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Michael Vick suffered a quad contusion on the first play of last night's game that could very well keep him out of Sunday's finale against the Dallas Cowboys. It also might explain some of his erratic play last night. While he acknowledged the injury, he wasn't going to use it as an excuse.
"I hurt it on the first play of the game in the scramble. 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 and I just tried to go out there and just get through it. It didn't affect me because when the ball was snapped, my focus was just making plays that I know I can make. I won't use it as an excuse. It happened. I didn't come out of the game so I guess it wasn't that severe. I just got to take the good with the bad."
He was also asked whether he agreed with Andy Reid's sentiment that the team was "pathetic" last night.
"I agree, absolutely. We're a much better football team than we displayed tonight, much much better and we've all seen it. Starting with me as the leader of this football team as the quarterback, I had an interception and I had two fumbles. Two critical fumbles. It just goes back to being disciplined. If those things don't happen, then I think we dictate the outcome of this game. I take sole responsibility for not doing that. That's my job. That's what I get paid to do and I didn't' do it."
Just about an hour before gametime it was revealed that Vick was voted as the NFC's starter in the pro bowl. He was asked about it after the game, but wasn't very interested in talking about it.
"I'm not worried about the Pro Bowl right now. There are so many things going on in my head. I appreciate the Pro Bowl, but as of right now, I can't even be focused on that so that's in oblivion right now."
Add the four quarters of tonight’s game to the first three quarters of last week’s Giants win and what do you get?
Tonight, the Eagles were beat over and over again by the same play from the Vikings defense: Antoine Winfield coming off the edge. He was in Michael Vick’s face all night, hitting him countless times, sacking him twice, and forcing a fumble that he ran back for a touchdown. Marty Mornhinwheg and Andy Reid waited too long to keep a running back in the backfield to block him, and by that point Vick was rattled and off his game. He was sacked six times altogether, fumbling twice and adding one interception, although it should have been three. He made bad decisions with the football and with his legs. A lot of it could be contributed to how often he was hit, but good quarterbacks know when to throw the ball away — as of now, Vick does not. He does great things on a field but he has to get rid of the ball rather than take a sack.
The offensive line, namely Winston Justice, Max Jean-Gilles and Jason Peters are in for an ugly week in the film room based on tonight’s play. Aside from a few great runs by LeSean McCoy, which he mostly generated by his own shady-ness, they couldn’t run-block either. McCoy had three runs that went for 30 yards. The other 13 rushes went for a combined 14 yards. Andy Reid didn’t get these guys out enough to block for screen passes, which would have been very effective against this ragtag Minnesota defense.
The offense as a whole didn’t get into much of a rhythm all night. It seemed that every time they did, Vick would turn the ball over or a dumb penalty would set them back. The gameplan was never executed and it’s very unclear what the gameplan was. Aside from Vick running through the gap Jared Allen made when he tried to go upfield on Peters, there were very few times that the offense succeeded in what they tried to do.
There’s no reason Joe Webb should be getting publicity for tearing up an NFL defense. The Eagles didn’t put him down early, giving him confidence and letting him get comfortable in the pocket, hitting open receivers for short yardage and letting them run by poor tacklers. Dmitri Patterson continued to be bad, Asante Samuel committed a really stupid penalty and missed some more tackles, and Kurt Coleman started hot and ended really, really cold. Juqua Parker and Trent Cole each recorded a sack on Webb, but there were 6-8 more times that the line should have gotten him down but couldn’t. He’s not nearly as crafty as Vick, even though the defense made him look like Steve Young.
More understandably, Adrian Peterson ran all over the place tonight, shedding tackles and cutting everywhere he wanted to for 129 total yards and a touchdown on 23 touches. The youth of the Eagles defense really showed this game, missing their assignments and running behind each other, making it easy for AP to do what he does.
