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Doug Pederson, Lane Johnson trending down, Wendell Smallwood trending up following Eagles’ loss to Vikings | Jeff McLane

Highs and lows from the Eagles' 23-21 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Eagles running back Wendell Smallwood catches a fourth-quarter touchdown pass.
Eagles running back Wendell Smallwood catches a fourth-quarter touchdown pass.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff

The Eagles fell to 2-3 on Sunday after a 23-21 loss to the Vikings.

Here are the players and positions that are trending up and trending down.

Doug Pederson

DOWN — The Eagles coach was uneven as an offensive play caller and made several questionable decisions in game management. Pederson cost the team a timeout with a bad fourth-quarter challenge. And would it have made sense to have Jake Elliott kick a 58-yard field goal rather than punt with about nine minutes left in the game? Most significantly, his team is still playing sloppy football.

>> ANALYSIS: Doug Pederson accepts and deserves blame for Eagles loss | Bob Brookover

Lane Johnson

DOWN — Best tackle in the NFL? Johnson hasn't looked it recently. For the second week in a row, he allowed a strip sack. This fumble was returned 64 yards for a touchdown. Brutal.

Jay Ajayi

DOWN — You can't, just can't — did I say can't? — fumble at the 5-yard line. The Eagles finally strung together a long drive on their opening series of the second half, and Ajayi coughed up the football on first-and-goal.

>> READ MORE: Jay Ajayi thinks the Eagles need to run the ball more

Jalen Mills

DOWN — The embattled cornerback declined interviews this past week. Mills said he would let his play on the field do the talking. He backed it up in the first half and played sound defense. But it took only one play in the second half for Adam Thielen to beat Mills deep against man coverage.

>> MARCUS HAYES: The Eagles' Super Bowl hangover just got even worse

Carson Wentz

SIDEWAYS — The Eagles quarterback continued to play well upon his return from knee surgery, but the results just haven't been there. Wentz was under duress again, and he had a bunch of elite throws, but he didn't capitalize on a late opportunity to put the Eagles ahead.

>> READ MORE: The Eagles' fastest fix? That's easy: Carson Wentz has to be himself again | Mike Sielski

Isaac Seumalo

SIDEWAYS — A year after getting benched, Isaac Seumalo was back in the starting lineup in place of the struggling Stefen Wisniewski. Seumalo's first series was a disaster. He couldn't block the Vikings' Linval Joseph and gave up a sack. But he was steadier the rest of the way.

>> READ MORE: Carson Wentz passes well, but Eagles' line play is offensive

Wendell Smallwood

UP — He dropped an early third-down pass, but the running back made several stellar plays for the Eagles in the second half. Smallwood caught a 12-yard touchdown pass and dove inside the pylon for the two-point conversion.

Avonte Maddox

UP — Maddox got the nod at free safety ahead of the 33-year-old Corey Graham. The rookie had some issues last week in his first game ever at the position. But he played solidly against the Vikings and could have a future in center field.

>> THIS AND THAT: Despite subbing Maddox for Graham and Seumalo for Wisniewski, Eagles get same result

Alshon Jeffery

DOWN — The receiver came up with a clutch fourth-down grab on a back shoulder pass, but he couldn't pull in a few other tough grabs. The Eagles needed Jeffery to have a greater impact.

Roughing the passer

DOWN — The NFL has gone to great lengths to protect quarterbacks, and understandably so. They're the stars of the game. But it has increasingly come at the expense of the game. Michael Bennett was called for roughing the passer just before the half when he clearly hit Kirk Cousins above the knee. That was possibly a four-point penalty.

>> ANALYSIS: Eagles frustrated by Michael Bennett roughing-the-passer penalty in loss to Vikings | Jeff McLane

Eagles D-line

SIDEWAYS — Bennett's bogus penalty notwithstanding, the Eagles' front four didn't get home enough. There was pressure on Cousins, but he was sacked just once Sunday.

Shelton Gibson

SIDEWAYS — The Eagles hyped Gibson's long ball ability when they drafted him in 2017, and there were glimpses in the preseason, but he finally delivered with a 48-yard grab in the first quarter. Too bad the Eagles could only capitalize with a field goal. And Gibson never caught another pass.