While Vikings fans may be surprised to rejoice after Minnesota beat Philadelphia 48-30 Sunday at the Metrodome, Eagles fans – notoriously brutal – may be feeling a little stunned.
Take this bit of prose from the Philadelphia Inquirer:
"In the catacombs of the decaying Metrodome, (coach) Chip Kelly was offering an accounting for a loss that could not be explained or excused ... he answered questions about his team's humiliating 48-30 loss to the Minnesota Vikings."
More from the Inquirer: "The way the Eagles played the opening kickoff was a tone-setting decision on a day that dissolved into a momentum-squashing disaster, not to mention a massive missed opportunity. Intimidated by rookie return sensation Cordarrelle Patterson, the Eagles ordered Alex Henery to drop the opening kick around the 20-yard line, a wedge shot of sorts that he had practiced all week back in South Philadelphia."
Yahoo! Sports says: "The Philadelphia Eagles had a lot to feel good about this week - and even more to play for. In the end, the Minnesota Vikings looked more like the team that was soaring toward the playoffs."
Well, let's not get carried away here. But Yahoo! also notes a key to the game: "The Eagles kept all six of their kickoffs away from Cordarrelle Patterson, the league leader in average yards per return and with two touchdowns, but the Vikings benefited from Alex Henery's short, high deliveries. Their average starting spot was their own 39-yard line."
One ESPN report says the Eagles were simply "trying too hard."
That's certainly a reach for an excuse.
Another ESPN report offers this key point: "Second-year receiver Jarius Wright, who had been a forgotten man after a solid second half in 2012, had his biggest game of the season on Sunday, catching four passes for 95 yards."
A nice subplot summary from the Sports Exchange:
"Vikings running back Matt Asiata -- two months removed from tragedy and until recently relegated to third string -- was one of numerous unexpected contributors who led Minnesota past the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at Mall of America Field.
"Hungry backups, including Asiata and the majority of the Minnesota secondary, led the Vikings to a 48-30 upset of the Eagles that could derail Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly's bid for the playoffs in his rookie season in the NFL.
"Asiata, a third-stringer making his first start because of injuries to Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart, tied a Vikings record with three touchdown runs. Asiata scored twice in the fourth quarter, including a short plunge with 1:08 to play as the Vikings (4-9-1) whipped the Eagles (8-6), breaking Philadelphia's five-game winning streak and putting its NFC East title hopes in peril with a big game next week against Chicago."
Closer to home, Star Tribune beat reporter Mark Craig starts with this pensive question:
"Fans aren’t the only ones wondering what might have been had Matt Cassel been the Vikings’ starting quarterback all season.
'Yeah, you wonder,' receiver Greg Jennings admitted Sunday after catching a career-high 11 passes for 163 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown, in a 48-30 upset of the Eagles at Mall of America Field."
The Star Tribune also picks up on this nugget: "Quarterback Nick Foles dropped back to pass 52 times, throwing 48 passes and getting sacked four times. Meanwhile, running back LeSean McCoy, who came in with 1,305 rushing yards and a 5.0-yard average, ran the ball only eight times while finishing second on his team in rushing yards (38) behind Foles (41)."
We'll leave the last line to the Star Tribune's Sir Sidney: "Most people had to believe there was no chance of this injury-riddled Vikings team defeating one of the hottest teams in the NFL."