Regardless of what this means for next week and whether the Eagles could sit most of their starters, a loss like this is terrible to take. The Vikings are a bad team with Brett Favre at the helm. They are worse with rookie wide receiver Joe Webb taking the snaps under center. With a very shorthanded defense and practice squad guys filling major roles, the Eagles couldn’t capitalize on their weak competition, putting their first round placing in jeopardy. A bye would be great for the veterans trying to heal up for the playoffs and obviously a guarantee to make it out of the divisional round.
Reid and company will go back to practice on a short week, try to heal up quickly, and get up for the Cowboys game in only 5 days. Good thing it’s a short week for us, this one leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. Tuesday Night Football should never happen again.
Kurt Coleman, who has made a few game-saving tackles tonight, missed his spot big time on Adrian Peterson, who took it 27 yards all the way to the one-yard-line. The play before that, Percy Harvin got by Jamar Chaney easily for 19 yards. After a goal line stop, the Eagles were flagged for 12 men on the field, only a few plays after taking a time out to prevent the same penalty. That is a problem with coaching, personnel, and I’m pretty sure America as a whole.
Then Adrian Peterson went a yard and scored easily. He’s got 112 yards and now his 12th rushing touchdown of the season. With just 6:43 left, the Eagles now trail by two scores. Pathetic.
The lone bright spot of the game, Brent Celek has had his best game of the season, catching 7 balls for 61 yards. Vick targeted him twice on this drive, but couldn’t get one more yard on a 3rd and 7 when he tried to take it himself. After a 54-yarder from Akers missed to end the half, Andy Reid opted to go for it on 4th and 1 and hand the ball to LeSean McCoy, who bounced outside after a Kevin Williams missed tackle and picked up the crucial first down.
After Vick was almost picked by Frank Walker again, Vick found Jeremy Maclin sitting in the center of zone coverage for 15 big yards and another first. At the ten, Hussain Abdullah batted down a pass up the middle intended for DeSean Jackson. The next play, Vick took it himself and faked the pants out of Jamarca Sanford and walked in for the score. Vick has ran the football 8 times this game, a mark he has reached in every game since the bye week.
With ten minutes remaining, the Eagles only trail by a field goal. A quick stop here would do wonders.
Just a few yards from the Vikings red zone, Michael Vick decided to take it himself for the third time this drive. He went into the defenders, absorbed the contact, and got the ball popped out of his hands by Kevin Williams. The Vikings recovered, making it Vick’s third turnover this game. He’s making mistakes in the pocket, out of the pocket, and in the open field.
This game is now at serious risk of being lost. A touchdown here for the Vikings would make this lead almost impossible to overcome. Can’t count on a comeback like last week every game. First, they have to stop the suddenly confident Joe Webb.
The Vikings handed the ball to Adrian Peterson three straight times to begin the drive for a total of 30 yards. Then, trying to do something different, Joe Webb completed a 10 yard swing pass to him. The next play, Asante Samuel demonstrated his poor tackling form by getting flagged for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Sidney Rice after a 16 yard gain. They both were shaken up on the play, and Asante had to sit a play after his second unnecessary roughness penalty of the year.
Another Eagles infraction later, and the Vikings had first and goal from the ten. Then Joe Webb escaped a few should-be sacks and walked in for a touchdown to embarrass Sean McDermott and the Eagles defense. The Vikings are a bad football team that this “Super Bowl contender” is losing to 17-7.
Stunned, but there’s 22 minutes of football left. All is not yet lost.
Joe Webb took his first half success and added to it on this drive. He got 69 yards on two completions to Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe, effectively sending Dmitri Patterson into clinical depression. The Eagles simply have not gotten enough pressure on Webb tonight. He’s a young quarterback and we should be giving him the Eli treatment.
After a Sidney Rice touchdown was overturned by an Andy Reid challenge, the Eagles got all up in Webb’s face on third down and Juqua Parker sacked him out of bounds to force a field goal. Though the Vikings now take the lead, that challenge was a huge win for Reid and the defense. Now it’s time for the offense to wake up.
10-7 Vikings (?).
While Leslie Frazier hasn’t been exactly dialing up difficult pass plays for Joe Webb, the rookie has bounced back from an awful game against Chicago to keep the Vikings close tonight. Simple outs and comebacks have gotten Webb a 60% completion percentage and 71 first half passing yards.
