Makeshift Vikings secondary has last laugh on Eagles

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 16, 2013 - 6:34 AM

Big rewards for Eagles are few against patched-up Vikings secondary.

Chip Kelly had the NFL’s No. 1 running attack, and its leading rusher was coming off a franchise-record 217-yard performance. And yet the Eagles coach couldn’t help himself.

He was going to throw the ball early and often against a sorely depleted Vikings secondary that included Shaun Prater, an Eagles castoff two months ago, making his NFL starting debut in only his sixth game as a pro.

Quarterback Nick Foles dropped back to pass 52 times, throwing 48 passes and getting sacked four times. Meanwhile, running back LeSean McCoy, who came in with 1,305 rushing yards and a 5.0-yard average, ran the ball only eight times while finishing second on his team in rushing yards (38) behind Foles (41).

Yes, the red-hot Foles got his yards. He threw for 428 yards and three touchdowns on 30 completions. But he also threw an interception, settled for two red-zone field goals, saw his protection break down at key moments and couldn’t overcome nine penalties for 94 yards in a 48-30 upset loss at Mall of America Field.

“We came out and tried to execute the plan [to throw the ball], but it did not work,” receiver DeSean Jackson said. “They played better than us.”

The Vikings figured to be the frustrated team at the start of the day. Even though the game marked the return of free safety Harrison Smith, starting cornerbacks Chris Cook (knee) and Xavier Rhodes (ankle) were inactive.

So when the Vikings opened in their nickel package, it included Prater, who was signed on Oct. 22; punt returner Marcus Sherels, making his fifth career start at corner; and nickel back Robert Blanton, a safety making his fourth appearance as an NFL corner.

Before long, however, the Eagles fell behind and clearly were more visibly frustrated. There were sideline theatrics after Foles floated a deep ball to Jackson at the Vikings 5-yard line early in the third quarter.

“That ball took forever to come down,” said Prater, who beat Jackson to the ball for his first career interception, one more than Cook has had in four seasons.

Television cameras caught Jackson arguing with teammates on the sideline. There was speculation that teammates were telling him he should have fought to break up the interception.

“The football family is dysfunctional at times,” Eagles receiver Jason Avant said. “Everybody is trying to be perfect and do their job. It is fun because we have learned how to make it fun. But at times it gets strenuous. Sometimes, the cameras catch that, but it was not that big a deal.”

Jackson came into the game ranked 10th in the league in receiving yards (1,080). He picked up another 195 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown, on 10 catches. But, as Prater proved, even a depleted secondary can make opponents bicker among themselves on the sideline.

“It was just part of the game with a lot of emotions involved,” Jackson said. “I cannot really discuss what happened. I am just upset that we lost the game. We felt like we should have won.”

  • related content

  • Video: Vikings defense contains McCoy, Eagles

    Monday December 16, 2013

    The Vikings defense limited Eagles running LeSean McCoy to only eight carries for 38 yards.

  • Vikings defensive backs Andrew Sendejo (34) and Jamarca Sanford (33) hustled to the ball to upend Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, who rushed for 38 yards.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 3
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 12 FINAL
Seattle - LP: E. Ramirez 4
Washington 0 Delayed
Philadelphia 0
Tampa Bay 1 Top 1st Inning
Baltimore 0
Boston 0 Top 2nd Inning
Toronto 1
NY Yankees 0 Top 1st Inning
Detroit 0
Atlanta 1 Bottom 1st Inning
NY Mets 0
Chicago Cubs 0 Top 2nd Inning
Cincinnati 0
Cleveland - C. Kluber 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi
Minnesota - P. Hughes 7:10 PM
Kansas City - L. Hendriks
Oakland - D. Pomeranz 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Peacock
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo 8:10 PM
San Diego - O. Despaigne
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw 8:40 PM
Arizona - W. Miley
Miami - H. Alvarez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - H. Santiago
Colorado - F. Morales 9:15 PM
San Francisco - T. Hudson
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:02 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
D.C. 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who would you rather have on your team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close