Eagles Vikings Recap: The Unexpected Expected Trap Game

Ok well that was terrible. I need to vent.

All week long the talk was how would the Eagles prepare for a team that wasn’t very good(or so we thought). Trap game was mentioned over and over. The Eagles wouldn’t look past them. So there was no way there were gonna get beat by a 3-9-1 team right? Wrong.

I’ve seen the Vikings the last few weeks and knew they were a tough team. But never thought this.

The Eagles defense got absolutely shredded by a Vikings offense (48-29) led by career backup Matt Cassell, someone named Matt Asiota, who was replacing Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart and Greg Jennings who I thought went into witness protection after leaving Green Bay.

For the second time in four seasons, the Eagles have suffered a crucial December loss to a below-average Vikings team. It’s just weird how sports work sometimes. Sort of like how the Phillies could never beat the Astros.

It was a total team effort for the Eagles in the loss. Let’s go to the bullet points.

Defense: You knew the Vikings run game was going to be limited. Forget the fact that Asiata had three touchdowns, he only had 51 yards today. The whole secondary was laughably bad, especially Cary Williams, who I have generally liked this year.   382 yards from Matt Cassel? F-minus for the secondary and D- for the defense as a whole.

Special Teams: How can you never attempt to kick it deep inside a dome? I get that Patterson is a very dangerous threat, but come on. You can’t keep giving the opposing team the ball on their 35-40 yard line. Especially when they are inexplicably shredding your defense. Alex Henery made the field goals today, but if he can’t kick it out of the endzone (IN A DOME), you need to find a new kicker for next season.

Offense: Where the hell was Lesean McCoy in the running game? I mean he’s only the league leader in rushing. Foles wasn’t as sharp as he  been, which is why it was so puzzling that he got on 8 carries. Add in the fact that the Vikings rush defense was 21st and it makes no sense. Overall, they moved the ball pretty well, but only got three field goals in the first half rather than touchdowns. That’s always a difference.

Coaching: Already mentioned the bad special teams decision to repeatedly squib kick. This may have been Chip’s worst game as a whole. Not giving McCoy the ball enough, wasting a timeout to go for two in the fourth. I actually didn’t mind going for it on 4th and 1 deep in your own territory, but he was over aggressive on other calls. Notably the 3rd and short before the Eagles ran that reverse to Desean that got called back. Just get the first, then get aggressive.

The only positive I can take from this, is that the Eagles will need to play desperate to close out the division.  They won’t be smelling themselves when the equally desperate Bears come to town next Sunday night with their monster receivers, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey.

In the back of my mind, I always figured it’s coming down to Week 17 in Dallas. Of course now it still may not matter, not because the Eagles will have it wrapped up, but Dallas will. If both teams finish 9-7 and Dallas has the better division record, the NFC East is theirs.

The defense had been playing very well, limiting opponents to 21 points or fewer for eight straight matchups. Now it’s a huge question mark heading into two tough games.

What a difference a week makes.

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