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Eagles Take Care Of Vikings In Wild Card Round, Next Stop: The Champs

Vincent JacksonCorrespondent IJanuary 4, 2009

The NFC East is widely regarded as the toughest division in the NFL.  After next Sunday, either the New York Giants will defend their NFC crown or the Philadelphia Eagles will be one step from Tampa.

Donovan McNabb threw for 300 yards and a touchdown to spark a 26-14 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wild Card Playoffs.  The win makes it five out of six for Philadelphia, who now head back to New York to try and knock off one of their biggest rivals for the right to play for the NFC Championship.  The Eagles defeated the Giants 20-14 back in Week 14. 

A season that was in doubt a month ago seems to be shaping into a playoff run of epic proportions.  The Eagles made numerous big plays but none bigger than a 71-yard touchdown reception off a screen pass from McNabb to Brian Westbrook

After the Eagles took a 6-0 lead off of two David Akers field goals, Adrian Peterson took over and scored from 40 yards out for a 7-6 Vikings lead.  The Eagles retook the lead off of another Akers field goal and tacked on another score after an Asante Samuel interception returned for a touchdown (highlighted by Chris Gocong's bone-shattering block on Tarvaris Jackson), making the score 16-7.

Peterson scored his second touchdown on the ensuing drive, but that was the last time Minnesota would step foot in the end zone.  The NFL's leading rusher finished with 82 yards and two scores on 20 carries. 

Philadelphia scored the final 10 points off of the Westbrook touchdown and Akers' fourth field goal to seal the game.

Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson never got into a rhythm, finishing a dismal 15 of 35 for 164 yards and the interception.  Late in the fourth, Jackson tried to spark a comeback but he dropped the shotgun snap and the Eagles recovered.

Though McNabb was not perfect (sacked three times, one fumble lost) he kept the offense in rhythm.

Philadelphia's next task will be its most daunting as they square off against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants for the right to play for only their second conference title since 1980.

 

 

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