Game: NFC Wild Card Playoff #2
Teams: Philadelphia Eagles (9-6-1, 2nd place, NFC East) vs. Minnesota Vikings (10-6, NFC North Champs)
Location: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN
Start Time: 4:30 PM EST
Announcers and Network: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, and Pam Oliver, Fox
Miscellany: Teacher vs. student at the coaching positions, how many boneheaded decisions either Andy Reid or Brad Childress make involving play-calling or clock management. Tarvaris Jackson’s in a playoff game for the first time, Donovan McNabb and his battle with the naysayers in Philly. All valid narrative points for Buckbot, Jr. and Troy.
Favorite: Philly (-3)
S2N’s Pick: Eagles, on the premise that Reid will screw up less than Childress, as well as the first-time playoff QB factor.

It’s the Mormon Walrus vs. Coach Major Dad in the Metrodome, folks! Marvel at the specter of bad clock management and play calls designed not to the benefit of the skills of the quarterbacks running both offenses!

Does Chris Myers really need all this work? Seriously? CBS seems to survive with no sideline reporters for Nantz and Simms, why both Oliver and Myers?

Quinton Demps brings the return out to the 11, and Donovan McNabb will start with the ball. McNabb overthrows DeSean Jackson, but mostly because a lineman was about to knock the crap out of him. Westbrook gets his first carry, and loses yardage on it. McNabb hits Kevin Curtis right in the numbers on 3rd down, getting out past the 20 for a first down. Westbrook goes inside for two yards on the carry.

Andy Reid hasn’t shaved his beard. He looks like Michael Moore gone football coach. Donny Mac overthrows Greg Lewis, going for the deep strike. 3rd down pass to TE Brent Celek, and he’s very, very close to a first down. It’s short, and here comes the punt team after Troy made an exceptionally dumb comment about Celek needing to know where the marker is — one, it was a quick out and two, he was trying to make the move to get the extra yard.

Bernard Berrian returns Sav Rocca’s punt to the 10 yard line, but that’s it. Tarvaris Jackson throws it away just in time to avoid the sack. Adrian Peterson loses a yard on his first carry. Chester Taylor gets a first down on his first touch in the game. AP brought down for another loss, followed by a screen to the left for Taylor again for 8 yards. Taylor will be short on third down, despite Buckbot saying it depends on the spot.

Chris Kluwe’s punt goes to Jackson, who dodges one side of the Vikes’ special teams, gets to the outside, and runs all the way to the Minnesota 34.

Does Andy Reid have an ammo belt on holding up his pants? – 49er16
@49er – that belt is Reid’s utility belt. It is where he keeps everything he needs to get through the game: a box of twinkies, a selection of proven to be ineffective short yardage plays, and the phone number for his kids’ parole officer.- Mal

Westbrook gets two yards on the carry. McNabb scrambles back to the line of scrimmage, away from Jared Allen. After another failed play, David Akers nails a 44-yard FG. 3-0, Philly.

Hicks returns to the 22. AP for two yards, and he took a bit of time to get up. Five for Taylor, and a quick strike from Jackson to Berrian gains a first down. Quinton Mikell nearly picks off Jackson on the next play. Taylor gains seven on his next carry, getting whacked by Brian Dawkins. Jackson hits Bobby Wade for 19 yards. Peterson picks up 2 as he comes back in, ball at the Philly 40. A couple of incompletions after that, and Kluwe comes back on to punt; the kick goes out of bounds at the 16.

Well, now it’s marked at the 25 after an official conference. Donny Mac throws to Hank Baskett for the first time today — gain of 7. (Kendra must be happy.) Correll Buckhalter gets the carry, busts through a hole and then cuts to the right sideline for 26 yards on the run. Buckhalter gets a yard on the next rush. McNabb hits Reggie Brown for 8 yards on 2nd down; 3rd and 1 coming. Vikings call time.

The pass to Westbrook is incomplete, and Akers will try a 51-yard FG. Perfect kick, 6-0, Philly.