True, the offense hasn’t scored any points, but Webb threw two picks last week and he’s kept the ball away from the ball-hawking Eagles defense thus far. And he’s taking enough time off the clock so Philly’s offense doesn’t have as many chances.
Michael Vick, meanwhile, continues to get hit. Hard. The playoff bye is too appealing not to keep the starters in during a close game, but if Vick keeps getting killed every time he drops back, the Eagles will have more to worry about than playing on Wild Card weekend. Statistically speaking, his 13-21, 128 yards, TD, INT, and a fumble are very pedestrian. I can’t imagine he won’t go berserk in the second half.
The final drive that set up a 54-yard David Akers missed field goal should give him a boost heading into the third.
The Vikings continue to send Antoine Winfield off the edge and they continue to be rewarded for it. When the Eagles line up in an empty set, Winfield is coming for Vick. With no McCoy to block him, he sacked Vick, forced him to fumble the ball, recovered it, then took it 45 yards for a touchdown. The game is now tied for no other reason than the Eagles haven’t been able to stop the Vikings blitz.
Definitely something for the coaches to tune up during halftime.
7-7, still not concerned.
Michael Vick threw his 6th interception this season, but it was more like a punt anyway. It was a deep ball to DeSean Jackson that was thrown to the wrong side and got picked by Husain Abdullah. He’s been a little more generous with the football to opposing teams of late, definite cause for concern heading into the playoffs.
After the Vikings took over, Adrian Peterson started tearing up the Eagles run defense, getting 15 yards on one play and 23 the next. Unfortunately for the All-Pro, at the end of his second run the ball came loose by the foot of Percy Harvin and was recovered by Quintin Mikell, his third fumble recovery of the season.
Halfway through the 2nd quarter, the Eagles have to punt for the third time tonight. Vick has been the benefit of two near-picks in the quarter, helped by embarrassing drops by former Eagle Lito Sheppard and Frank Walker. The Vikes, already a huge underdog, can’t afford to blow opportunities when they’re handed to them.
Still 7-0 Eagles.
Starting their third drive from the 20, the Eagles tried to establish the running game, allowing Shady McCoy to juke his way to 10 yards then dumping it to him for 4 more. In a continuous display of the theatre known as “Michael Vick Makes Defensive Linemen Look Silly”, Vick danced around Jared Allen and the Vikings defense and hit Brent Celek at the first down marker. Celek fought his way for 12 yards and another first down as the first quarter came to a close.
McCoy added another silky 10 yard run, but then the pressure started to come harder. Ray Edwards sandwiched Vick for his first sack of the year and the 6th time Vick has gotten hit hard already. The offensive line isn’t giving Mike a consistent pocket to work with. Winston Justice and Jason Peters are getting hurt too much on the outside. An uncharacteristically bad punt from Sav Rocca gives the Vikings the ball at the 26 to start their first second quarter drive.
Starting the drive at midfield after the penalty, the Eagles went to a quick pitch from Vick to Jackson that almost got blown up by Jared Allen. It went for nothing, but the four hits on Michael Vick this early have to be disconcerting. For a team that just clinched a playoff spot, a hurt quarterback is the last thing anybody wants. If the Birds take a lead going into the half, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more Kevin Kolb than we’re used to.
On third down, Vick aired it out to Jeremy Maclin and drew a flag on Asher Allen for pass interference, picking up 24 yards on the penalty. Closing in on the red zone, Reid called two straight runs to LeSean McCoy, which went for a total of -5. On 3rd and long, Vick escaped the pocket and found Maclin just in-bounds, down to the 3. Minnesota tried to challenge the play but Vick ran another one before they could throw the flag.
The following play, Vick had tons of time in the pocket and waited for a lane to open up and found one in Clay Harbor. In the back of the end zone, Harbor made an athletic grab to get both feet in before being pushed out of play. Ruled a touchdown, Minnesota challenged the play and, though it seemed Harbor slid his back foot out before the second foot touched, it was upheld. That’s Clay’s first career touchdown and Vick’s 21st passing touchdown of the year.
