Not a whole lot: that would be the answer to what we should expect from Vikings QB Joe Webb, who will likely be tonight’s starter since Brett Favre is still listed as doubtful with a concussion.
Webb would be making his first-career NFL start on the road against a team jockeying for position in the NFC playoffs. And oh by the way, the game comes after yet another unexpected weather-related delay that forced the Vikings to call their hotel rooms in Philadelphia “home” for an extra 2 days.
It is rightfully assumed that Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid has a defensive approach in place for Webb that will feature many different blitz packages and fluid formations to confuse the rookie QB. So when combining the intangibles of tonight’s matchup with Webb’s inexperience, there’s not much that we should expect out of him tonight.
Or is there?
Webb’s raw quarterbacking skills present a weak link in the Vikings offense – as shown in last week’s loss to the Chicago Bears at TCF Bank Stadium (0 passing TDs and 2 INTs) – but his superior athletic abilities offer a unique dynamic for which the Eagles will have to account. Webb has already shown us what he is capable of when the defense puts on the pressure.
Last week against the Bears, Webb was sacked 3 times under pressure but also exhibited his athleticism when he found a way out of said situations. Down 27-7 with 9:55 remaining in the 3rd quarter and facing a 1st and 10 from the Bears 13, Webb rolled out to the right side on a play-action fake, pulled the ball down after a blitz by Bears LB Lance Briggs and beat 4 Bears defenders to the front-right pylon for a diving TD. The 13-yard score was his longest rush of the game.
So when we take into account the possibility of multiple blitz packages and continually moving defensive fronts from the Eagles, what is going to happen if Webb eludes those rushing defenders and finds open space in front of him?
His timing and connection with his receivers may not be in midseason form, but Webb has shown glimpses of what he can do in the open field and that is certainly something to keep an eye on tonight.
Tags: Joe Webb
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