Cousins, defense lead Vikings over Eagles 23-21 | Bowling

Eagles-Vikings Pre-game stats that matter | Paul Domowitch

Cousins praised offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, who was Philadelphia's quarterbacks coach the past two seasons.

For all the bad that happened in this game, the Eagles still had an opportunity to win. But Wentz was called for intentional grounding and coach Doug Pederson elected not to let Jake Elliott try a 58-yarder. It seems like we're trying to move on and move past, but we kind of keep getting compared to last season. "All those things we talk about from day in OTAs (organized team activities), we're not doing".

Two takeaways were pivotal by the Vikings. For whatever reason, the team isn't committing to the run the way they should. Midway through the third quarter, defensive teammates Fletcher Cox and Jalen Mills had a heated exchange.

After acquiring the running back from the Miami Dolphins in the middle of last season, Ajayi ended up being a key piece on offense for Philadelphia during their epic Super Bowl run, and was arguably the top player in the backfield on the current roster. Defensive tackle Linval Joseph scooped up the football and took it to the end zone for a 64-yard touchdown return. Quarterback Carson Wentz, who led the National Football League in third-down passing past year, completed just three of seven third-down passes for 40 yards and one sack. On first-and-goal at the Vikings 6, linebacker Eric Kendricks stripped running back Jay Ajayi and recovered the fumble at the 5. Nigel Bradham recovered the fumble at the Vikings' 30. Vikings backs also averaged a pedestrian 3.2 yards per carry. The Birds committed two penalties.

"I was proud of the offensive line for only allowing one sack today", Cousins said. But an illegal formation penalty negated the play. If the Redskins lose tonight the Eagles will be just a half game out of first place.

"We need those guys", Pederson said.

To seal the victory, the Vikings relied on the play of their special teams, which has gone through its own set of growing pains this season after releasing rookie kicker Daniel Carlson following the Green Bay game. "Maybe there were some runs I'd like to get back, but I think I did my part in helping this team win".

The Vikings recaptured the spirit of what makes this team so good; why they haven't been counted out in the NFC picture despite going through a host of ups and downs during the most hard stretch on their schedule.

Or in other words, the only offense more inconsistent than their own right now.

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