.
Neither team is particularly solid at this position, as the Eagles feature a rookie as their leading receiver, and an underachieving tight end. The Vikings top two receivers were Bernard Berrian and Bobby Wade, and at tight end, Visanthe Shiancoe had a solid season. Neither team had a 1000 yard receiver, but Berrian and Shiancoe both had 7 touchdown catches this season. No Eagles receiver had more than 3 touchdown catches.
Again, the Vikings have the NFL's leading rusher, which definitely counts for something, but the Eagles offensive line can also run block, and the Eagles offensive line allowed fewer sacks than the Vikings offensive line.
Defensive Front 7
The Vikings have the #1 rush defense in the league and also one of the best pass rushers in the league in Jared Allen. The Eagles have the #4 ranked rush defense, and also have some good pass rushers. The edge for the Vikings may come on the line, but the Eagles probably have a slight edge at linebacker, led by Stewart Bradley.
The Eagles defense is #3 against the pass, while the Vikings defense is #18 against the pass. The Eagles secondary features two pro-bowlers in Asante Samuel and Brian Dawkins, and the Eagles are deep in their secondary. Because teams are not able to run on the Vikings, it may exploit their secondary a little bit, and the Vikings secondary did have a lot of interceptions this season.
The last game the Vikings played in the playoffs, they lost to the Eagles. As stated before, McNabb has very good numbers against this Vikings team. However, the game is in Minnesota in the dome, which is a hard place for a visiting team to go in and win, even if the Vikings still can't sell this game out.
It looks like the weaknesses of the Vikings play right into the Eagles hand, and if the Eagles are smart, they should be able to exploit the Vikings. Donovan McNabb is playing very well lately, and if the play calling is good, the Eagles should win this game.
PREDICTION: 27-17 EAGLES