The Philadelphia Eagles last made noise in the playoffs in 2008. Back then, the Eagles were an out of nowhere success story, as they stole a playoff berth at the last minute and then almost made the Super Bowl. Now the Minnesota Vikings hope to do the same in 2012, as they approach their first wild card game since losing to Philadelphia four years ago at home.
This time, the Vikings are going on the road on Jan. 5 against the Green Bay Packers, who they beat in Minnesota on Dec. 30 just to make the playoffs. But they still hope an upset at Green Bay will send them towards an unlikely Super Bowl run as a sixth seed, like the Eagles almost pulled off four years ago.
When the Eagles started the 2008 postseason, they beat the Vikings at the Metrodome in a win that was barely an upset. It propelled them to a greater upset over the New York Giants the next week, which would have propelled them to the Super Bowl if not for the Arizona Cardinals the next week. Back then. no one knew this was the last hurrah for Philadelphia in the postseason under Andy Reid.
Now that the Reid era is over in Philadelphia and he has already moved on to Kansas City, the Eagles faithful probably can’t help but look back at 2008. Things have only barely been better for the Vikings, as they almost made the Super Bowl the next season with Brett Favre, but collapsed soon afterwards until this year.
The 2008 Vikings team that the Eagles beat is almost like the 2012 version. Like it was back then, Minnesota is almost completely dependent on Adrian Peterson, since it has a big question mark at quarterback. In 2008, that weak link quarterback was Tarvaris Jackson, whom the Eagles easily contained while keeping Peterson from breaking loose.
This year’s questionable Minnesota quarterback is Christian Ponder, who still completed some big throws in last week’s win over the Packers. But with Peterson more powerful than ever after rushing for 2,097 yards this year, all eyes will be on him.
The Vikings have had a rough last four years, just like the Eagles, yet they are back on track now. How much longer will it be until the Eagles can say the same?