I was afraid of it all week. With two big games in Week 16 and Week 17, the Eagles had a matchup with the Vikings that looked like a sure fire win. However, they fell into the classic trap game situation and dropped an important game to Minnesota.
They looked lousy from the start. The defense made Matt Cassel look like a super star. The offense failed to get things going early on. Nick Foles lacked accuracy and they failed to utilize the run game throughout the entire contest. This was extremely disappointing to see after LeSean McCoy was coming off a franchise rushing record and continues to prove he’s a top back in this league.
Along with Foles’ inaccuracy, he took a costly penalty in the second quarter that hurt the Eagles’ momentum. On a fourth and one situation deep in the Vikings territory, the Eagles ran a trick play that resulted in a touchdown from DeSean Jackson. However, Foles was called for an illegal block which brought the play back. The block wasn’t necessary and cost the Eagles a touchdown.
The offense continued to struggle in the third quarter. They went three and out on their first drive. Foles threw a pick. They went for it on fourth and one on their own 25 yard line and failed to convert. They picked up some steam at the end of the third quarter and got the margin down to just five points. However, they got no help from the defense in the fourth quarter and couldn’t do enough to keep themselves in the game.
The defense has to be the most disappointing thing from today’s game. The secondary was absolutely terrible. Brandon Boykin and Kurt Coleman suffered game ending injuries, making the defense thin, but there was way more to it then that. The secondary is atrocious and the front seven failed to get consistent pressure on Cassel. In the offseason, the secondary is going to have to be the key area of focus for improvement.
After riding the momentum of a five game winning streak, the Eagles received a total reality check in Minnesota. They didn’t look like the same team we’ve seen as of late. They let a team with three wins hang 48 points on them.
They’re still very much in the playoff hunt, but they really need to evaluate what happened today. There’s two games left in the regular season and it will be extremely important for them to win both of them. The Eagles need to determine their key takeaways from this game and move on. The focus needs to shift to Chicago.
During their five game winning streak, they looked like a scary team that could win some playoff games. After this effort, you have to question whether or not that’s truly a reality.