8:00 PM ET, December 28, 2010
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
A blizzard that hit the Philadelphia area moved this game back to Tuesday night, potentially increasing the chances Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson will play as the Vikings try to end the NFC East champions' hopes of gaining a first-round bye.
DeSean Jackson was among the many Philadelphia players who wanted to play Sunday night despite the conditions.
"It's only snow!!!! Let us play," Jackson said via Twitter. "It must b alot of fun... I'm ready let's get it on!!"
The NFL decided early Sunday to postpone this game because of a big snowstorm expected to last well into Monday on the East Coast. The Eagles stayed home and clinched the division title anyway, thanks to the New York Giants' loss at Green Bay.
Forced into the first NFL game to be played on a Tuesday since 1946, Philadelphia (10-4) gets only four days off before a potentially critical regular-season finale. If the Eagles win this game and beat Dallas next week, they'll earn a first-round bye in the playoffs if Chicago loses to the Packers.
"I don't think it's a problem," coach Andy Reid said. "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."
Dealing with weather issues is nothing new for the Vikings (5-9).
Their game Dec. 12 against the Giants was pushed back a day after Minneapolis got 15 inches of snow and had to be moved to Detroit after the Metrodome roof collapsed. The following week, their matchup with the Bears had to be played outdoors at the University of Minnesota because of the damage at the Metrodome.
"What else can you say? Just add this to the list for the 2010 season," defensive end Jared Allen said. "But you know what, we have to remain together as a team and keep a positive mind frame. It's important to be a professional and be ready to play on Tuesday night."
It's unclear if Favre or Peterson will be, but the two-day delay provides extra time to heal.
Favre has been listed as doubtful due to a concussion suffered in last Monday's 40-14 loss to Chicago. However, he wasn't expected to play at all in that game due to an injured shoulder but made a surprise start.
"No 'out' with Brett Favre," coach Leslie Frazier said. "Will not use that term."
Peterson sat out the Chicago loss with a thigh bruise and is listed as questionable for this game. He's second in the NFC with 1,481 yards from scrimmage behind Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy (1,587).
"It's been a roller coaster season. It hasn't gone the way we planned," Peterson said Thursday. "But I love to play this game. That's why I do what I do. I definitely don't think that way about it. If I can play, I'll definitely be out there on Sunday."
While rookie Toby Gerhart was productive last week in place of Peterson, rushing for 77 yards on 16 carries, rookie Joe Webb struggled in his first extended action after replacing Favre. The sixth-round pick was 15 of 26 for 129 yards with two interceptions, though he did run for a 13-yard touchdown.
Michael Vick ran for a season-high 130 yards and a touchdown last Sunday while engineering one of the most stunning comebacks in NFL history. The Eagles rallied from a 21-point deficit in the final eight minutes to beat the Giants 38-31, winning on Jackson's 65-yard punt return -- the first to end a game in league history.
"That man is one of the most incredible athletes I've ever seen in my life," Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel said of Jackson. "Hell of a player. A lot of heart."
Vick has received similar praise from teammates and even heaped some upon himself Friday, saying he'd select himself as league MVP if he had a vote.
He entered the weekend as the NFC's highest-rated passer despite having thrown an interception in four consecutive games after having none through his first seven. Vick also has at least two TD passes in four straight, including three last week as Philadelphia completed a season sweep of the Giants to take control of the division race.
"We all know what's on the line," Vick said. "We know what's at stake. Like I say each and every week, every game is going to be a tough game. You have to go and play as hard as you can. You can't let up and you can't go into a game sure you're going to win. You have to earn it."
The Eagles' top-ranked offense may get a challenge from the Vikings' sixth-ranked defense. Philadelphia averages 403.9 yards and 29.4 points, but Minnesota allows only 308.1 total yards per game.
The Vikings offense has not had more than 300 total yards in five of the last six games, going 2-4.
An upset victory may help ease the pain of a disappointing season for the Vikings, who are assured their first losing record since 2006 and only their second in the last eight seasons.
"We have every reason, because of the season, to say, 'This is the last straw and I'm checking out,'" Frazier said after learning of the postponement. "But this is the NFL and you can't do that. You have to show up ready to play Tuesday night and that's what we're trying to get the young guys and everybody to understand."
Minnesota has lost six straight in Philadelphia, including one playoff defeat, since a 28-23 victory Dec. 1, 1985, when Favre was 16 years old. The Vikings have lost the last five meetings overall -- the latest a playoff loss after the 2008 season -- dating to a 28-19 win Sept. 28, 1997.
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Vikings-Eagles: 10 observations
After breaking down film of both teams, Scouts Inc. offers 10 things to watch in this week's Vikings-Eagles matchup.
1. Eat up the clock: The Vikings will be entering this contest at less than full strength, as Brett Favre will likely miss this game after suffering a mild concussion on Monday night. Look for Minnesota to try and control the clock with sustained drives involving a lot of running plays and a controlled short passing attack. They need to do everything possible to keep the ball out of the hands of Michael Vick and the explosive Eagles offense.
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|Avg Points Allowed||21.9||24.2|
Team Averages & NFL Ranks
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||MIN|
|Rush Yds Allowed||MIN|
Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)
|Philadelphia leads 5-1|
|Jan 4, 2009||MIN 14, PHI 26|
|Oct 28, 2007||MIN 16, PHI 23|
|Jan 16, 2005||MIN 14, @PHI 27|
|Sep 20, 2004||MIN 16, @PHI 27|
|Nov 11, 2001||MIN 17, @PHI 48|
The Eagles have won 5 straight games against the Vikings and 8 of the last 9 games overall. Philly has also won 6 straight home games against Minnesota. The last time the Vikings won a road game in Philadelphia was December 1, 1985. Vikings quarterback Joe Webb would be born nearly a year later on November 13, 1986.
23,462 days since an NFL game was played on a Tuesday That day was Jimmy Carter's 22nd birthday 1st game in NBA history was exactly a month later It's a Wonderful Life was released 81 days later
ESPN Stats & Information