On the first play of the second half, the Vikings went deep.

Joe Webb to wide receiver Percy Harvin for 46 yards, with a declined penalty on Eagles cornerback Dimitri Patterson.

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It was a bold move by the Vikings.

It was a bad sign for the Eagles.

Despite playing against a rookie quarterback making his first career start, the Eagles' defensive backs failed to come up with a turnover and surrendered more than their fair share of big passing plays.

Webb, a sixth-round pick from Alabama-Birmingham whom the Vikings originally projected as a wide receiver, completed 17 of 26 passes for 195 yards. He didn't throw a touchdown pass, although he ran for a score.

Webb also didn't make the big mistake, the one that could have ignited the crowd and the sluggish home team and maybe turned the game in the Eagles' favor.

That was big trouble for the Eagles in a stunning 24-14 loss to the Vikings.

"We've got to play better on defense," Eagles safety Quintin Mikell said. "We were out of sync in all aspects."

The Eagles' secondary struggles led to a personnel switch, as Joselio Hanson replaced Patterson at right cornerback in the second half.

Patterson confirmed the move after the game.

"It is what it is," Patterson said. "I can't control that. Football is a game of highs and lows, every game, every week. I'm going to continue to attack the ball."

The Eagles entered the game with 23 interceptions and seemed likely to add to that total against the inexperienced Webb.

But with Minnesota's defense controlling the Eagles' offense, Webb was able to play a conservative game, picking his spots against the Eagles' secondary.

"He played good," Mikell said. "He made some good reads, got the ball out quick."

The second half belonged to Minnesota and its rookie quarterback.

Webb led the visitors down the field on the first two possessions of the third quarter.

The first drive featured that 46-yard strike to Harvin as well as a 23-yard pass to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe.

"He was like a little kid out there, smiling," Hanson said.

Webb led another drive that included a 16-yard pass to Rice and an unnecessary-roughness penalty on cornerback Asante Samuel, and ended on the quarterback's 9-yard scoring run.

Webb engineered another touchdown drive after the Eagles had closed to within 17-14 early in the fourth quarter. This time, the rookie kept the drive alive with a 19-yard strike to Harvin in a crucial third-and-11 situation.

On the play, Hanson was blitzing and seemed about to sack Webb when the rookie unleashed the pass to Harvin.

Instead, Webb found Harvin open in the middle of the Eagles' secondary, a surprisingly comfortable place for the Vikings on this surprising night.

Contact staff writer Phil Anastasia at 856-779-3223 or panastasia@phillynews.com.