Eagles-Vikings: Philadelphia Swamps Minnesota 26-14 to Move on to New York
You can't blame this one on the rookies. Tavarius Jackson has been in the league for three years, and Adrian Peterson is in his sophomore year.
No, the credit for this one rests on two huge plays by two big play-makers.
Asante Samuel returned a pick for 44 yards in the second quarter, and Brian Westbrook took a short pass from Donovan McNabb 71 yards in the fourth, to give the Eagles their only touchdowns of the game.
David Akers did the rest, providing 12 points on four attempts to put the Eagles atop the Vikings 26-14 and move them on to the next round of the NFC playoffs.
Donovan McNabb did what he had to—300 yards on 23-of-24 passing, with one touchdown and only one pick. On a day when the running game was stuck in neutral, his ability to move the ball down the field through the air was key in getting the Eagles the win.
Adrian Peterson did everything he could for the Vikings, running for 83 yards and two touchdowns of his own, including a 40-yard rumble that showed just how dangerous a running back he can be.
But Philly was ready for the Vikings. They limited Jackson to 164 yards on 15-of-35 attempts, and kept him out of the end zone. With the Vikings' attack limited to one dimension, the Eagle were able to buckle down and erase any questions about whether they belonged in the playoffs.
And of course, there was the interception return that resulted in a touchdown, and almost took Jackson out of the game.
Running to defend his end zone after the pick, Jackson was blocked off his feet and slammed violently to the ground as Samuel scampered past him for the score. He lay on the ground for a few minutes trying to get his bearings, but was eventually able to return to the game.
No word yet on whether the chest-to-chest suplex affected the rest of his game.
Philadelphia moves on to face the defending-champion Giants, a team that went 7-1 at home this year. To stand a chance, Philly needs to spend the week getting their running game in order.
If McNabb is forced to carry the team with his arm, the Giants secondary will eat him alive.
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