LINCOLN FINANCIAL FIELD, Pa. – In a rematch of last season’s NFC championship game, it was the Minnesota Vikings who got the job done this time around, defeating the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, 23-21.

Kirk Cousins continued to play at a high level for the Vikings, going 30 for 37 for 301 yards and a touchdown. Receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs continued to flourish with the quarterback as they combined for 17 catches, 207 yards and the touchdown.

Defensively, the Vikings, were able to contain the Eagles offense in the first half and make life difficult for quarterback Carson Wentz. The Vikings were able to get pressure on him for much of the game, hitting him 11 times and recording three sacks, including a strip sack that was returned 63 yards for a touchdown by Linval Joseph.

The Vikings pulled to 2-2-1 with a possible short reprieve in their schedule coming up over the next two weeks. They’ll return home next weekend to take on the Arizona Cardinals before going back out on the road to take on the New York Jets. These games will be followed by another big rematch from last season’s divisional round against the New Orleans Saints.

The Good

  • Cousins continued his strong first year in Vikings purple and gold. If this team gets back into contention, he should get strong consideration as an MVP candidate. He’s the number one reason why the Vikings have been in every game this season. If the defense and run game ever regain the consistency from last season. look out.
  • The Vikings defense finally showed up… for about a half. Still, that one half was impactful. They suffocated the Eagles offense, holding them to 97 total yards and a field goal while forcing Wentz into a fumble that was turned into a Linval Joseph touchdown.

The Bad

  • The Vikings still haven’t figured out how to play good football for four quarters. The offense had issues putting up points much of the night other than the second quarter, while the defense only played well in the first half before disappearing again in the second. Despite the good signs throughout, there were just as many bad signs that gives fans cause for concern moving forward.
  • The offensive line was marginally better but is still a mess. Cousins and the running backs are simply seeing far too much congestion. The running game’s problems are largely because of the line’s inability to consistently open lanes. The Vikings need to strongly look at reshuffling this line because the current starters are simply not cutting it.
  • Whether it’s a communication issue or bad play calling, there have been far too many coverage breakdowns this season. The Vikings looked poised to return the favor from last season’s NFC championship game with a blowout win of their own when they suddenly forgot (how) to cover receivers. This game should not have been as close as it eventually got.

 

– Clayton R. Brooks II writes for Full Press Coverage and covers the Minnesota Vikings. Like and follow @ClaytonRBrooks2. Like and follow @fpc_vikings on Twitter and Full Press Vikings on Facebook.

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