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NFL PREVIEWS \ Sunday's games



Published: Sat, January 15, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



MINNESOTA at PHILADELPHIA

When: 1 p.m.TV/radio: (17/62) (8) (53) (WBBW-AM 1240)Series history: Vikings lead 11-9 overall. Eagles lead 1-0 in playoffs. (Last meeting -- Eagles beat Vikings 27-16 on Sept. 20, 2004, at Philadelphia)Last postseason meeting: Eagles beat Vikings 31-16 on Jan. 3, 1981, at Philadelphia in divisional playoff game.Key matchup: Vikings CBs Antoine Winfield and Brian Williams vs. Eagles WRs Todd Pinkston and Freddie Mitchell. Combined, Pinkston (676 yards receiving) and Mitchell (377) didn't equal output of injured WR Terrell Owens (1,200) in regular season. Of Eagles' 32 TDs receiving, 14 were by Owens, who played in 14 games. Without him as deep threat, Vikings defense will crowd line of scrimmage, making it difficult for Eagles QB Donovan McNabb to run, and somewhat nullifying RB Brian Westbrook, who was team's leading rusher and second-leading receiver. Winfield led team with three INTs, but secondary was generally porous, allowing 243.5 yards passing per game -- fourth most in league.Streaks, stats and notes: Both McNabb and Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper were drafted in first round in 1999. McNabb was No. 2 pick, Culpepper No. 11. Culpepper was second in NFL with 39 TD passes, while McNabb was third with 31. Last time two QBs taken in first round of same draft faced each other in playoffs was on Jan. 9. 1999, when John Elway's Broncos beat Dan Marino's Dolphins 38-3. ... Culpepper also led league with 4,717 yards passing and was second with 110.9 rating. ... Against common opponents Eagles were 9-0, Vikings 5-5. ... In seven playoff games, Vikings WR Randy Moss (probable, ankle) has averaged 96 yards and 1.3 TDs per game. ... Home team has won last seven games in series. Vikings last won in Philadelphia in 1985.

INDIANAPOLIS at NEW ENGLAND

Time: 4:45 p.m.TV: (27) (19) (2) (WBBW-AM 1240)Series history: Patriots lead 42-24 overall and 1-0 in playoffs. (Last meeting -- Patriots beat Colts 27-24 on Sept. 9, 2004, at New England)Last postseason meeting: Patriots beat Colts 24-14 on Jan. 18, 2004, at New England in AFC championship game.Key matchup: Colts QB Peyton Manning vs. Patriots' depleted secondary. Manning set NFL records this season with 49 TDs and 121.1 passer rating and threw only 10 INTs. Last year, he also had great season, but was shut down in AFC title game, throwing four INTs in loss. This time, he'll face wounded secondary that used WR Troy Brown at CB in recent weeks. New England's star CB, Ty Law, was put on injured reserve last week and hasn't played since October. CB Tyrone Poole has been out since Week 4. DBs Asante Samuel, Eugene Wilson and Randall Gay also have had injury trouble and team signed journeyman CB Hank Poteat on Monday.Streaks, stats and notes: Manning is 1-3 in outdoor playoff games, with only win coming against the Chiefs last year. ... Colts led NFL with plus-19 turnover differential. Patriots were plus-9. ... Colts DE Dwight Freeney led NFL with 16 sacks. ... Patriots K Adam Vinatieri, who kicked five FGs in last year's AFC title game, led NFL with 141 points and was league's most accurate kicker. He made all 48 PATs and 31-of-33 FGs. ... Coach Belichick is 6-0 in playoffs with Patriots. All six wins came with Tom Brady as QB. New England has won 29 of past 31 games, including playoffs. ... Against common opponents, Patriots are 2-0, Colts 1-1. ... Patriots RB Corey Dillon, who came to team in offseason, rushed for career-high and club-record 1,635 yards.

Associated Press

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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