The Eagles led off this Week 16 game by going four-and-out, the second week in a row with a sub-par first drive. Michael Vick scrambled away from pressure once, but took a sack and another big hit in the following plays. Sav Rocca punted away for what should be one of the few times tonight.
Once the Vikings got the ball, Joe Webb proceeded to show how good he is at handing off to running backs and how not good he is at throwing a football. Darryl Tapp knocked away Webb’s pass at the line of scrimmage. After the Vikings punted, there was a minor scare as Jeremy Maclin fumbled the return, but Minnesota was flagged for interfering with the return. Impressed with Jamar Chaney so far and wondering if he can be a long-term starter if Stewart Bradley can’t stay healthy.
0-0 way early.
The Eagles have announced their inactives for tonight’s matchup with the Minnesota Vikings. CB Brandon Hughes, DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, CB Gerard Lawson, LB Stewart Bradley, LB Keenan Clayton, OT Austin Howard, OL Reggie Wells & QB Mike Kafka (3rd QB).
Vikings QB Brett Favre will be inactive for tonight’s game.
NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora is reporting that Brett Favre will inactive tonight as the Minnesota Vikings take on the Philadelphia Eagles in a rare Tuesday night football game. Favre suffered a concussion that knocked him out of last week’s game against the Bears. Vikings coach Leslie Frasier said yesterday that Favre had still not passed the league mandated concussion tests, so it’s certainly no surprise that he wouldn’t be able to go today.
It was only about two weeks ago that Brett Favre’s record streak of 297 starts ended when a shoulder injury kept him out of a game against the Giants. That means that tonight could have been Favre’s 300th straight start, which likely factored into the NBC’s decision to flex the game to Sunday night. After Favre missed the Giants game he shocked many people by starting against the Bears, only to be injured again. So after making 297 straight starts, Brett Favre’s second streak ends at just a game.
Rookie Joe Webb is expected to start in his place.
With the Giants blowout loss in Green Bay, the Eagles have officially clinched the 2010 NFC East title for the first time since 2006. Heading into this weekend the Eagles needed a win over the Vikings or a Giants loss to clinch the division, the birds game ended up being canceled but it didn’t matter. Eli Manning threw four interceptions as the Giants fell in Green Bay sealing the division for the Eagles. The Giants would now be out of the playoffs if the season ended today.
This makes next week’s matchup of the Bears and Packers big for both NFC East teams. If the Eagles win out and the Giants win their final game, a Packers win will not only knock the Giants out of the playoffs but secure the #2 seed and a first round bye for the Eagles.
This is the Eagles' 6th NFC East title under Andy Reid and 8th overall, which moves them into second place behind the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas has a fairly astounding 20 division titles while the Giants are now in 3rd with 7.
There hasn't been an NFL game played on a Tuesday since 1946, so it's noteworthy that the Eagles/Vikings game was moved to that day. The assumption would be that since the game was supposed to be a Sunday night game for NBC, that the network still wants it as a night game. However, ESPN clearly wouldn't want NBC broadcasting a prime time game on free broadcast TV in competition with their Monday night football matchup of the Saints and Falcons. All reports say that the snowstorm will be over tomorrow morning, so keeping the TV networks happy seems to be the most obvious reasoning for the move to Tuesday.
Eagles COO Don Smolenski was asked how much NBC influenced the NFL's decision.
"That's probably a question for the league. Our conversations were really just with the league officials. It's in the league's hands and the league has those types of conversations. From our end, we just sort of give them an update on what's happening here in our market with the building and with the city and the conditions. We kind of are separated from that."
The Eagles are now left with just a four day turnaround to prepare for what could very well be a crucial matchup with the Dallas Cowboys. The game could determine whether the Eagles get a #2 seed and a bye. Smolenski said that a four day turnaround is not unprecedented, but there is some concern about whether the field can handle two games in five days with the weather.
