By now, everyone knows the basic numbers that haunted the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night. D’Andre Swift had 6.3 yards per carry. The Philadelphia Eagles ran for 259 yards, and dominated time of possession 39:28 to 20:32. The Vikings have seven turnovers in their last eight quarters. And, ultimately, the most important numbers: Eagles 34, Vikings 28.
0-2 teams make the playoffs fewer than 10 percent of the time, and the Vikings face the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs in two of the next three weeks.
Unfortunately, a deep dive into the numbers isn’t going to make anyone feel any better about Thursday night’s loss in Philadelphia. The Eagles dominated the line of scrimmage, constantly winning the war in the trenches. And once Theo Jackson’s interception forced Nick Sirianni to move away from the pass, Minnesota was helpless against Philadelphia’s rushing attack.
Below are five key numbers from Minnesota’s loss at Lincoln Financial Field. Proceed with caution.
It’s hard to have too much issue with the defense’s first-half performance. However, the Eagles had 11 rushing first downs in the first half of the biggest total in the last 30 years in team history. Was this a matter of matchup? Or are the Vikings putting things on tape that will help opponents in the future?
We’ll have to wait ten days to find out. But even with Brian Flores’ sophisticated defense, it’s hard to win games if you can’t stop the run.
Speaking of rushing, Philadelphia native D’Andre Swift was the star of the night and dominated. Everyone knows the obvious numbers 175 yards on 28 carries and a touchdown. But more concerning is 133 of his yards were before contact. Philly’s O-line was creating gaps for him that a lesser player could have taken advantage of.
The Eagles got Swift and a seventh-round pick for a seventh-rounder and a future fourth. Feels like they’d make that trade again.
For the No. 1 dumbest rule in football. The touchback rule. The entire game changed on Justin Jefferson’s fumble through the end zone based upon a rule that makes, in our opinion, absolutely no sense. A completely unreasonable punishment.
Kevin O’Connell stressed that he asks his players not to reach for the pylon unless it’s fourth down. But, still, a turnover and the opponent starts at the 20-yard line? That’s pretty tough.
The Eagles converted a 61-yard field goal 34 seconds later to take a 13-7 lead into halftime.
It was another loss and another week full of turnovers, but it was also another week where Jefferson set another ridiculous mark. He got 159 yards putting him at 5,134 for his career and trying him with Hall of Famer Lance Alworth for the fewest games needed to reach 5,000 career receiving yards with 52.
Jefferson and Randy Moss are the only players in NFL history with 5,000+ receiving yards by age 25. Calvin Johnson’s 1964 yards in a season has to be in play for Jefferson, right?
That’s how many plays the Vikings ran on Thursday night. Philadelphia ran 75 while dominating time of possession. Not only were the Eagles racking up yards on the ground, but they were keeping the ball out of Jefferson and Jordan Addison’s hands.
It created a vicious cycle. The defense stayed on the field for long periods of time, which created fatigue. In turn, making it easier for Philadelphia’s run game to churn out yards.