The Eagles beat the Vikings 21-10. But there’s more than just wins and losses for teams.
They won! And snapped a two game losing streak! It wasn’t pretty, but a double digit win over one of the best teams in the league is plenty good.
After back to back games of questionable game plans and play calls, Pederson put together a solid game. It wasn’t a good looking game, but it rarely is when you face one of the best defenses in the league. He had two opportunities to make big decisions and made the right one on both: going for 2 after the roughing the kicker penalty was a no-brainer, but there are coaches who pass on those. And his decision to go for it on fourth down was a key play in the game.
Schwartz also had questionable game plans in the Eagles losses. Today he was down Bennie Logan and then lost Ron Brooks for the game and Jalen Mills for part of the game. But despite those injuries, (and maybe in the case of Brooks, in part because of), they dominated. Sam Bradford was hit 19 times and sacked six times on 41 drop backs, and they got a huge fourth down stop when the Vikings decided to go for it on fourth down in the red zone. The Eagles defensive line dominated the Vikings wounded offensive line.
Meanwhile the beleaguered Eagles offensive line held its own against the Vikings. There were issues at times, but Carson Wentz wasn’t sacked. What looked like a huge advantage for the Vikings turned out to be negated.
Huff hadn’t done much at all this season, and looked like he was in danger of losing his starting kick return spot after Wendell Smallwood’s touchdown return last week. Huff responded with a touchdown of his own, and one that was a little more impressive because he had to dodge a defender, though it was the kicker. And he led the team in receiving with 4 catches for 39 yards, which is a depressingly low number, but leading the team is leading the team.
Vikings 12:1 turnover ratio is ridiculously unsustainable. Today would be a very good day for a regression to the mean.— Dave Mangels (@Southern_Philly) October 23, 2016
It did. The Vikings turned the ball over four times. They also gained four turnovers, but the Eagles scored 6 points off of the Vikings turnovers as they got out to a two touchdown lead.
Eagles in a weird position where they have to win in order to improve their draft position— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) October 23, 2016
The Vikings lost, and with it increased the chances, albeit slightly, of the Eagles getting a decent draft pick out of the Sam Bradford trade. Win win for the Eagles!
This wasn’t a revenge game, but any time you return to face a team that traded you, you want to play well. Bradford had a horrendous game. Coming into the game he led the league with a 70% completion percentage and hadn’t turned the ball over. Today he completed just 58% of his passes, threw and interception and fumbled four times, losing two of them. Neither QB had a game to be proud of, but Bradford was terrible.
Another fourth quarter fumble for Mathews, who’s played well in spurts but hasn’t shown enough to deserve the ratio of touches (15 touches to a combined 9 by Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood) he’s been getting.