Eagles 26, Vikings 14: No One's Benching McNabb Now
So Eagles fans, do you still want to see Donovan McNabb head elsewhere?
On a day when the Eagles' running game was non-existent, McNabb threw for 300 yards, generally ran the Eagles offense efficiently and made only two serious mistakes. With an Eagles' defense that's good enough to get this team to the Super Bowl, that was enough.
The Vikings had almost everything happen according to plan and they still lost by 12. Adrian Peterson broke off a long run with a 40-yard touchdown run and scored two touchdowns. Bernard Berrian got deep for a 27-yard catch and the Vikings pass rush sacked McNabb three times.
But it wasn't enough. While Berrian did have a 27-yarder, Tarvaris Jackson completed only 15 of 35 passes for 164 yards. His one serious mistake was a big one--he threw a timing route that Asante Samuel was sitting all over. Samuel stepped in front of Sidney Rice, caught the pass on a dead run and ran 44 yards for a put 'em away touchdown. Jackson got doubly punished for his mistake as he was driven hard to the ground as he tried to tackle Samuel.
The credit for the win has to go to the Eagles' defense. Peterson had a 40-yard run, but he averaged only two yards a carry on his other 19 carries. Berrian's 27-yard catch and Peterson's 40-yard run were the only two 20-yard+ plays the Vikings had all day. For a team built around big plays and a dominating defense, that wasn't nearly enough. Brian Westbrook's short catch and long run on a 71-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter put the game away, but the way the Eagles' defense was playing, it was a bonus TD that wasn't really needed.
The Eagles are probably the team the Giants would least like to face right now, but we're going to get to see an NFC East showdown next week. If you're a Philly fan, you have to think your team at least has a chance, which seemed completely unlikely just two weeks ago.
For the Vikings, it's hard to know what to think. Jackson played well enough down the stretch to make an argument to be the team's No. 1 quarterback in 2009, but he was ineffective in his first playoff game. The defense made some serious improvements with Jared Allen, but it still could use a little more help from the offense.
And Brad Childress has gotten his team back to the playoffs, but with a fanbase that seems to actively hate him, is that enough to make him the team's long-term leader?