MINNEAPOLIS -- After a horrendous first month of the season, and a promise by Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis that things would get better, they did. For the last 9 weeks, the defense had stated its case, never allowing more than 21 points in a game. If Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy got most of the headlines as the Eagles made their unexpected entry into the playoff race, the improvement and the consistency of the defense was just as important.
All of which is a long way of saying that nobody saw the bus coming Sunday at Mall of America Field.
The Minnesota Vikings were without the planet’s top running back, Adrian Peterson, as well as his backup Toby Gerhart -- but it didn’t matter. Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel had time to operate, made almost no mistakes, and picked apart the Eagles’ secondary.
The final score was Vikings 48, Eagles 30. The five-game winning streak is over. With an 8-6 record and two games left to play, the playoff road just got measurably harder. And now, there is this disturbingly ragged game on their resume. Penalites, dumb mistakes, sideline indecision, odd play-calling -- for the first time in a long time, you got a whiff of wheels coming off, whatever that smells like.