Nobody expected the Vikings to be leading the Eagles by 10 going into the fourth quarter, but then again nobody expected to be playing on a Tuesday night either. Nevertheless, that’s the situation heading into quarter number four at Lincoln Financial Field, with Minnesota leading Philadelphia 17-7.
Joe Webb scrambled for a nine-yard touchdown and Ryan Longwell kicked a 30-yard field goal in a third quarter controlled by the Vikings, who scored all 10 points of the frame.
In the first half, the Eagles and Vikings played to a slow pace in the first half, with Philadelphia grabbing a 7-0 lead on a three-yard strike from Michael Vick to Clay Harbor. Minnesota tied the game with 44 seconds remaining when Antoine Winfield knocked the ball out of Vick’s left hand, scooped it up and ran 45 yards for a touchdown. At halftime, the Eagles and Vikings remain tied 7-7.
Prior to the Eagles’ scoring drive, the two teams exchanged punts. Then Philadelphia was able to move the ball to midfield thanks to a 24-yard pass interference penalty on Asher Allen on a pass intended for DeSean Jackson. Vick then hit Jeremy Maclin for 28 yards, taking the Birds down to the three-yardline. Two plays later, Vick found Harbor in the back of the end zone for the score. Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier challenged the play, but it stood upon review, and Harbor had his first career touchdown.
Minnesota then moved the ball all the way to the Philadelphia 27-yardline before a 15-yard facemask on Phil Loadholt killed the drive and led to a punt.
The two teams then traded punts before trading turnovers with a Vick pass being picked off by Husain Abdullah and an Adrian Peterson fumble being recovered by Quintin Mikell. From there it was another pair of punts before the Eagles got the ball back with 2:20 remaining.
A penalty on first down left the Eagles backed up to their own five-yardline, but LeSean McCoy dashed for 10 yards, Vick hit Maclin for nine, and Vick ran for seven to move them out to the 24-yardline. Vick then hit Brent Celek for gains of 16 yards and eight yards, and with 55 seconds left the Eagles seemed to be moving the ball methodically.
On the next play though, Vick dropped back and was under quick pressure on a blitz from Antoine Winfield. The cornerback knocked the ball out of Vick’s hand, felt to the ground, jumped back up and recovered the fumble, taking it 45 yards for a score to tie the game at 7-7.
Not to be deterred, the Eagles were aggressive on their last possession of the half. After a few short gains, Vick hit DeSean Jackson for 21 yards and Jason Avant for 10 more, setting up a 54-yard field goal attempt for David Akers. The Eagles kicker didn’t quite have the leg strength on a cold night, though, and the score remained tied at halftime.
The Vikings picked up a big play on their first of the half, as Webb connected with Harvin for a 46-yard bomb over Dimitri Patterson, all the way down to the Eagles’ 28-yardline. Minnesota moved it down to the Eagles’ 2-yardline before a sack led them to settle for a field goal.
The Eagles went three-and-out and the Vikings went right back to work, with Adrian Peterson running for 18, nine and three yards on successive plays. Webb then connected with Peterson through the air for 11 yards, setting up a 16-yard pass to Sidney Rice. Asante Samuel’s unnecessary roughness penalty tacked on nine more yards (half the distance to the goalline). Two plays later, Webb scrambled in for the score.
The Eagles finally possession of the quarter ended with a Vick fumble before the Vikings were again forced to punt.