Vikings vs. Eagles Tuesday Night Football: Grading Philly's Performance
The Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles' Week 16 matchup was put on hold for two days due to the extensive snow storm in the Philadelphia area. This seemed to be a problem for the Eagles from the beginning, giving the Vikings more time to prepare, and even possibly get Brett Favre back for the game. The Vikings may not have had Favre back, but they may have someone even better.
Philadelphia just gave this game away. From the beginning, it didn't look like the Eagles were playing like a playoff and possible Super Bowl contender. They played like a team that was already eliminated from the postseason, playing the Super Bowl champions.
The Eagles lost the game at home, and their record slips to 10-5; fortunately, they are already a lock as NFC East division winners.
The Vikings may have found their franchise QB. Not only did Joe Webb have no turnovers in the game, but he was also able to win the game against a playoff-caliber team. This is huge for the Vikings organization and I am incredibly impressed with how Webb performed in this game. With Webb's performance the Vikings were able to pick up another win and their record improves to 6-9; of course, they are still out of the playoffs.
Here is the Eagles postgame report card following a loss to the Vikings:
Honorable Mention: Joe Webb: A+
Joe Webb could not have had a more impressive game than what he had. Not only in his first career start did he play like a veteran, but he also was able to pick up a much-needed win for this struggling Minnesota team.
Webb had no turnovers against a great Eagles defense that excels at forcing turnovers, and he was able to avoid giving the ball back to the deadly Philadelphia offense. Not to mention the deadly accuracy down field, finding receivers all game.
The final stat line for Webb was impressive, finishing with 226 total yards and one rushing touchdown. A rookie QB was able to embarrass this Eagles defense, not only through the air, but also on the ground. Just a great performance.
This guy showed that he can be a starting QB, and this may be the kind of player that can turn the Vikings back into playoff contenders. With Favre on his way out, the door is open for a player like Webb, and he made a strong case for a starting role.
Passing Offense: C-
Michael Vick sucked in this game. That is really the only way to put it. He was a flat-out disappointment and threw and fumbled this game away. Vick may have finished the game with only one interception, but there should have been about four more.
Vick constantly looked like he was trying to force throws, and when he wasn't forcing throws, it seemed like he was overshooting and overthrowing receivers. There were several plays throughout the game where Vick just missed the open receiver on fairly easy completions.
On other plays, he would just elect to hit the dump off pass to McCoy instead of going for the open receiver down the field. There were plays where it was a designed deep pass and Vick just missed the timing, and that's how the Vikings were able to get that interception.
Then the Vick fumble when being sacked. That was the story of this passing offense. Drop back and get hit and either make a bad throw or just fumble the ball away. At least it was a good play by Antoine Windfield.
Vick's MVP chances are done. Tom Brady had an amazing game and Vick did not.
Vick finished the game with a 74.1 QB rating. Webb finished with a 87.8 QB rating.
Rushing Offense: C-
This was another part of this Eagles offense that performed mediocre. LeSean McCoy had a few good runs, but not enough to make a huge impact in the game. The blocking was just not there, as the combination of Antoine Windfield and Jared Allen had free game on McCoy throughout.
If it means anything, Vick had more rushing yards than McCoy. But Vick also had a fumble on a rushing play, which kind of negates the 63 yards rushing and one touchdown.
That was about the only word that can describe how poorly the Eagles rushed the ball. Not that rushing is Reid's specialty, but that is just no excuse.
McCoy finished the game with only 44 yards. He is better than that and we all know it. McCoy has had some awesome games and I don't know what happened against the Vikings.
However, McCoy did have a nice run on a crucial short-yardage situation where he was able to stiff-arm a defender and pick up the first.
Rushing Defense: C+
Adrian Peterson is good. He is one of the best, if not the best, running backs in the entire NFL, and he showed why against the Eagles. The Eagles rushing defense started out strong against Peterson in the first half, but once the second quarter rolled around it was essentially over.
Peterson entered the game after halftime and just owned the Eagles defense, more than ever in the fourth quarter. In the closing minutes of the game, Peterson was able to break a huge run to the Eagles 2-yard line, and two plays later put it into the end zone, giving the Vikings a 10-point lead late in the game.
The rushing defense was just not there this game, as the Eagles defense gave up 161 combined yards on the ground and two rushing touchdowns. What happened to the Eagles defense that was lockdown in the rushing game and didn't let teams rush against them?
The Eagles need to improve this and fast. The playoffs are right around the corner and it could be a quick elimination if the Eagles allow teams to rush on them like that.
Passing Defense: C-
Joe Webb was able to tear up the Eagles secondary and that was with Asante Samuel playing. It seemed that coverages were blown and there was almost always at least one Viking receiver open down field. No matter what the play call or what the situation, Webb could find his man.
The Eagles linebackers still were having trouble keeping up with the Vikings tight ends, and there were several first downs that were the result. This was a problem earlier in the season and it clearly still is an issue.
Percy Harvin had an excellent game, and Dimitri Patterson was actually benched due to his poor performance trying to cover him. That is a sign that the Eagles secondary is just not capable of keeping up with quicker receivers.
There were way too many big plays through the air. Especially when they were coming from a rookie QB. On top of that—no turnovers.
Hey, Asante! Nice helmet-to-helmet, that really helped the Eagles' cause.
Special Teams: B-
David Akers missed a field goal. He also kicked a ball out of bounds on a kickoff.
The field goal was around 50 yards, and as for the kickoff, there is no excuse.
Sav Rocca did his job, punting the ball five times throughout the game.
Returns and coverage were average. Not the best, but not the worst.
Rocca saved this grade by averaging 42.8 yards a punt.
That is the only word to describe the Eagles coaching staff this game.
Andy Reid was way too conservative, and needed to open up the playbook to help jump start the failing offense. On defense, he was not encouraging the blitz and was giving Webb more than enough time to throw the ball.
Sean McDermott should be fired after that game.
Marty Mornhinweg ran several plays over and over, and they never worked.
This is the worst performance from these threes guys that I have ever seen. I am hoping that they turn this around for the playoffs, or this season is over.
The Eagles did not come out to win this game. There was nothing about the Eagles' performance that showed any effort of trying to clinch that first-round bye. So now the Eagles are going to be forced to play that Wild Card team and make it that much harder on themselves.
Everything about this Eagles team needs to improve. There is not a single aspect of this last game that shows any signs of the Eagles making it to the Super Bowl. Andy Reid needs to do an entire overhaul in practice and turn this team around.
The only relief: The Eagles are still in the playoffs no matter what.
Now onto the Dallas Cowboys next week at home. More than likely, Reid will have the starters benched and it will be an unimportant game.
The Eagles are now sitting at 10-5 and are locked in as the third playoff seed.