The Minnesota Vikings not only surprised Philadelphia, they shocked the fans as well. Many believed with their star running backs gone, the secondary being dismantled and the fact they were 3-9-1, the Eagles would roll through the Metrodome and roll over the Vikings.
Man, were people wrong.
Let’s be honest, the Vikings season at this point is dead. All they are playing for is respect but sometimes that’s all you have and honestly all you need.
The mistake the Eagles and everyone else made was counting out the Vikings. They believed in their own hype and look at what that cost them. Now many will argue that they still lead the NFC East by one game there is still a shot for them to go to the playoffs. Nick Foles even threw for 428 yards, more than Cassel, but had 144 at halftime and many of his second-half yards were after the Vikings had built a big lead
But you lost to a team that was allegedly dead on arrival. And that sting is going to stay for a while.
Just ask Philadelphia head Coach Chip Kelly, “’You should go into every game with the same mindset whether people from the outside consider you the favorite or don’t consider you the favorite, if you’re paying attention to that kind of stuff, then you are not focusing on the things you can control. That’s the message I give and will continue to give.”
While everyone revels in this fantastic win, these are some things that are noteworthy.
- For the first time in a long time Coach Leslie Frazier said after Sunday’s game there are “no questions” about the Vikings’ starting quarterback for next Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals and that is obviously Matt Cassel. He threw for 382 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another one.
- The Vikings were missing their top three corners – Chris Cook, Xavier Rhodes and Josh Robinson — on Sunday, but they held up reasonably well against an Eagles offense most expected to burn Minnesota’s thin secondary. Cornerback Shaun Prater had the first interception of his career, and safety Harrison Smith returned from a two-month layoff to post eight tackles in his first game back from turf toe. Cook, meanwhile, missed Sunday’s game after a knee injury cropped up late in the week. His frequent injuries could prevent him from landing a big contract when he hits the open market next March. And while Prater got his first pick on Sunday, Cook is still waiting for his, four years into his career.
- Jarius Wright is in his second year as a Viking, but was a forgotten man after a solid second half in 2012, had his biggest game of the season came on Sunday, catching four passes for 95 yards. Wright began the season as the Vikings’ third receiver before becoming their fourth option in recent weeks as Cordarrelle Patterson’s role in the offense grew. But Wright hauled in a 42-yard pass from Cassel on Sunday, and looked like the kind of downfield slot threat he was at times last season.
- Speaking of Patterson, we didn’t see much of him on return kicks. The Eagles went into Sunday’s game clearly wanting to avoid Patterson on kickoffs. But that ended up back firing and giving the Vikings better field position. Minnesota started four drives at its own 30 or better after kickoffs, and though the Vikings didn’t get a chance to let Patterson break a big return, they got more consistent field position than even the rookie returning dynamo likely would’ve been able to provide. Frazier said the Vikings could toy with the idea of putting Patterson on punt returns next week, as another way to get the ball in his hands.