Grade the Eagles-Vikings game: No A’s for the Birds in Sunday’s lousy performance
Grading the Eagles' performance in Sunday's 38-20 loss to the Vikings.
The Eagles started their three-game road trip with a dud. They fell to the Minnesota Vikings, 38-20, on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
How did the offense, defense and special teams perform? Paul Domowitch offers his grades, and then you can award your own.
Since the Eagles were playing catch-up most of the game, the run game wasn’t a big factor. Jordan Howard rushed for 49 yards on 13 carries and averaged 4.2 yards per carry on first down. But the Eagles’ only double-digit-yard run in the first three quarters was a 16-yarder by Carson Wentz.
Take out Miles Sanders’ 86 yards on three catches and Carson Wentz averaged just 5.9 yards per catch. Wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor averaged a puny 8.4 yards per catch. Tight end Zach Ertz was targeted nine times and had just four catches for 54 yards.
The Eagles’ ability to stop Vikings running back Dalvin Cook seemed like an important story line until Stefon Diggs spent the day undressing Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones. Cook ran the ball seven times for 25 yards and three first downs on the Vikings’ game-opening touchdown drive. After that, they held him to 16 yards on nine carries.
When Drew Brees shredded the Eagles in that 48-7 Week 11 debacle last season, at least they were able to find some solace in the fact that the guy doing the shredding is going to be in Canton in a few years. Well, the only way Kirk Cousins is getting into Canton is with a ticket, yet he made mince meat of the Eagles’ secondary Sunday, throwing for 333 yards and four touchdowns. Diggs had three of those TDs as he repeatedly beat cornerbacks Douglas and Jones. Jalen Mills can’t get back too soon.
I generally like Doug Pederson’s aggressive approach, but the fake field goal at the end of the half was just a poor decision. Instead of taking a gimme Jake Elliott field goal and going in at halftime down by 11, they got greedy and it blew up in their face. When he wasn’t being asked to throw the ball, Elliott made 53- and 40-yard field goals.
The Eagles have problems all over the place. More problems than a couple of trade-deadline deals can solve. On defense, the cornerbacks are deficient and the pass rush is inconsistent. On offense, the wide receivers are contributing next to nothing. Jeffery looked like he was running in mud Sunday, and averaged just 7.6 yards per catch.