Maurice Hicks returns the kickoff to the 22. No yards for AP on the first carry, but an offsides penalty makes it 1st and 5. Jackson throws it away with a defender chasing him. Taylor’s tackled for a loss by Mikell. Jackson steps up and hits Sidney Rice at the 38. He follows that up with a pass to Visanthe Shiancoe on first down. Jackson goes downfield for Berrian — and Brian Dawkins had a better angle on that than Berrian did. Sheldon Brown breaks up the 3rd down pass to Andre Ellison — but there’s a PI flag on Brown. That was kind of ticky-tack.

First down toss to AP gets outside to the right for 6. Injury time out as Asante Samuel collapses in a heap on his leg.

“3rd down and a long 2….”, sayeth Buckbot, as Purple Jesus takes the handoff and makes that long 2 a short memory all the way to the end zone. TOUCHDOWN, VIKINGS! Ryan Longwell adds the XP, 7-6, Vikings.

Demps takes the kick up to about the 28. McNabb to Curtis on a great throw for 11 yards. Antoine Winfield knocks the next pass away from DeSean Jackson. And there’s another time out blown by the Vikings’ D.

The “G” campaign for Gatorade is entirely useless. No ad campaign should fail to tell the viewer what it’s actually trying to sell.

McNabb to Jason Avant for five yards on 2nd down after the TO. He then goes deep for DeSean Jackson, who brings it in and is out of bounds at the Vikings’ 21. Westbrook gets three yards on first down. He gets five on his next rush, 3rd and 2…blitz on….McNabb’s pass incomplete for Kevin Curtis; Akers coming on for another FG try — up and good, 9-7, Philly retakes the lead.

Hicks makes a 25 yard return on the kickoff. AP for 6, 2nd down pass incomplete to Kleinsasser. Jackson throws…..and Asante Samuel picks it off! Samuel rushes down the sideline, and he’s in the end zone for the Eagles TOUCHDOWN! Akers kick is up and good, 16-7, Eagles.

They’ll add a 15 yard penalty for celebration on the kickoff (dumbest rule ever, really.)

I guess Asante Samuel has his Ed Reed underwear on for the game. – Anon @ 5:49

How much bad news can the Vikes get on one play? Interception. Eagles TD. Tavaris hurt on the play. Frerotte warming up on the sideline. The only thing missing was Mike Tice scalping tickets in the parking lot. – Mal

Ed Reed would’ve scored on that play and tackled Jackson at the same time. – SSR

Jackson pitches to AP on first down, and it’s a loss of a yard. AP picks up five on the next carry, and another 3rd and 6 for the Vikes. In other news, I’m going to start selling Ed Reed Underoos for some extra spending cash. Bernard Berrian brings in the third down pass and heads all the way to the Philly 31. Bobby Wade uses his hops to get another first down at the 21 on the catch. Taylor up the middle for 8 yards; he follows it up by busting through to the 6 for a first and goal. Two minute warning.

Can we get a damn translator for Troy. Some one to spit would what he’s trying to say in less than three minutes. – Lord Nero
@Nero – and it’s all in one – three minute long – sentence. That guy abuses conjunctions the way Ed Reed abuses quarterbacks. – Gibbon Jockey

I now just ignore Troy whenever Joe asks him to explain something. Taylor rushes to the 3.

Goddamnit, Fox. Don’t show me that graphic with Norv Turner being 13-1 in December and January. I CANNOT DEAL WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF HIM BEING A GOOD COACH.

Anyway, AP gets the ball, runs off tackle left, and that’s TOUCHDOWN, VIKES. Longwell’s kick is up and good, 16-14, Eagles.

Kickoff out to the 25. Pass to Avant for 13 yards.

“I’m about as much of a doctor as Dr. Phil, but I believe he’s [Darren Sharper] is questionable for the rest of the game with the pain he’s in.” – Chris Myers

3rd and 1, and a bizarre play call — aired out for Kevin Curtis and Cedric Griffin comes down with the pick. Why call that when the Vikes’ defense isn’t set at all? Andy Reid brain-fart, ahoy!

Bunch of running plays has the Minnesota crowd booing like crazy. Now, they punt after a horrid pass play call on third down (ka-ching, Major Dad!) DeSean Jackson returns the punt for 18 yards. Pass to Westbrook, who gets out of bounds after nine yards. Another pass to Westbrook on 3rd down with 8 seconds left — he gets the first down, but time runs out. 16-14, Eagles at halftime.

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