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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
2005
Divisional
Round
Saturday Saturday Sunday Sunday
4:30 P.M. 8 P.M. 1 P.M. 4:30 P.M.
NYJ at PIT STL at ATL MIN at PHI IND at NE
  Minnesota Rush Catch Pass
QB Daunte Culpepper 40 0 280,2
RB Michael Bennett 40 50 0
RB Onterrio Smith 30 10 0
TE Jermaine Wiggins 0 20 0
WR Randy Moss 0 60,1 0
WR Nate Burleson 0 80,1 0
WR Marcus Robinson 0 20 0
PK Morten Andersen 2 FG 2 XP -
  Philadelphia Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb 50,1 0 220,1
RB Brian Westbrook 70,1 60 0
RB Dorsey Levens 10 10 0
TE L.J. Smith 0 40,1 0
WR Billy McMullen 0 20 0
WR Freddie Mitchell 0 40 0
WR Todd Pinkston 0 40 0
PK David Akers 1 FG 3 XP -

MIN (8-8) vs PHI (13-3)

Game Prediction: MIN 20, PHI 24

(Line - Eagles by 9.5)

The Vikings come into this game as the surprise victor - yet again - at Green Bay last Sunday night. The Vikes have already played the Eagles back in week two when Philadelphia won 27-16 playing at home like this week.

The Vikings enter this game with a surprising amount of confidence born not only from beating the Packers when it mattered the most, but also since they know that the Eagles scored on a questionable touchdown by Terrell Owens in the last game while Culpepper lost a fumble on the Philadelphia goal line and also had a touchdown run called back which became a field goal.

The Eagles are also without Terrell Owens which places an entirely different slant on the offense. Without the best receiving weapon around, McNabb is expected to greatly increase the use of Westbrook as a pass receiver while Billy McMullen and Greg Lewis at least see more playing time if not a few more passes.

This is probably the most difficult game to call this weekend. The Eagles have not played in a meaningful game for the past month and have yet to really exercise what the passing game will be without Owens around. Expect that McNabb will revert to his old form out of need - increasing his rushing while using the backs as receivers more. L.J. Smith is expected to be healthy this week and should factor in as well.

Daunte Culpepper threw for 343 yards and one score in their meeting back in week two and will need that sort of production again this week. The Vikes are not running well and mixing in Bennett and Smith. Moe Williams will be out this week with a sprained ankle which takes away not only a runner and receiver, but one of their best pass protection blockers. The possible absence of LB Mark Simoneau may help, but only if the Vikes have the luxury of running the entire game.

There's also the question of the health of Randy Moss since he turned his ankle last week. He is expected to play regardless of how much tape it takes.

The Eagles have never allowed more than two passing scores in any game this year and this will be a far greater challenge than the familiar Packers were last week for Culpepper. This game rides on his shoulders to make good decisions and exploit the Philly secondary at least as well as he did back in week two which ended up as over 70 more passing yards than any other team had all season.

This will be an interesting game to be sure. The Vikings are meeting their expectations lately while it's more difficult to know what to expect from an Owens-less Philly offense. Simply enough, this is the Eagle defense against the Viking passing game.

The weather is expected to be mostly sunny and around 32 degrees during the game. It should not be a factor.

MIN PHI 2004 Averages PHI MIN
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
295
217
Pass yards
263
258
2.4
1.0
Pass TDs
2.0
1.9
0.7
1.1
Interceptions
0.7
0.7
25
8
Rush yards
14
10
0.1
0.1
Rush TDs
0.2
0.2
---
---
RB's
---
---
85
107
Rush yards
88
112
0.3
0.7
Rush TDs
0.4
0.8
68
34
Receive yards
66
43
0.3
0.1
Receive TD's
0.4
0.3
---
---
WR's
---
---
175
140
Receive yards
154
176
1.9
0.6
Receive TD's
1.1
0.9
---
---
TE's
---
---
53
41
Receive yards
43
40
0.2
0.3
Receive TD's
0.6
0.6
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.1
1.1
Field Goals
1.7
1.5
2.8
1.7
Extra Points
2.6
2.7
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.6
0.6
Fumbles
0.8
0.6
0.8
0.8
Interceptions
1.0
0.7
0.1
0.1
Touchdowns
0.1
0.2
2.4
2.3
Sacks
2.9
2.7
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.1
Vikings (8-8)
Score Opp.
35-17 DAL
16-27 @PHI
27-22 CHI
Week 4 bye
34-28 @HOU
38-31 @NO
20-3 TEN
13-34 NYG
28-31 @IND
31-34 @GB
22-19 DET
27-16 JAX
14-24 @CHI
23-27 SEA
28-27 @DET
31-34 GB
18-21 @WAS
Eagles (13-3)
Score Opp.
31-17 NYG
27-16 MIN
30-13 @DET
19-9 @CHI
Week 5 bye
30-8 CAR
34-31 @CLE
15-10 BAL
3-27 @PIT
49-21 @DAL
28-6 WAS
27-6 @NYG
47-17 GB
17-14 @WAS
12-7 DAL
7-20 @STL
10-38 CIN