Final
  for this game

Familiar rivals meet when Vikings host Eagles

Jan 4, 2009 - 2:31 PM
Philadelphia (9-6-1) at Minnesota (10-6), Sunday 4:30 pm EST

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- If familiarity does not provide the Minnesota Vikings with an edge in their playoff opener, the NFL's leading rusher just might.

Adrian Peterson will be the focus for both teams when the Vikings host the Philadelphia Eagles in a wild card playoff game Sunday.

Just the fifth running back in NFL history to amass 3,000 yards rushing in his first two seasons, how Peterson fares against the Eagles likely will determine Minnesota's chances to move on in the postseason.

But as obvious as the game plan is for the Vikings, head coach Brad Childress also knows what to expect from the Eagles, having spent seven years as an assistant coach with the team before he was hired in Minnesota in 2006.

Childress, who has a close relationship to Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid dating to the 1980s at Northern Arizona, was in charge of the Eagles' offense in his final four seasons.

"I did get a chance to exchange pleasantries, if you will, with Andy (Sunday) night," Childress said. "I'm happy for him getting in. I don't particularly relish playing those guys, just from a personal standpoint. He'll give it his best shot and we'll give it our best shot."

Minnesota's best shot is to put the ball in the hands of Peterson, who led the league in rushing with 1,760 yards and ripped off 10 100-yard games this season, including four of the last five.

"Brad has one of the best, if not the best running back in the National Football League right now, maybe the MVP of the National Football League," Reid acknowledged. "He's given him the ball a lot and I understand that. He's a heck of a player."

Peterson's contributions have been especially valuable given the uncertainty at quarterback for Minnesota.

Tarvaris Jackson started the first two games of the season before being bench in favor of Gus Frerotte following an 0-2 start.

Frerotte guided the Vikings to the top of the NFC North before suffered a fractured bone in his back in Week 14, opening the door for Jackson to reclaim the starting job.

Since returning to the lineup, Jackson has thrown eight touchdowns and just one interception - which doesn't surprise his counterpart on the opposing sideline.

"I'm really happy for Brad. Everyone pretty much counted them out in the beginning when he pretty much benched Tarvaris and went with Gus, and they were able to rally behind Gus," Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said. "All of a sudden now Tarvaris is back at the starter, and they're rallying behind Tarvaris, and you are seeing a team that has truly bought into Brad's philosophy and they seem to be playing well, with a lot of intensity."

The Vikings clinched the NFC North title with a last-second 20-19 victory over the New York Giants, who rested several players.

It was one of a number of close calls for Minnesota, which twice narrowly beat the winless Detroit Lions and also posted a one-point home win over Green Bay.

The Vikings hope to welcome back mammoth defensive tackle Pat Williams, who sat out the last two games with a fractured scapula but has been cleared to practice.

Normally an integral part of the Vikings' staunch run defense, Williams' presence might not matter as much against the pass-happy Eagles.

When the teams met last season in Minnesota, McNabb threw for 333 yards and a touchdown and Philadelphia limited Peterson to 70 yards on 20 carries in a 23-16 victory - albeit against a squad forced to play its third-string quarterback.

Reid even joked about his play-calling when asked why Childress and Ravens coach John Harbaugh, another former assistant, didn't share their run-first philosophy with him.

"Or I didn't share with them?" he quipped.

The Eagles overcame an inconsistent start and myriad injuries to star running back Brian Westbrook to snatch the final playoff berth with a 44-6 mauling of NFC East rival Dallas last weekend.

The drubbing of the Cowboys came just a week after Philadelphia seemingly KO'd its playoff hopes with a 10-3 loss at Washington.

"I was proud of the team and the way they bounced back from last week's game in Washington," Reid said. "That's not an easy thing to do, especially if you allow your mind to go different places with all the different games going on. They took care of business and had themselves ready to play a strong Dallas Cowboys football team."






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    Eagles 26, Vikings 14  FinalJan 19 1:35 PM


  • WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 6 10 0 10 26
    MINNESOTA 0 14 0 0 14 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: PHI - FG, DAVID AKERS 43 YD, 8:16. Drive: 4
    plays, 1 yards in 1:38. Key plays:
    D Jackson 62-yard punt return to
    Minnesota 27. PHILADELPHIA 3-0
    PHI - FG

    Jan 4 7:51 PM



  • FG PHI DAVID AKERS 45 YD





    Eagles 26, Vikings 14  4th - 1:55Jan 4 7:44 PM


  • WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    FG PHI
    DAVID AKERS 45 YD
    PHILADELPHIA 26
    MINNESOTA 14 1:55 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Eagles 26, Vikings 14  4th - 1:55Jan 4 7:44 PM
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  • TD PHI BRIAN WESTBROOK 71 YD PASS FROM DONOVAN MCNABB (DAVID AKERS KICK)







