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Vikings-Broncos matchup of the day: Thursday

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By Christian West

Here's a key matchup to watch in Sunday's Vikings-Broncos game.

Vikings WR Percy Harvin vs. Broncos secondary

Harvin is coming off of his best game of the season, catching eight passes for 95 yards and a touchdown. Two catches in particular, a 39-yard grab in the back on the endzone and a 20-yard reception, in traffic to set up the first score of the game, were spectacular. Harvin showed the playmaking ability that made him a first-round pick in 2009.

This week, he has a tougher challenge than he had against Atlanta as he goes up against a Broncos secondary led by Champ Bailey. Even though Bailey has lost half a step, he's still one of the best corners in the league and was a Pro Bowler last season. Bailey's flanked by Andre' Goodman, who is quietly having a very solid season with six passes defensed and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown in the big Thursday-night win over the Jets in Week 11.

And if Harvin wants to work the middle of the field, he'll encounter veteran S Brian Dawkins, who isn't what he used to be deep in coverage but can still deliver big hits to unsuspecting receivers.

It will be up to offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave to be creative with the ways he gets Harvin the ball. Musgrave tried a variety of swing and screen passes against the Falcons with little success, but getting him into the slot and letting him attack vertically, which is how he scored the touchdown against Atlanta, might be the way to go.

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