To cap an unusual road trip, the Vikings pulled off an improbable 24-14 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Tuesday night. The Vikings were led by the tandem of rookie QB Joe Webb and superstar RB Adrian Peterson on offense, while CB Antoine Winfield anchored a defensive effort that stymied the Eagles explosive offensive attack.
The Vikings were originally slated to play the Eagles on Sunday Night Football, but the worst snow storm of the year in the Northeast prompted the Eagles and the NFL to postpone the game and move it to Tuesday night. The Vikings had arrived in Philadelphia on Saturday and the decision to postpone the contest came on Sunday morning, so the Vikings were stranded in the City of Brotherly Love from Saturday evening through the game on Tuesday night.
All of the distractions and time away from home didn’t have an adverse affect on the Vikings, though. They put forth perhaps their best overall effort of the season, especially considering the quality of opponent, and this game will be the talk of the NFL for the next few days and maybe longer. The Eagles were installed as 14.5-point favorites, were playing at home, are battling for playoff positioning and were hosting a team in the midst of a tumultuous season.
The trio of Webb, Winfield and Peterson was enough to pull off the upset, though. The Eagles took an early 7-0 lead but the Vikings weren’t discouraged. Trailing 7-0 just before halftime, Winfield blitzed and sacked Michael Vick and also caused him to fumble. Winfield then found the ball, scooped it up and sprinted 45 yards for a TD.
To begin the 3rd quarter, Webb connected with Percy Harvin for 46 yards and that ultimately resulted in a Ryan Longwell FG and a 10-7 Vikings lead. From there, Webb would remain composed and make critical plays, Winfield and the defense continued to stifle Vick and Co., and Peterson grinded away on the Eagles defense to seal the victory.
Peterson finished with 118 yards on 22 carries, including a 1-yard TD run in the 4th quarter that was the dagger to the heart for Philadelphia. Defensively, Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier and his staff put together a creative game plan to counter the explosiveness of Philadelphia’s offense. The lynch pin to the effort was constant pressure on Vick via blitzes and pressures from the secondary and LBs, specifically Winfield. Also, the Vikings front 4 defensive linemen got in on the mix and forced Vick to move frequently.
Webb finished 17 of 26 for 195 yards with 0 TDs and 0 INTs, with his favorite target being Harvin (7 receptions for 100 yards). He also registered a dazzling 9-yard TD run in the 3rd quarter to give the Vikings a 17-7 lead. On defense, Winfield registered 2.0 sacks, a forced fumble and fumble recovery, a fumble return TD and 9 tackles. He should earn NFL Defensive Player of the Week honors for that effort. LB Chad Greenway tied Winfield for a team-high 9 tackles, S Husain Abdullah grabbed an INT, Kevin Williams forced a fumble and the following players also tallied sacks: Jared Allen, Ray Edwards, Letroy Guion and Jamarca Sanford.
The win moves the Vikings to 6-9 with 1 game remaining on the schedule – a road game against the Detroit Lions next Sunday.
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