Favre-less Vikes beat hapless Eagles
Considering everything else the Minnesota Vikings have endured this season, it was silly to think two extra days sitting around a hotel room would bring 'em down.
No way a determined rookie quarterback named Joe Webb was going to let that happen.
Webb threw for 195 yards and ran for a touchdown in his first career start filling in for an injured Brett Favre, and the lowly Vikings stunned Michael Vick and the NFC East champion Philadelphia Eagles 24-14 in the NFL's first Tuesday game since 1946.
''It was a big win, especially with what we have gone through,'' Webb said. ''It was a long trip for us and to get a win against the Eagles, we are trying to finish the season on a high note.''
Adrian Peterson ran for 118 yards and a score, helping the 14-point underdogs knock Philadelphia out of contention for a first-round playoff bye.
The Eagles (10-5) could've secured a first-round bye with a victory over the Vikings (6-9) 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.
Two days after a winter storm forced a postponement, there wasn't even a snowflake visible at the Linc. The game was switched from Sunday because of a howling storm that dumped about a foot of snow in the area - perhaps a good idea considering Philadelphia's history of snowball-throwing fans.
But 42 years after fans got a bum rap for tossing snowballs at Santa - the man in the costume said it was playful pelting - the Eagles said snowballs didn't factor in the decision to move the game.
''There were a lot of issues considered, but that was absolutely not among them,'' said Pamela Browner White, the Eagles senior vice president of public affairs and government relations.
Nine days after rallying from a 21-point deficit in the final 7:18 to beat the New York Giants on DeSean Jackson's 65-yard punt return on the final play, there would be no miracle at the Linc for the Eagles.
The Vikings looked more like a team with a lot at stake rather than a group that's ready to start a vacation. The win could help interim coach Leslie Frazier get the job permanently.
''It was a great effort by our players to battle the way that they had to all week and they showed perseverance that has become the hallmark of our team over the last few weeks,'' Frazier said. ''I can't say enough about our players and the attitude they showed this week and I'm glad they were rewarded for it.''
This has been a miserable season for the Vikings, who nearly reached the Super Bowl last year. They've endured numerous injuries, an ongoing Favre saga, the firing of head coach Brad Childress and the collapse of their stadium.
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.
Vick has been battered in recent games and he looked gimpy, gingerly walking to the huddle and off the field most of the night. Vick sustained a quad contusion on the first play of the game.
''I just tried to tolerate it throughout the game and I did. I have a strong will to win and I'll do anything to win a football game. I just tried to go out and get through it.''
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.
Favre was inactive for the Vikings because of a concussion, missing his second game in three weeks after an NFL-record 297 consecutive regular-season starts. He watched in street clothes on the sideline and enthusiastically thrust his arms in the air when Webb scored a TD.
The 41-year-old Favre got hurt last week against the Chicago Bears and was listed as doubtful. Frazier said on Monday that Favre still hadn't passed initial concussion testing.
With the way Webb played, the Vikings didn't need Favre.
''He came out and did his job and did it well,'' Peterson said.
The Vikings tied it at 7 in the final minute of the first half when Antoine Winfield sacked Vick, knocked the ball loose and returned the fumble 45 yards for a score.
Minnesota had a touchdown overturned on the opening possession of the second half. Webb's 2-yard TD toss to Sidney Rice was reversed when replays showed the ball was juggled out of bounds. Juqua Parker sacked Webb on the next play and the Vikings settled for Ryan Longwell's 30-yard field goal that put them up 10-7.
Webb made it 17-7 on an impressive run. He looked like Vick dodging and weaving through the defense on his way into the end zone for a 17-7 lead.
Vick fumbled late in the third quarter at the Minnesota 23 to end a drive.
Shortly after being selected to his fourth Pro Bowl, Vick came out strong. He connected with Jeremy Maclin on a 28-yard reception that put the ball on the 3, and he hit Harbor two plays later for a TD. Harbor dragged his feet near the back of the end zone and replays upheld his first career TD.
Many players thought the game should have been played Sunday night. So did Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who said Vince Lombardi would be ''mocking us'' for the postponement.
The Vikings were restless with the extra time in Philadelphia. They ate cheesesteaks, and acted like tourists.
But it didn't affect their performance.
''There's no excuses,'' Eagles cornerback Dimitri Patterson said. ''They were more inconvenienced than we were. They had to stay two extra days in a hotel.''
It was a clear day, and the temperature was 32 degrees at kickoff. Lincoln Financial Field looked ready for an August preseason game. The clean up crew needed 1,300 truckloads to remove 2.64 million pounds of snow from the Linc.
This was the third straight week the Vikings were affected by the weather. Their home game against the Giants on Dec. 12 was postponed a day after Minneapolis got 15 inches of snow. It was then moved to Detroit when the Metrodome roof collapsed.
Their game against Chicago last week was played at the University of Minnesota's outdoor stadium because of the damaged roof.
Despite having the day off Sunday, the Eagles secured their first division title since 2006 when the Green Bay Packers beat the New York Giants 45-17.
Notes: Winfield tied a team record with his fourth career defensive touchdown. ... The Eagles fell to 18-4 in their past 22 games in December.