DIDN’T I tell you that the Vikings were beatable? So many people saw our two game slide, looked at the Vikings 5-0 record, and then just wrote us off. I told you in April that this team has 9 wins in it. Most fans only saw 6 at the most. Still only see 6 wins?
Don’t get me wrong, this game was loaded with turnovers and miscues, and we hardly looked like a deep playoff contender. We did look like a team that you can never count out. Even in the two losses prior to this win, we never let the other team get to a point where they felt they could go on cruise control.
We took this game 21 – 10, and though it was by no means a pretty win, it still counts as a win. It also moved us from 3rd place in the NFC East, to 2nd place, with the possibility of taking over 1st place in just 5 days. I say “possibility” because if we we play next week, like we have over these last two, we will likely get blown out.
This week however, we collected 6 sacks from six different players, which in a sense, is far scarier than getting half of them from one guy. We also only gave up a touchdown in garbage time, when the game was hella out of reach.
But what about the stuff that the stats don’t reveal? That’s the reason for these “Four Things” articles. To have an idea of what needs addressing BEFORE the game, so that we’re forced to honestly answer questions AFTER the game.
So, of the Four Things we were looking for in this last game, what exactly did we see?
1) Use less 12 personnel and more 21. This didn’t happen really. The Eagles got all cute about it and put a guy in motion quite a bit, snapping the ball when he was crossing from Tackle to Tackle, but as far as committing two RB’s, nah, it didn’t happen. Funny thing though, a RB was often lined up behind the RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai‘s inside arm, as compensation for Vaitai’s inability to recover. Though the spirit was there, this was still technically NOT DONE
2) Shorten the strong-side read time. I have no idea what the Eagles were trying to do with the passing game this week. There didn’t seem to be a theme or any rhyme or reason to it. As a teen I’ve played in “sandlot” games that were better coordinated. (Then again I also coached those games. We went 7-0 and YES I’m bragging.) Simply establishing the TE would have done wonders for QB Carson Wentz in this game. Instead it was like the coaching staff hung him out to dry. NOT DONE
3) Get QB Sam Bradford running.We did a good job of flushing Bradford from the pocket a few times, and the few times when he should have ran, he was rewarded for staying in the pocket with sacks and forced fumbles. DONE
4) Don’t fall into the trap, and run the damned ball! 26 rushes to 28 pass attempts. Unlike most of the Vikings opponents, we stuck with running the ball and it didn’t allow their pass rush to get any traction. The result was ZERO sacks of Wentz, and ZERO torn jerseys. DONE
So that’s 2 of 4 things done in a week in which we struggled. Seems like we struggle less in weeks where 3 or more things get done, but “I ain’t one to gossip. So you ain’t heard that from me.” Next on the schedule we travel to Dall-ass to beat on “dat ass” while beating Dak-ass. Should be fun.