The Eagles got a shred of good news this morning, L.J. Smith will return to the starting lineup after a good week of practice. It's not just that his skill level is much higher than his backups, it's also the fact that Donovan is much more comfortable with him. I'm expecting his return to light a fire under #5.
Kelly Holcomb will get the start for the Vikings, which is a mixed blessing. Tarvaris Jackson might be the worst starting QB in the history of the NFL, so it's a shame the Eagles won't get to tee off on him. On the other hand, the Eagles D did get to line up against Holcolmb all throughout training camp (before he was
traded away in favor of A.J. Feeley), so they've got that going for them.
Ten minutes 'til kickoff. Leave your thoughts in the comments, I'll be around posting sporadically in lieu of screaming at my television.First Quarter
- The Eagles open up with a horrible drive. It started with three straight passes for 4 yards and a needless timeout. They got bailed out by a pass interference call, then Celek apparently dropped a pass to end the "drive" but the Fox cameras completely missed it.
- Two bad penalties (unnecessary roughness and offsides) keep the Vikings drive alive. Ugly, ugly start. The Vikings cash in on the penalties with a touchdown pass from Holcolmb. 7-0, Minny.
- The Vikings recover an onside kick. I'm sick to my stomach.
- Another defensive penalty extends the drive, offsides by Juqua Thomas on 3rd and 19. Jim Johnson dials up a blitz for a sack (intentional grounding) to end the drive.
- First and goal from the 2 = field goal. Pitiful. 7-3, Minny.
- The Eagles cash in on 93-yard drive. Shovel pass to Westbrook for the TD. 10-7, Eagles.
- Another nice drive capped with another Westbrook TD, over the top from the 1 this time. 17-7, Eagles.
- Minny field goal. 17-10, Eagles. Akers missed a 59-yard field goal at the end of the half.
All told, the Eagles were disappointing in the first quarter, and pretty much dominant in the second. Still, they only have a 7-point lead going into the second half, so they need to build on their second-quarter performance and finish strong.Third Quarter
- Childress blows a timeout and his last challenge in one second of third-quarter action. He really did learn under Andy Reid, didn't he?
- Eagles' drive stalls in the red zone, 27-yard FG Akers. 20-10, Eagles.
- FG, Minny. 20-13, Eagles. Back to one score, the Eagles need to put a TD on the board here.
- FG Minny. 20-16, Eagles.
- FG Akers. 23-16, Eagles. Another field goal in the red zone. 5 minutes to go and the Eagles hold a 1 TD edge.
That's your final: Eagles 23, Vikings 16
.Player of The Game:
Donovan McNabb, 23/36, 333 yards, 1 TD, no INT.