Sunday evening, the Minnesota Vikings--now 2-2-1--decided they liked winning NFL games and soundly defeated the reigning Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles.
For the Eagles, the contest was yet again an ugly one. The offense was putrid for most of the game, lacking the spark and focus necessary when facing a defense as strong as Minnesota's. Although, scoring becomes much tougher when you turn over the football twice. CC: Jay Ajayi and Carson Wentz. And it really hurts when 323 pound defensive lineman Linvall Joseph snags the ball and runs it back for twice as many yards (and infinity as many touchdowns) as any of your running backs. Pull-your-hair-out frustrating day for Doug Pederson and the Philly offense.
The defense allowed just 16 points. Against a playmaker-riddled Vikings offensive attack, the Eagles were solid. Not extraordinary. But they did enough to win the football game. A tackle by Wentz would've helped on that defensive TD tough.
The Vikings, on the other hand, absolutely needed this win, and got it. A loss would've dropped them to a 1-3-1 bell-curve looking record. One win in the opening five weeks is not an ideal formula for making the postseason. I mean, they could've avoided all this early season worry had they not slept through their gimme home matchup with the inept Buffalo Bills. Seriously, Josh Allen looks like Mose Schrute from The Office and dominated your pro-bowler-filled defense.
Nonetheless...Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, Linvall Joseph and the entire defense stepped up today and made big plays throughout in a near must-win. For #SkolNation, the win was very encouraging. And with a very friendly schedule staring them in the face from here on out, Minnesota may be game for another playoff appearance under head coach Mike Zimmer.
The Eagles still aren't nearly out of the playoff picture, but the much-talked-about Super Bowl hangover appears to be alive and thriving in Philadelphia. If they don't find the team toughness and offensive preciseness they operated on a season ago, their back-to-back title hopes might as well be buried in Benjamin Franklin's grave.