Eagles confident rookie DE Josh Sweat can make an impact filling in for Derek Barnett
12 October, 2018, 07:18
The game had entered the fourth quarter when Wendell Smallwood caught a touchdown pass from Carson Wentz, pulling the Eagles within eight points. He's a huge upgrade from Case Keenum, who has already matched his interception total (seven) with the Broncos this season than he had with the Vikings last season. Through those five games, he has caught the ball 47 times for 589 yards and 3 touchdowns. It can be as simple as not taking an 8-yard sack on first-and-10 from the Vikings' 15-yard line, as he did in the third quarter, on a drive that ended in a field goal when the Eagles could have used a touchdown.
While the Vikings would love to not throw the ball as much and get their running game going, it certainly helps when you have a quarterback like Cousins when the run game isn't working. Unlike back in January when the Eagles routed the Vikings 38-7 on their way to Super Bowl 52.
"Its unfortunate. Those are things where we have to take a real hard look in the mirror", Wentz said after the game. "I think the message was heard and received, but it was very important this week because of the nature of getting out with a lead and then making sure we stayed the course and finished".
"With the offensive line that we have on this team, running the ball like that, that doesn't make sense to me". "We're just doing a lot of things we don't normally do that you don't see out of a championship team".
When Minnesota needed a big defensive stop late in the game when its offense gave the Eagles unfavorable field position after Cousins fumbled while throwing laterally (it was ruled a backwards pass), the Vikings re-ignited their pass rush. That's when Latavius Murray notched 27 of the drive's 55 yards. Kirk Cousins completed 30 of 37 passes for 301 yards and a touchdown.
The Eagles haven't scored more than 23 points in the first five games. The 2-3 Eagles meet the 1-4 Giants who lost Sunday on a 63-yard Field Goal by the Graham Gano of the Carolina Panthers. "But we believed that, so we just did what we did".
"Credit to Coach Flip for being aggressive as a play caller, giving us a chance", Cousins said. "At the same time, we have to be accountable". The first half could have been far worse if not for two missed Dan Bailey field goal attempts. But they failed to recover an onside kick.