"That certainly was a part of the conversations. I guess it's not unprecedented with the Sunday to Thursday turnaround with the games on Thursday late in the season. That was really secondary to fan safety and public safety."
With a blizzard pounding Philadelphia and virtually shutting down the city, the NFL decided to postpone the Eagles vs Vikings Sunday night game until Tuesday evening. Coach Andy Reid was asked about how the postponement affects teams preparation not only for this week, but next Sunday against Dallas as well.
What challenges does the postponement present for you, your staff and your team?
“Listen, really, nothing. We’re OK with it. We’re organized and prepared for this, and we completely support what the league did from a safety standpoint for everybody. We got the guys out of the hotel and home, and they’ll come back for a walk through tomorrow and then to the hotel, and it will be just like a Saturday night before a Sunday game, just a normal Saturday night – Sunday schedule.”
How tough will it be facing Dallas next week on a short week with so much potentially at stake?
“I don’t think it’s a problem. I think we’ll be all right. We’ve had Monday games, Sunday night games, we had a Thursday game, so we’ve been through a lot of this already, and that will help us. We’ll be fine.”
What will the schedule be next week?
“We’ll be off Wednesday, then we’ll come back Thursday and do a little more (than a normal Thursday), then we’ll have a normal Friday, bring them to the hotel Saturday, and go Sunday.”
Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter announced this morning that he would be declaring a snow emergency at 3pm today with a blizzard expected to drop a foot of snow on the city. With blizzard conditions and 35 mph wind gusts forecasted for game time, the NFL has decided to postpone tonight’s Eagles vs Vikings until Tuesday at 8pm. The game will be shown nationally on NBC.
This also means the Eagles get a very short week before they face the Cowboys next Sunday. Meanwhile Dallas gets an extra day of rest after playing last night. That game could have big playoff seeding implications. Presumably the game has been moved to Tuesday to avoid a conflict with Monday Night Football. Good for the networks, pretty awful for the Eagles.
While I do take issue with the NFL moving the game to Tuesday, I can’t argue with their decision to not play the game tonight. If the forecasts are to be believed, it sounds like it would be nearly impossible to get 70,000 people to South Philadelphia tonight. Of course, if the storm isn't quite what we expect... it's going to be a pretty embarrassing moment.
For what it's worth, had the game not been flexed to Sunday night by NBC... it would be kicking off right about now with just a dusting of snow on the ground.
The Eagles host the Vikings this week and it appears we'll be doing our usual "will he or won't he" in regards to whether Brett Favre will play. He suffered a concussion last week and did not practice yesterday. The general feeling in Minnesota is that he won't be able to go, but that was the general feeling last week and he did start. This week, Michael Vick was asked his thoughts on Brett Favre's career.
"First ballot Hall of Famer to sum it all up. First ballot regardless of how it all ended. It's about what he's been to the game, what he's done for the game. Things he's been able to accomplish. He's a great man, person, personality he has. He's a dynamic football player. He's paved the way for so many others. A lot of people want to be like him. They want to emulate what he's done. It's a long way to be able to play 20 years and accomplish all the things that he's accomplished - win the Super Bowl, two-time MVP. It's awesome."
Brett Favre, who has taken a beating in his career, ended his record games started streak two weeks ago. Vick was asked how his conditioning allows him to continue being effective at this point in this season despite the hits he's taken this year?
"Well, I pride myself on being durable and being accountable for my team in different ways and I take pride in that. It has paid off. I don't lift once a week, I lift three times a week and I try to put myself in the best position so that throughout the season I can last for the duration."
Finally, is there a sense of excitement that the team could be division champions before the game even starts Sunday?
"Given what we've been through and how far we've come, it's going to be exciting anyway. Any time I have an opportunity to strap up, go out there and play the game, it's exciting. To have a lot at stake and to work as hard as we've worked throughout this season and to accomplish so much, it will definitely put a stamp on this season. We just have to continue to move forward. It's just one stepping stone and plenty more hurdles to cross."
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