The Vikings might’ve found their quarterback this season. It only took 15 weeks, but Matt Cassel led a depleted squad in a 48-30 win over the Eagles at the Metrodome. They now move to 4-9-1 this year, while the Eagles fall to 8-6 with two games left.
Here’s five takeaways from Sunday’s game:
- Cassel had the best performance by a Vikings quarterback this season against the 29th ranked Eagles defense. He went 26 of 35 for 382 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. It’s the most passing yards for Cassel since Nov. 14, 2010 while with the Chiefs (469 yards against the Broncos.Cassel was perfect (9-for-9) in the first quarter for 168 yards. He has accounted for four of the five longest pass plays this season for the Vikings. Two occurred in the last two games, including a 57-yard touchdown to wide receiver Greg Jennings.
- Jennings had one of the best games in his career. And of course, it happened with Cassel at quarterback. He had a career high 11 receptions for 163 yards (four short of tying his career high) He and a touchdown. Jennings surpassed 100 yards for the first time with the Vikings, and all it took was a half. He had 114 yards at halftime.Without Josh Robinson, Xavier Rhodes and Chris Cook, the secondary limited the Eagles pass offense. Foles was not impressive in this game (surely some will blame the Sports Illustrated cover jinx) and dealt with accuracy issues. Though he threw for 417 yards, he was 29 of 47 in the game.
- Cornerback Shaun Prater recorded an interception against his former team. He started the season with the Eagles, before he was claimed on waivers by the Vikings. After the interception return, Prater flapped his hands like an eagle in celebration. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson was caught on the sideline complaining in the middle of the game. He still finished with 10 catches for 195 yards and a touchdown.
- Defensive end Jared Allen recorded two sacks, giving him nine this season. He needs just one more sack to record his seventh consecutive season with double-digit sacks. The Vikings did a good job of flushing Foles out of the pocket. At times it lead to huge runs (he finished with five carries for 41 yards), but the Vikings also recorded four sacks. Brian Robison also had two sacks. Allen also filled in as the long snapper on a punt in the fourth quarter. Cullen Loeffler suffered a hand injury and Allen had a snap on special teams. Punter Jeff Locke placed the punt inside the 10-yard line.
- The Eagles hardly used running back LeSean McCoy, who led the NFL in rushing yards entering the game. He had just eight carries for 31 yards and five catches for 68 yards. Surprisingly, he had fewer touches than running back Matt Asiata, who filled in due to injuries to Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart, had carries. He finished with 30 carries for 51 yards and three touchdowns.