Thursday, February 11, 2016

Vikings torch Eagles secondary

After so much improvement, the Eagles' defense was ripped apart by the Vikings, 48-30.

Vikings torch Eagles secondary

The Vikings´ Jarius Wright catches the ball over Bradley Fletcher in the third quarter. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
The Vikings' Jarius Wright catches the ball over Bradley Fletcher in the third quarter. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

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.

More coverage
POLL: Where will Riley Cooper end up?
Download FREE Philly Sports Now app for iPhone!
FORUMS: Could Nick Foles return?
Latest NFL odds
SHOP: Eagles Training Camp sportswear
Did Chip Kelly cost the Eagles this game?
  3987 (63.6%)
  2286 (36.4%)
Total votes = 6273

But it started with a defense that was torched by the quarterback of a team with a 3-9-1 record. Cassel threw for 382 yards and two touchdowns. At one point in the game, safety Patrick Chung was benched in favor of Kurt Coleman. At the end of the game, cornerback Cary Williams -- who took one of a flurry of taunting penalties on both teams as the game wound down -- was also benched. Throw in a head injury that nickel corner Brandon Boykin suffered on a kick return, and there suddenly is a worrisome list of issues that need addressing.

Some with argue that the defense was never that good, that it gave up too many yards, that the 9 solid weeks was a product, more than anything, of lousy opposing quarterbacks (and snow). That is easy to say. But the results were the results, and nine games is a pretty big sample, and there was no denying the numbers on the scoreboard, week after week.

Now, this.

Suddenly, a week where the coach will earn his money.


DN Members-only: Join our weekly Daily News football picks contest to win big prizes.

Get the full Eagletarian experience at

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Eagletarian is your home for comprehensive coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Les Bowen Staff Writer
Paul Domowitch Daily News Columnist
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter