1. Cousins shines under pressure again
It’s become a common theme to see Kirk Cousins make throws with defenders in his face this season, and while the Vikings would like to have the quarterback taking fewer hits than the 11 he absorbed on Sunday, he is proving he can deliver when he is under fire. According to Pro Football Focus, Cousins was pressured on 43.9 percent of his dropbacks, against the Eagles, completing 13 of his 16 passes for 179 yards and a TD. That was good for a 134.1 passer rating when he was pressured.
2. Tripped up on red zone trips
The Vikings reached the red zone four times Sunday, but came away with only one touchdown, when Cousins hit Adam Thielen for a 3-yard score before halftime. They had to settle for two short field goals, and Dan Bailey missed a third attempt. Had the Vikings been able to convert one more drive into a touchdown, they might have been able to put the game out of reach before the Eagles had a chance to come back. As it is, they’ll likely be working to improve their red zone efficiency this week.
3. Nickel gives Zimmer more creativity
The Vikings have been in the nickel package almost exclusively in their past two games, when the Eagles and Rams have spread them out and linebacker Ben Gedeon — who ordinarily plays in the base defense — has logged only seven snaps in the two games combined. The package has required the Vikings to make some adjustments on the fly, using safeties Jayron Kearse and George Iloka on Sunday with Mike Hughes starting at left cornerback, but coach Mike Zimmer hinted he might prefer the heavy nickel usage, in some ways. “I kind of like it more, honestly,” Zimmer said. “I can get a lot more creative with a lot things we can do when we’re in the nickel stuff than we do in the base stuff.”