• While the Vikings were handed their first loss of the season by the Eagles last week, and coach Mike Zimmer has been very critical of the team, three players had good days: cornerback Xavier Rhodes was responsible for two of Philadelphia’s four turnovers; wide receiver and kickoff man Cordarrelle Peterson hauled in seven passes for 67 yards and downed a Jeff Locke punt on the Eagles 2-yard line; and Locke kicked two of his four punts inside the Eagles 20-yards line.
• Las Vegas oddsmakers had the Patriots at 3-1 last week to make the Super Bowl, and they are 11-4 this week. The Vikings were 7-1 last week to make the big game, and after the loss at Philadelphia they dropped only to 9-1. The Packers were 12-1 last week and improved slightly to 11-1. The Vikings were 4-9 favorites to win the NFC North before dropping to 2-3 after the loss to the Eagles.
• The announced attendance for the first five Gophers football games at TCF Bank Stadium last year went: TCU 54,147, Kent State 52,823, Ohio 53,917, Nebraska 54,062 and Michigan 50,709. The announced attendance for this year’s first five games went: Oregon State 44,582, Indiana State 41,026, Colorado State 44,584, Iowa 49,145 and Rutgers 46,096. True, the schedule was more attractive last year, with TCU a top opponent and Nebraska and Michigan also coming to the Twin Cities. One other fact is that with the Vikings no longer using the stadium, the temporary bleachers were removed, and the total number of seats there is now 50,805 instead of the 52,525 last season.
• East Carolina is 3-5 after beating UConn 41-3 at home on Saturday. Former Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson continues to have a very good season for the Pirates. He has thrown for 2,377 yards, completing 68.5 percent of his passes with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. He entered Saturday ranking 16th in the nation in passing yards.