PHILADELPHIA – Considering everything else the Minnesota Vikings have endured this season, it was silly to think two extra days sitting around a hotel room would bring ’em down.
No way a determined rookie quarterback named Joe Webb was going to let that happen.
Webb threw for 195 yards and ran for a touchdown in his first career start filling in for an injured Brett Favre, and the lowly Vikings stunned Michael Vick and the NFC East champion Philadelphia Eagles 24-14 in the NFL’s first Tuesday game since 1946.
“It was a big win, especially with what we have gone through,” Webb said. “It was a long trip for us and to get a win against the Eagles, we are trying to finish the season on a high note.”
Adrian Peterson ran for 118 yards and a score, helping the 14-point underdogs knock Philadelphia out of contention for a first-round playoff bye.
The Eagles (10-5) could’ve secured a first-round bye with a victory over the Vikings (6-9) and Dallas and with a loss by either Chicago or Atlanta next week.
“We don’t deserve it after that performance,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said. “Every phase was terrible. We didn’t coach well enough. We didn’t play well enough. I’m disappointed in myself. It’s embarrassing.”
Now the Eagles are locked into the NFC’s No. 3 seed and will host the No. 6 seed on Jan. 8 or 9. Their final game against the Dallas Cowboys is meaningless in the standings, so it’s likely Vick and most of the starters will rest.
Two days after a winter storm forced a postponement, there wasn’t even a snowflake visible at the Linc. The game was switched from Sunday because of a howling storm that dumped about a foot of snow in the area – perhaps a good idea considering Philadelphia’s history of snowball-throwing fans.
Nine days after rallying from a 21-point deficit in the final 7:18 to beat the New York Giants on DeSean Jackson’s 65-yard punt return on the final play, there would be no miracle at the Linc for the Eagles.
The Vikings looked more like a team with a lot at stake rather than a group that’s ready to start a vacation. The win could help interim coach Leslie Frazier get the job permanently.
“It was a great effort by our players to battle the way that they had to all week and they showed perseverance that has become the hallmark of our team over the last few weeks,” Frazier said. “I can’t say enough about our players and the attitude they showed this week and I’m glad they were rewarded for it.”
This has been a miserable season for the Vikings, who nearly reached the Super Bowl last year. They’ve endured numerous injuries, an ongoing Favre saga, the firing of head coach Brad Childress and the collapse of their stadium.
Vick, selected as the NFC Pro Bowl starter before the game, mostly struggled after his 3-yard TD pass to Clay Harbor in the first quarter gave the Eagles a 7-0 lead. He lost two fumbles, threw an interception and suffered six sacks.
Vick has been battered in recent games and he looked gimpy, gingerly walking to the huddle and off the field most of the night. Vick sustained a quad contusion on the first play of the game.
“I just tried to tolerate it throughout the game and I did. I have a strong will to win and I’ll do anything to win a football game,” Vick said. “I just tried to get through it.”
Trailing 17-7 to start the fourth quarter, the Eagles cut the deficit to 3 when Vick scored on a 10-yard TD run. But the Vikings answered on the ensuing drive. Peterson ran in from the 1 to put Minnesota up 24-14 with 6:43 left. The Pro Bowl running back showed no signs of the right knee injury that had him listed as questionable.