The storylines heading into Sunday’s game were clear and ever-present. Sam Bradford made his return to Lincoln Financial Field for the first time since he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings on September 3rd. After failing to knock off the Detroit Lions and the Washington Redskins in consecutive weeks, the Eagles early-season momentum had stalled and the undefeated Minnesota Vikings presented a strong challenge at an inconvenient time.
Both teams entered the game with significant offensive line issues. The Vikings offensive line have been burned by season-ending injuries, while the Eagles have had to turn to rookie right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai after Lane Johnson’s 10-game suspension for PED Usage. Vaitai allowed 2 sacks to Redskins DE Ryan Kerrigan. This prompted many questions from the media into whether Vaitai was worth the risk.
As it turns out, the Eagles defense made the Vikings offensive line look absolutely awful in a 21-10 victory. During a span of six possessions, Sam Bradford was strip-sacked four times in a span of six possessions. This led to three turnovers. Sam Bradford was hit several times in various areas.
Overall, the Eagles sacked Sam Bradford six times. The Eagles had not recorded a six-sack game in 2 years. Matt Asiata led the Vikings with just 56 rushing yards. Most of those yards were garnered on a 29-yard rushing play.
Both teams got off to a brutal start in the first quarter. The Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles turned the ball over on five consecutive series in the 1st quarter. In an NFL weekend that was mired with many examples of poorly-played football, this particular quarter may be on the top of the list.
The Eagles got on the scoreboard thanks to Josh Huff’s 98-yard kickoff return TD in the second quarter. This is the second time that Josh Huff has taken a kickoff return to the house this season.
After going into the game with 1 interception, Carson Wentz had two interceptions early on. Yet, he maintained his grit and led the Eagles to a scoring possession near the end of the first half. In the third quarter, Wentz connected with Dorial Green Beckham for a 5-yard TD pass in the third quarter.
Eagles’ defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz deserves a tremendous amount of credit for his game plan against Sam Bradford and his previously undefeated Vikings, as does new coach Doug Pederson for motivating his team for this matchup. Eagles free-safety Rodney Mcleod continued his stellar first season as he recorded a sack, interception and a forced fumble. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer ripped into his team in the postgame press conference. He called the team’s performance “embarrassing”.