After the Philadelphia Eagles lost 52-20 to the Denver Broncos way back in Week 4, defensive coordinator Bill Davis asked reporters and fans to trust him. What will he have for us this week after Matt Cassel threw for 378 yards in the Minnesota Vikings’ 48-30 upset on Sunday?
In one horrifying afternoon, there went all of the good faith that Davis had built up over the previous nine weeks, which is how long the Eagles had gone without allowing more than 21 points to an opponent. On Sunday, they surrendered more than twice that amount to a Vikings offense without its best player and led by a journeyman quarterback no less.
In many ways, this was worse than the Broncos debacle. Technically, the Philly defense only allowed 38 in Denver—two touchdowns were on special teams. Plus, that was Peyton Manning and this is Cassel, not to mention Minnesota was without reigning NFL MVP Adrian Peterson in the backfield.
It didn’t matter. Cassel picked apart the Eagles secondary with ease, completing 74.3 percent of his passes for 10.9 yards per attempt. He threw two touchdowns and ran in another. This was the same Cassel who committed 19 turnovers in nine games for the Kansas City Chiefs last season.
Davis will talk to reporters this week, but The Philadelphia Inquirer beat writer Zach Berman managed to track him down for a brief word after the game. Via Berman’s Twitter account, Davis offered, “I said we’re going to find out how we are being the favorites and how we respond to that. And we didn’t respond to it.”
That’s for sure. Where the defense goes from here is anybody’s guess—that was some scary stuff out there. If Davis doesn’t figure it out prior to next week’s showdown with the Bears in Chicago—where the Eagles will face a pair of dangerous wide receivers in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey—this team might find itself slipping out of the playoff picture.
Of course, a lot more had to go wrong than that in order for the Birds to lose by 18. Can they get everything cleaned up in time for the Bears? We examine the issues and more in this week’s takeaways.