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Vikings-Eagles matchup of the day: Tuesday

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Posted Dec. 21, 2010 @ 11:36 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Let's take a look at a key matchup for the Vikings as they prepare to face the Eagles on Sunday night in Week 16:

Vikings' front seven vs. Eagles QB Michael Vick

It's obvious this is a mismatch not only because the Vikings have been beaten up but also because they have not faced a QB with Vick's skills this season. (Then again, what team that hasn't faced the Eagles has seen someone with Vick's skills?) Bears QB Jay Cutler is athletic, and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will do damage scrambling, but Vick is a different animal. Just turn on the final 8:17 of the comeback win over the Giants if you have not watched Vick at his most dangerous.

The Giants tried to do what most teams attempt now: to knock Vick around. Although they had some success early in the game, and the pressure got to him a few times, Vick burned them with 90 rushing yards in the fourth quarter and some bold, deadly throws to help the Eagles win. He can throw on the run, from bad angles and to his third or fourth option, and he's far more accurate than in Phase One of his career in Atlanta.

The Vikings must get four-man pressures but also find times to blitz and lay hands on Vick and cut off his passing lanes. They also must contain, though, because he's as good at escaping pressure and improvising plays as almost anyone in the league. One key also is to make him throw short and go outside the numbers. Vick has done a lot of damage in the middle of the field, and as the Eagles have shown and Monday night's Vikings loss to the Bears proved, it's that elite speed can get over the top of that cover-2 defense. And DeSean Jackson is every bit as fast as Johnny Knox and Devin Hester. Give Vick time to throw and he'll dissect the Vikings with ease.

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