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Vikings-Eagles matchup of the day: Friday

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Recent posts by Eric Edholm

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Posted Dec. 24, 2010 @ 11:13 a.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Let's take a look at one final key matchup as the Eagles and Vikings get set to face off Sunday night in Philadelphia:

Vikings WR Sidney Rice vs. Eagles RCB Dimitri Patterson

Rice and Percy Harvin are the only two dependable receiving options in the passing game right now for the Vikings, and they don't even know how well they can throw the ball this Sunday with a banged-up Brett Favre or an inexperienced Joe Webb under center. But they might be able to do some short work with Harvin, and they have some big-play potential with Rice. He has the physical ability to win jump-ball situations, even on balls that are not thrown exceptionally well. Webb lobbed a ball to Rice that he couldn't come down with against the Giants, but it's the kind of play we could see plenty of if that's the passing combo Sunday. Webb and Favre threw to Rice five times the next week against the Bears, so they are still trying to find ways to get him the ball.

Patterson has been the corner teams have attempted to pick on now that Asante Samuel is back in the lineup. The Giants clearly were targeting Patterson, and he struggled — albeit with so-so safety assistance — in that game, especially early on. That assignment remains a tough one for Patterson, who will play with rookie S Kurt Coleman replacing fellow rookie Nate Allen in the starting lineup. Allen had been a standout before leaving last week's game with a season-ending injury. Patterson is tough and a good tackler, but he struggles to sustain man coverage and is not exceptionally good yet at flipping his hips and running when receivers take him deep.

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