Well, that sure was interesting.
The Eagles and Vikings combined for five turnovers in a five-minute span in the first half, the Eagles went for two on their first touchdown of the afternoon, and the Birds held on to win, 21-10, in Sam Bradford’s homecoming.
Bradford, who was traded from the Eagles to the Vikings eight days before the season began, had an ugly return to Philadelphia. He finished 23 of 40 for 210 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and a lost fumble. He never looked comfortable behind a banged-up offensive line.
Meanwhile, Carson Wentz threw a few really, really bad passes in the first quarter as he tried to settle in, tossing two interceptions, including possibly his worst as a pro.
But Wentz ran in a draw play for a two-point conversion after Josh Huff’s kickoff return for a touchdown, and he looked substantially better in the second half. Wentz finished 16 of 28 for 138 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
The story on Sunday, however, was Jim Schwartz’s defense. After allowing 51 points in the last two outings, the entire unit looked much improved Sunday. They kept Minnesota’s run game largely in check, yielding just 93 yards on the ground, and scared Sam Bradford all afternoon.
It started about as ugly as it could have, but the Eagles won the game, and they showed us a few things.
For one, we learned the Eagles can win a game when Carson Wentz doesn’t play his best. For the majority of the season, he’d been their best player. On Sunday, Wentz threw two picks, looked antsy for the first half, and yet the Eagles led 11-3 at halftime. By the time he settled in, the team was completely in the driver’s seat.
We also learned that the defense is fine, as I wrote this past week. Jim Schwartz is a great defensive mind. The Eagles have talent at each level on the defensive side of the ball. It was only a matter of time before Schwartz figured out what was going wrong and fixed it. Helpful that they faced a weak, banged-up Vikings offense? Sure. But it was a weak, banged-up, undefeated offense. Good game from the defense.
The Eagles march into Dallas Week at 4-2. Not too shabby.