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  • TD PHI BRIAN WESTBROOK 71 YD PASS FROM DONOVAN MCNABB (DAVID AKERS KICK)







    Eagles 23, Vikings 14  4th - 6:37Jan 4 7:21 PM



  • TD PHI BRIAN WESTBROOK 71 YD PASS FROM DONOVAN MCNABB (DAVID AKERS KICK)







    Eagles 23, Vikings 14  4th - 6:37Jan 4 7:21 PM


  • WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    TD PHI
    BRIAN WESTBROOK 71 YD PASS FROM DONOVAN MCNABB
    (DAVID AKERS KICK)
    PHILADELPHIA 23
    MINNESOTA 14 6:37 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Eagles 23, Vikings 14  4th - 6:37Jan 4 7:21 PM
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  • WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 6 10 0 16
    MINNESOTA 0 14 0 14 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: PHI - FG, DAVID AKERS 43 YD, 8:16. Drive: 4
    plays, 1 yards in 1:38. Key plays:
    D Jackson 62-yard punt return to
    Minnesota 27. PHILADELPHIA 3-0
    P

    Jan 4 6:58 PM
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  • WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 6 10 16
    MINNESOTA 0 14 14 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: PHI - FG, DAVID AKERS 43 YD, 8:16. Drive: 4
    plays, 1 yards in 1:38. Key plays:
    D Jackson 62-yard punt return to
    Minnesota 27. PHILADELPHIA 3-0
    PHI -

    Jan 4 6:11 PM



  • TD MIN ADRIAN PETERSON 3 YD RUN (RYAN LONGWELL KICK)






    Eagles 16, Vikings 14  2nd - 1:51Jan 4 6:01 PM



  • TD MIN ADRIAN PETERSON 3 YD RUN (RYAN LONGWELL KICK)






    Eagles 16, Vikings 14  2nd - 1:51Jan 4 6:01 PM


  • WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    TD MIN
    ADRIAN PETERSON 3 YD RUN
    (RYAN LONGWELL KICK)
    PHILADELPHIA 16
    MINNESOTA 14 1:51 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Eagles 16, Vikings 14  2nd - 1:51Jan 4 6:01 PM
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  • TD PHI ASANTE SAMUEL 43 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (DAVID AKERS KICK)






    Eagles 16, Vikings 7  2nd - 6:34Jan 4 5:50 PM


  • WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    TD PHI
    ASANTE SAMUEL 43 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN
    (DAVID AKERS KICK)
    PHILADELPHIA 16
    MINNESOTA 7 6:34 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Eagles 16, Vikings 7  2nd - 6:34Jan 4 5:50 PM



  • FG PHI DAVID AKERS 32 YD





    Eagles 9, Vikings 7  2nd - 7:29Jan 4 5:45 PM


  • WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    FG PHI
    DAVID AKERS 32 YD
    PHILADELPHIA 9
    MINNESOTA 7 7:29 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Eagles 9, Vikings 7  2nd - 7:29Jan 4 5:45 PM



  • TD MIN ADRIAN PETERSON 40 YD RUN (RYAN LONGWELL KICK)






    Eagles 6, Vikings 7  2nd - 11:05Jan 4 5:32 PM



  • TD MIN ADRIAN PETERSON 40 YD RUN (RYAN LONGWELL KICK)






    Eagles 6, Vikings 7  2nd - 11:05Jan 4 5:32 PM


  • WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    TD MIN
    ADRIAN PETERSON 40 YD RUN
    (RYAN LONGWELL KICK)
    PHILADELPHIA 6
    MINNESOTA 7 11:05 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Eagles 6, Vikings 7  2nd - 11:05Jan 4 5:32 PM



  • FG PHI DAVID AKERS 51 YD





    Eagles 6, Vikings 0  End of 1stJan 4 5:19 PM


  • WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    FG PHI
    DAVID AKERS 51 YD
    PHILADELPHIA 6
    MINNESOTA 0 0:00 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Eagles 6, Vikings 0  End of 1stJan 4 5:19 PM



  • FG PHI DAVID AKERS 43 YD





    Eagles 3, Vikings 0  1st - 6:44Jan 4 4:57 PM


  • WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
    FG PHI
    DAVID AKERS 43 YD
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    MINNESOTA 0 6:44 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Eagles 3, Vikings 0  1st - 6:44Jan 4 4:57 PM
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