5 things to know after Eagles fall to Vikes 48-30

The Philadelphia Eagles had a lot to feel good about this week –

and even more to play for.

In the end, the Minnesota Vikings looked more like the team that

was soaring toward the playoffs.

Matt Cassel passed for two touchdowns and 382 yards, the most by

a Vikings quarterback in three seasons, and ran for another score

Sunday in a 48-30 victory that snapped the Eagles five-game winning

streak.

With Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart out, third-stringer Matt

Asiata rushed for his first three career touchdowns. Greg Jennings

caught a career-high 11 passes for 163 yards and a score, and the

injury-depleted Vikings (4-9-1) produced their highest point total

in 15 years in a game without their top two running backs, top two

tight ends and top three cornerbacks.

”I knew early in the week that we matched up well with this

team,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said.

The Eagles (8-6) thought the same.

Fresh from a decisive win at home over Detroit that gave them

control of the NFC East, they fell flat. Nick Foles threw for a

career-high 428 yards and three touchdowns, including one to DeSean

Jackson, who had 10 catches for 195 yards. Foles took four sacks,

though, and the Eagles had nine penalties for 94 yards.

”We need to stick together,” coach Chip Kelly said. ”That’s

what we did when we were 3-5, and that’s what we’ll continue to

do.”

Here are five things to know about Sunday’s game:

A LITTLE HELP: Some solace came for the Eagles long after they

departed the stadium, when Dallas wasted a 26-3 halftime lead at

home and lost to Green Bay. The Eagles must still finish the season

on the road against the Cowboys, but they kept their one-game lead

in the division with two games to go. Philadelphia hosts Chicago

next week, and Dallas plays at Washington.

PRIME POSITION: The Eagles kept all six of their kickoffs away

from Cordarrelle Patterson, the league leader in average yards per

return and with two touchdowns, but the Vikings benefited from Alex

Henery’s short, high deliveries. Their average starting spot was

their own 39-yard line.

After Zach Ertz’s touchdown catch pulled the Eagles within 27-22

late in the third quarter, Chase Ford caught a pop-up kickoff at

the 31 and took it to the 46. The Vikings reached the end zone in

six plays to push their lead back to 12 points.

Patterson ran twice for 15 yards, moving the chains on each

carry during a touchdown drive in the second quarter. He also

caught five passes for 35 yards and a score, his fourth on offense

in the last six games.

TIME TO SHINE: The backups came up big for the Vikings. Asiata

became the first player in the league since Daunte Culpepper in

2000 to rush for three touchdowns in his first NFL start. He only

totaled 51 yards on 30 carries, but helped the Vikings control the

clock. Culpepper was in attendance as part of the team’s

celebration of the best players in the Metrodome era of the last 32

seasons.

For Asiata, though, this was bittersweet. His father, a tour bus

driver in Utah, was killed in October in a crash with a utility

truck.

”I miss him, and I wish he was here,” said Asiata, an

undrafted overachiever who was out of the league in 2011 before

sticking with the Vikings last year.

Shaun Prater, who was let go two months ago by the Eagles, also

had an interception at the 5-yard line in the third quarter. Ford,

a tight end who was on the practice squad the first six weeks of

the season, had two catches for 55 yards.

MISSED CHANCE: Prater picked off Foles, who has 23 touchdowns

and just two interceptions in 266 attempts this year, with the

Vikings leading 24-9. The pass was intended for Jackson, who was

seen on the sideline shouting at coaches and teammates.

”Great route. Great play call. I felt I was open. I guess Nick

wasn’t able to see it right away,” Jackson said, adding: ”We play

this game with a lot of emotions. It’s just one of those things

that happened.”

QUIET MCCOY: The Eagles only handed the ball off to McCoy eight

times, and the league rushing leader gained 38 yards. He caught

five passes for 68 yards, too, but this was quite the meager output

coming off his career-high 217 yards rushing in the snow last

week.

”I’m more frustrated about the loss. We prepared so well for

this team, and we know how much we needed a win to control our own

destiny,” McCoy said. ”To come up short, we can only be angry at

ourselves.”

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org

Dave Campbell on Twitter:

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