The undefeated streak for the purple came to a disappointing end on Sunday as the Philadelphia Eagles handed the Minnesota Vikings their first loss of the season at Lincoln Financial Field. Here is a recap of Sunday’s contest.
Sam Bradford’s worst game as a Viking
Going into this week’s matchup, all of the talk centered around Bradford’s return to Philly and the quarterback battle with Eagle’s rookie Carson Wentz. Though both quarterbacks struggled throughout, it is safe to say that Wentz came out on top as he did what he needed to do to come out with the win.
From the start of the game all the way to the end it seemed like Bradford was incapable of finding his normal rhythm that we have come to expect after the first five weeks. Unlike in week’s past, Bradford was missing throws that he normally makes in his sleep. The inaccuracy can be blamed on the awful pass-protection as he was rarely comfortable in the pocket, but some of the blame needs to lie on Bradford’s shoulders as he made some bone-headed decisions that cost the team points.
Look for Bradford to regroup and come out guns-blazing on Halloween night as the Vikings look to rebound against the Chicago Bears.
Special Teams struggled for first time all season
One of the many bright spots for the Vikings through the first five weeks was the play of their special teams as every phase had been stellar. Sunday’s contest was the polar-opposite as they gave up a kick return touchdown and muffed a punt that played a large role in the Eagles’ victory.
Prior to Sunday, punt returner Marcus Sherels seemed like a lock to be elected to the Pro Bowl after returning two punt returns for touchdowns in just five weeks, and seemingly always putting the Vikings in solid field position. That all changed on Sunday as the normally flawless Sherels muffed a punt in the latter stages of the game that essentially put the dagger on any potential Vikings comeback.
Offensive Line struggles continue
While not all of Bradford’s mistakes can be blamed on the offensive line, a large majority of them can be as the unit completely failed to keep Bradford comfortable in the pocket. Making his debut at left tackle, Jake Long was dreadful, and will need to elevate his play if he wants to stay on the field for the remainder of the season. The linemen beside him weren’t much better either as the Eagles defensive line was gaining penetration on almost every snap. Head Coach Mike Zimmer said it best after the game when he referred to the line as “soft”.
If this team wants to be a true Super Bowl contender, the offensive line will need to find a way to play cohesively.
Cordarrelle Patterson one of few bright spots in Sunday’s game
Just as he has done in every game thus far, Patterson made the most of every opportunity that he was given on special teams and offense. On punt coverage, Patterson made a brilliant play that kept the ball from landing out of bounds and pinned the Eagles inside their two-yard-line. On offense, Patterson was Bradford’s leading target and finished the game with the Vikings only touchdown.
In an absolute stinker of a game, Cordarrelle Patterson’s play is about the only positive you can glean from an otherwise disasterous Sunday contest.
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