10 observations from Eagles-Vikings

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10 observations from Eagles-Vikings

Westbrook: 'Today they didn't come out and play'

December 15, 2013, 3:45 pm
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The Eagles' secondary was ripped apart by backup QB Matt Cassel in a 48-30 loss on Sunday. (AP)


MINNEAPOLIS -- Picking up the pieces after a thoroughly embarrassing 48-30 Eagles loss to -- who else -- the Vikings (see Instant Replay).

1. This was a horrible loss. Ugly on defense, allowing 48 points, 455 yards, awful on third down, tons of big plays. Ugly on offense, ineffective inside the 20, no running game, awful on third down. Embarrassing loss to a terrible team. Will be interesting to see how the Eagles bounce back Sunday against the Bears, because all year the Eagles have rebounded when they’ve had to. Teams -- even good teams -- are going to have those inexplicable losses along the way, and in the big picture, the Eagles are still 8-6 a year after going 4-12 and losing 11 of their last 12 games. But, yeah, this was a pretty big step backwards.

2. And you know what, as bad as this loss was, I like the fact that the Eagles really did keep battling. As bad as it looked on the scoreboard, they never stopped playing hard on either side of the ball. That play DeSean Jackson made turning a short pass into a 51-yard gain to set up a fourth-quarter touchdown when it would have been easy to just turn out of bounds, that’s what you look for when a team is hopelessly losing. Just keep fighting. It’s a good sign. The fight this team has will serve it well.

3. That said, the Eagles really need to find defensive backs. Obviously, the injuries didn’t help Sunday, but I really don’t ever want to have to watch Patrick Chung play football again. He is bad. Izel bad. Will be good to -- the Eagles hope -- get Earl Wolff back Sunday, but this secondary is in shambles right now.

4. What is it about the Vikings? They were 5-9 in 2010 when they beat a 10-4 Eagles team that had won six of seven games by 10 points at the Linc, and they were 3-9-1 and facing an 8-5 Eagles team that had won five straight Sunday at the Metrodome. The thing is, neither game seemed like a fluke. The Vikings pounded the Eagles both times, really dominating both sides of the line of scrimmage. The last two times the Eagles were at least three games over .500 and lost to a team with a losing record in a meaningful game, it was the Vikings. Frightening. The good news: They can’t play the Vikings next year and can only play them the following season if they finish in the same spot in the standings next year.

5. Two back-to-back terrible coaching decisions in the third quarter, first making the Vikings punt again after offsetting penalties -- Vikings punter Jeff Locke pinned the Eagles at their own 15 when the Eagles could have had 1st-and-10 on their own 28. And then going for it on 4th-and-1 from your own 24-yard line down 15 with 6½ minutes left in the the third quarter? Middle of the fourth quarter? Sure. Down 24? Sure. But not in that situation. Desperate move when the situation wasn’t quite desperate yet.

6. I also don’t get virtually ignoring LeSean McCoy, who carried the ball on four of the Eagles’ first 32 offensive plays. Four of 32? I don’t think even Andy Reid ever did that. Actually, he probably did. But anyway, it’s not like the game was a blowout in the first half. The Eagles trailed by eight at halftime, yet on the first drive of the third quarter, it was pass-pass-pass-punt. McCoy is your best player. He’s one of the NFL’s best players. Four out of 32 plays just isn’t enough, no matter what an opposing defense is doing. McCoy finished with just eight carries. Inexcusable.

7. How does Leslie Frazier just turn into Bud Grant when he faces his former team? Frazier, part of Andy Reid’s original staff in 1999, is 20-31-1 as a head coach, 2-0 vs. the Eagles. He’s actually got more wins since he became the Vikings’ head coach against the Eagles than against the Packers, who are in the same division as the Vikings. Frazier isn’t winning against many people, but he’s been a nightmare for the Eagles.

8. And I don’t get squib kicking all the time, either. The Eagles constantly gave the Vikings tremendous field position, and it killed them. I understand wanting to keep the ball away from electrifying Cordarrelle Patterson, but if Alex Henery can’t simply kick the football through the end zone in a dome, get a kicker who can.

9. One guy who I thought held his own on defense Sunday was rookie defensive tackle Bennie Logan. There weren’t many, but Logan was very good. And he has been consistently productive since he became the starter following the Isaac Sopoaga trade.

10. I feel like Nick Foles did hold onto the ball too long a few times, in particular on the big sack he took on the Eagles’ second offensive snap of the third quarter, deep in their own end. But the kid is trying to make a play. He misfired on several balls when under pressure early, and he was under a ton of pressure much of the game. Still, I love the way he played. Stood tall in the pocket, made big throws under pressure, gave his team a chance. Finished 30 for 48 for 417 yards with three touchdowns -- all in the second half -- and one interception. He put up 30 points, and the Eagles should win when they score 30.