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The Linc - Eagles Fall to 8-6

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/16/2013.

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

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Let's get to the links...

NFC Playoff Picture 2013: Eagles Still in First Place of the NFC East - BLG, BGN
The Eagles are still very alive in the playoff hunt.

Doomed in the Dome - Tommy Lawlor, Iggles Blitz
The Vikings played their best game of the season today. And the Eagles couldn’t handle that. I did not think it was possible for the Vikings to put up 48 points, with or without Adrian Peterson. I am completely shocked at today’s performance. That is the best I’ve seen Matt Cassel play in a long time, maybe ever. He was 26-35-382. Those are astounding numbers. We have to give the Vikings credit for playing so well. Most Eagles fans will want to rip the team, but Minnesota earned a lot of those yards and points with good execution. The Eagles did struggle for sure and the defense was dreadful today. There is lots of blame to go around. CB Bradley Fletcher was awful, especially late in the game when the Eagles were trying to make a miracle comeback. Let’s go ahead and dispense with the notion that the Eagles weren’t focused, lacked heart or were flat. That kind of crap had nothing to do with today’s loss. Those are tired cliches. The Eagles were sloppy today. There was no lack of effort or anything like that. This was all about poor execution.

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Vikings game - JimmyK,
The Empty Stats Award: Nick Foles
Foles wasn't bad against the Vikings, but it's hard to say that he was good, although his numbers would certainly make you think he was.
30 of 48, 428 yards, 8.9 YPA 3 TD, 1 INT, 103.5 QB rating.

Kelly's plan was off from the start - Bob Brookover, Inquirer
The plan was passive from the start. The Eagles won the toss Sunday and deferred, allowing the Minnesota Vikings to go on offense first. That's not the first time Chip Kelly has made that choice this season, but the way the Eagles played the opening kickoff was a tone-setting decision on a day that dissolved into a momentum-squashing disaster, not to mention a massive missed opportunity.

Eagles Lose Their Cool - Tim McManus, Birds 24/7
Flags were flying and tempers were flaring and the Viking horn was blowing for score after Minnesota score. The well-oiled machine that had ripped off five in a row broke down on Mall Of America Field. A defense that had held its opponents to 21 points or fewer for nine games straight surrendered 48 to a Vikings team that was operating without running backs Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart. LeSean McCoy, coming off a career day in the snow against Detroit, had 38 yards on just eight carries. The offense overall was choppy.

Short end of the kick: Kelly’s strategies backfire - Geoff Mosher, CSN Philly
The Eagles were already having trouble defending Matt Cassel and Greg Jennings. They didn’t need Alex Henery, via Chip Kelly, to keep rolling out the red carpet for the entire Vikings offense. Which is exactly what happened Sunday as Henery’s short kicks successfully avoided dangerous returner Cordarrelle Patterson but repeatedly gave the Vikings favorable field position. Instead of having Henery attempt to kick the ball out of the end zone, with no weather elements to combat inside the Metrodome, the Eagles kicked short every time.

Foles: We'll Get Better Because Of It - Danta Klaus,
It was not the kind of showing the Eagles hoped to have going into Minnesota against a depleted Vikings team without running back Adrian Peterson and their three top cornerbacks. At 8-5 and in sole possession of first place in the NFC East, the Eagles had a chance to win their sixth straight game and keep the momentum going. Instead, the Eagles were served a slice of humble pie and brought back to reality.

Meltdown in Minneapolis: Eagles streak snapped in 48-30 loss to Vikings - Andrew Kulp, The700Level
This had "trap game" written all over it. Shades of Joe Webb some fans even lamented in the lead-up to Sunday. Whether this loss will be remembered similarly in Philadelphia Eagles lore probably depends on how they finish the season, but today, it feels devastating. After holding nine straight opponents to 21 points or fewer, the Eagles were absolutely smoked by a shorthanded Minnesota Vikings squad missing its best player. No Adrian Peterson? No problem. Leave it to Matt Cassel, the veteran quarterback who led the purple and gold to a 48-30 win over the Birds in Minneapolis, snapping Philly’s five-game winning streak.

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