2009/01/05

Eagles Advance to Divisional Round


The Eagles beat the Vikings in the wild card round to advance to the divisional round of the playoffs to face their division rival New York Giants.

Back to the game at hand, the Eagles pulled away in the 4th quarter in a close game throughout. It felt like the game was 16-14 for most of the 2nd half, and the Vikings were just a field goal away from taking the lead, but the Eagles defense held strong. The Vikings were everything they were advertised to be, a very good defensive line that didn't give the Eagles much room to operate on the offensive end. Correll Buckhalter's 27 yard run was really the only long run the Eagles had all game. The Eagles ended up with only 67 yards total on 23 carries. The Vikings defense was also constantly pressuring Donovan McNabb on passing plays. The Eagles only offensive touchdown came in the 4th quarter, and essentially won the game, a 71 yard screen pass touchdown by Brian Westbrook.

Donovan McNabb played great in this game. He ended the game with exactly 300 yards passing and a touchdown and an INT. He was constantly pressured, and escaped the Vikings pressure well, and was able to hit his check downs a lot, and take what the Vikings gave him. Brent Celek and Jason Avant had some big catches, a lot on 3rd down.

The Eagles defense was also solid, and made sure the Eagles would not give this game up in the 2nd half. The Vikings had two long scoring drives, which both resulted in Adrian Peterson touchdowns runs, but that was all the Eagles would give the Vikings. Overall, the Vikings only ended up with 301 total yards, and Asante Samuel scored on an interception return for a touchdown. We knew coming into this game how good the Vikings rushing attack was, with Peterson, who was the league's leading rusher, and also Chester Taylor. The Eagles did a decent job on both of them, but more importantly, did not let Tarvaris Jackson beat them. Trent Cole, Brian Dawkins, and Quintin Mikell were beasts on the defensive side of the football.

Also, DeSean Jackson's punt returns were solid, and always seemed to give the Eagles good field position. Jackson had over 100 yards on punt returns including a 62 yarder. Also on special teams, David Akers was 4-4 on field goal tries, including a 51-yarder. For a guy who couldn't make a 40+ yard field goal halfway through the season, Akers has really stepped it up in this playoff run. Hopefully it will continue at New York.

It was definitely a nerve racking game, and the Vikings game it their all, but in the end, the Eagles prevailed, and advance to play the Giants next weekend.

1 comment:

Dr. G said...

In both of the Birds' only two Super Bowl appearances, the road to Super Sunday started with victories over the Vikings. They have a tough task ahead of them, but maybe this is a good omen?