No heart sends Vikings to first loss v. Eagles

That was ugly.

Terrible offensive line play. Terrible quarterback play. Terrible defensive line play. And terrible special teams play.

I never expected the Vikings to go 16-0, but when you lose a game because you didn't put forth the effort, that's discouraging. Football is a physical and violent sport, and a lack of heart can be seen from a mile away. Especially in the trenches, where you either beat your guy, or you get beat.

The Vikings offensive line is decimated, but the guys who are playing are still professionals- good enough to be playing in the NFL- and to get beat up like they did on Sunday was embarrassing to watch. Hopefully, they're embarrassed, too, because if that's a sign of things to come, this once-promising season could go south in a hurry.

But not all the blame should be directed at the O-line. When Sam Bradford did have time to throw, which wasn't often, he was off, missing wide-open receivers (Charles Johnson down the sideline comes to mind, along with a bad miss to an open Diggs), and throwing uncharacteristic interceptions that gave the momentum right back to the Eagles- after the defense had seized it with picks of their own.

The short yardage run game is an obvious concern. If you need two inches for a first down, I'm thinking it shouldn't be a problem, which it obviously is. Not sure if all the blame is on the O-line for the lack of execution, but with Matt Asiata, you should be able to convert 3rd & 4th and shorts.

Defensively, the aggressiveness from the d-line was absent. After getting abused a week ago by the Redskins, the Eagles offensive line neutralized a Vikings front seven that had been dominant in the previous 5 games. No pass rush, at all for the Vikings. That was surprising against an average-at-best Eagles O-line.

As a whole, the defense did what they needed to do, only giving up 13 points, but Carson Wentz never seemed flustered, and was always getting rid of the football with time to spare. For the front seven, this game was a step backward.

It's only one game, and it feels a lot easier to lose this way than to have played your best, yet still lose. And kudos to Philly's defense. They played like the Vikings defense usually does.

Either way, the 5-0 Vikings were covering weaknesses by winning, while the 5-1 Vikings are now obligated to look in the mirror.

With some poor performances across the board Sunday, maybe this loss is exactly what they needed.


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