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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Vikings rookie QB Joe Webb has given more evidence to his superior athletic abilities by weaving through the Eagles defense for a 9-yard “shake and bake” TD.
On the TD scramble, Webb rolled out to his right, couldn’t find an open receiver and made a quick sprint towards the front-right pylon. Just before reaching the goal line, Webb received a clear-out block from TE Jimmy Kleinsasser, opening the sidelines for the easy score.
Webb was perfect on the 7-play, 75-yard scoring drive, completing 3 of 3 passes for 20 yards with the 9-yard scrambling TD. Vikings RB Adrian Peterson jump-started the drive on consecutive runs of 18, 8 and 3 yards followed by an 11-yard reception on a screen pass from Webb.
Vikings WR Sidney Rice hauled in a 14-yard reception on the 5th play of the drive and was immediately hit by Eagles CB Asante Samuel. The hit was helmet-to-helmet contact, resulting in a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty.
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Following a 2-yard TD pass that Vikings QB Joe Webb lobbed-up a jump ball to WR Sidney Rice in the left corner of the endzone, the Vikings silenced the Lincoln Financial Field crowd by taking a 13-7 lead early in the 3rd quarter. But the play was challenged by Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid and was overturned after official review, nullifying the leaping TD grab.
Webb was unable to find an open Adrian Peterson on the following play and was ran out of bounds by pursuing Eagles defenders for a loss of 10 on a 3rd and 2 attempt at the PHI 2. On the ensuing play, Vikings K Ryan Longwell’s 30-yard FG attempt was good, giving the Vikings a 10-3 lead.
The Vikings now have the ball at midfield at the 9:55 mark of the 3rd quarter following a pair of long runs by Peterson.
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Ebbs and flows in the Vikings secondary resulted in 2 critical missed turnover opportunities and finished on a 45-yard fumble return to knot the game at 7.
With :55 remaining in the half, Vikings CB Antoine Winfield came off the right end on a corner blitz and sacked Eagles QB Michael Vick at midfield. While making the tackle, Winfield stripped the ball out of Vick’s hands for a fumble and returned the loose ball 45 yards for the game-tying score.
Prior to the fumble return, the Vikings defense fell victim to their own mistakes, specifically in the secondary, as a pair of easy INT opportunities were dropped.
At the 10:18 mark of the 2nd quarter, Vikings CB Lito Sheppard – who spent his first 7 seasons in Philadelphia – jumped in front of Vick’s pass intended for WR DeSean Jackson and had a prime opportunity for an INT, but he bobbled and dropped the ball. On the ensuing play, though, Vick fired a deep pass down the middle of the field again intended for Jackson and was picked off by Vikings S Husain Abdullah at the MIN 14.
After the INT, the Vikings offense gained 22 yards on their first 2 plays – Webb 7-yard scramble and Peterson 15-yard gain – but gave possession back to the Eagles after Peterson fumbled the ball at the end of a 23-yard rush. Replays showed that Vikings WR Bernard Berrian kicked the ball loose out of Peterson’s hands while finishing a block on an Eagles defender. The play resulted in Philadelphia possession at their own 41.
The Purple secondary had another INT opportunity fall right through their hands, literally, as CB Frank Walker dropped an errant Vick pass that fell well short of the intended receiver Jackson. The Vikings regained possession on an Eagles punt the following play.
The Vikings defensive front 4 have pressured Vick consistently throughout the half, specifically DE Jared Allen (3 tackles), with Winfield leading the team with 4 tackles, 2.0 sacks and a FF that resulted in a score.
In his first-career NFL start, Vikings rookie QB Joe Webb has completed 9 of 15 passes for 71 yards with 14 yards on 2 carries.
RB Adrian Peterson leads the team with 8 carries for 52 yards and WR Percy Harvin has a team-leading 4 receptions for 40 yards.
The Vikings will receive the 2nd half kickoff.
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The Philadelphia Eagles scored the first points of the game at Lincoln Financial Field as a result of a 3-yard TD pass from QB Michael Vick to TE Clay Harbor at the 7:47 mark of the 1st quarter.
The Eagles 7-play, 50-yard scoring drive was highlighted by a 28-yard connection from Vick to WR Jeremy Maclin on a 3rd and 15 attempt from the MIN 31. Vikings Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier attempted to challenge the play but threw the challenge flag too late for officials to review the play. It appeared that Maclin may have bobbled the pass when falling out of bounds, but nonetheless, the reception gave the Eagles possession at the 3.
Vikings CB Antoine Winfield recorded his 1st sack of the season on a corner blitz and DE Jared Allen has been disruptive in the backfield with 2 tackles.
The Eagles lead 7-0 with the Vikings threatening to score in Philadelphia territory nearing the end of the 1st quarter.
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Mr. Hippe has been busy recently with weather reports and we need him again tonight because the Vikings and Eagles are close to kickoff at Lincoln Financial Field, an outdoor venue just outside of downtown Philadelphia. A snow storm on Sunday caused the game to be postponed and moved to tonight, leading to the first Tuesday night NFL game since 1946.
Mr. Hippe checked in with vikings.com during pre-game warmups and declared the temperature to be 28 degrees with winds out of the north-to-northeast at 15-18 MPH.
There is just a small chance for precipitation tonight, so we should be in store for a great night of football in Philadelphia.
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The 2011 Pro Bowl rosters were announced tonight during an exclusive television event on NFL Network and Adrian Peterson was the lone Vikings representative. Other Vikings could be added to the NFC’s roster as alternates should injuries or other reasons prevent starters from playing in the game.
Heading into tonight’s action, Peterson has 1,149 yards rushing with 11 TDs. He’s averaging 4.7 yards per carry and hasn’t lost a fumble yet this season (knock on wood). Currently Peterson ranks 11th in the NFL in rushing, but keep in mind that everyone in front of him played a game this past weekend. Peterson has been among the top 3 or 4 rushers during the season.
This will be Peterson’s 4th Pro Bowl honor – he’s made the all-star game in every season of his career.
The 2011 Pro Bowl will be played on January 30 in Honolulu, HI.
Tags: Adrian Peterson
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Here are the Vikings inactive players for tonight’s game in Philly against the Eagles:
QB Rhett Bomar (3rd QB), QB Brett Favre, WR Greg Lewis, WR Hank Baskett, S Madieu Williams, S Tyrell Johnson, T Thomas Welch, & DT Fred Evans.
Joe Webb will of course start in place of Favre at QB, while Jamarca Sanford will start in place of Williams at FS.
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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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One minor result of the twisting and turning Vikings schedule of late due to snow storms has been the shifting of the vikings.com Monday Morning Mailbag to mornings other than Monday. This week, with the Vikings and Eagles set to kickoff tonight, is no exception. But we’ll adjust.
This week’s Monday Morning Mailbag will be a special Wednesday edition. So, submit your questions or comments between now and Wednesday morning.
To submit a comment or question to the mailbag, send an email to me at email@example.com. You can also submit your comment or question in the comments section below this entry. Remember to include your name and town on the email. We can’t post every comment and question, but we’ll try to answer each question.
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