Joe Webb shocked the Eagles with this go-ahead scramble to take the lead for good...
Watching this game was like Chinese water torture...every positive play by Joe Webb, every successful corner blitz by Antoine Winfield, was like reality therapy telling me this dream season for the young Eagles was just about over...
Naturally, being a Philadelphian by heart, I resisted the message...
But oh what a wake-up call!...not just for me as a die-hard Eagles fan, but for the Eagles players themselves...
Mike Vick, selected as the NFC Pro Bowl starter shortly 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 was sacked six times. By my count, he was hit at least ten times during the contest...and was visibly limping for most of the game. Vick is a beat-up dude right now... and is suddenly ordinary.
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.
And we were worried about Favre coming off the doubtful list to play in this one?
The Eagles (10-5) could have secured a first-round bye with victories over the Vikings 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 Cowboys is meaningless in the standings, so it’s likely Vick and most of the starters will rest.
I hate when that happens.
At some level I have to be happy for the Vikings. Their entire month of December had sucked up to this point. Maybe this win against the Eagles gives Leslie Frazier a leg up on gaining the official head-coach job for 2011.
But most Eagles fans took this one hard...and read deeper meaning into it. Here's a sample of PE.com reactions:
In order to retain my own sanity, I'm going to write this game off as a bad day at the office. Let's regroup. And even if this is the end of the Starship 7 Flying Machine, it was a fun ride... but I don't want to even think like that. I count the positives. MLB Jamar Chaney and FS Kurt Coleman got some valuable and productive experience. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg got a classic education in what the league is going to throw at him the rest of the way. LeSean McCoy is establishing himself as a go-to all-purpose guy. And we know Andy Reid has his worst game of 2010 behind him now...if that's not motivation enough to write a new winning script, then renewal of the show for the playoff season is in danger of cancellation. But at least we've gotten this far...and maybe it will be our turn to make someone else look bad like the underdog Vikes did to us tonight.