Eagles - 26 :: Vikings - 14
This was only a two-point game midway through the fourth quarter before Brian Westbrook basically sent the Eagles to the next round of the playoffs on one play. Westbrook caught a pass on a screen type of play and took off. He picked up some great blocks downfield and navigated his way into the end zone to score a 71-yard touchdown. The TD put the Eagles on top 23-14 and put the Vikings in a huge hole, especially since their offense couldn't move the ball.
Adrian Peterson did his best to keep the Vikings in the game during the first half with a pair of touchdowns. One came from 40 yards away and the other was from 3 yards out. Peterson's first TD actually gave the Vikings the lead until David Akers nailed a field goal and Asante Samuel picked off Tarvaris Jackson and ran the interception back 44 yards for a touchdown. At that point it looked like this game was going to become very one-sided, but Peterson scored on the proceeding drive to keep things close until the fourth quarter.
The Daily Norseman was happy with the Vikings' season despite the loss.
Well, the Vikings slugged it out with the Eagles for four quarters. They let up one big play to the one guy that they couldn't afford to give up a big play to late, and did nothing offensively in the second half.
Overall, however, this was a pretty successful season for the Vikings. They captured a division championship, fought hard in the first round of the post-season, and have a lot of things to build on going into 2009.
There are now no more NFC North teams left in the playoffs, as Minnesota was the only one to begin with. The only other team that had a shot at the playoffs was Chicago, and they blew their chance in the last week of the season. Given that, Around the NFC North is officially on vacation until next season. Here's to a stronger division from top to bottom in 2009.