The Philadelphia Eagles should have remembered their limitations before Dec. 15. The Eagles also should have been aware of history, as they faced a Minnesota Vikings franchise that upset them three Decembers ago and kicked off two years of misery. But history repeated itself yet again, as Matt Cassel became the new Joe Webb and the Eagles turned back into the rotten defensive team of old in a 48-30 defeat.
From the start, Philadelphia had no answers for a Minnesota team missing Adrian Petersen and Toby Gerhart. Presumably, not having his two top running backs should have decimated Cassel, yet he carved the Eagles apart anyway. Although the Vikings missed a field goal on their first drive, they quickly recovered with a 57-yard bomb from Cassel to Greg Jennings and rolled from there.
While the Eagles moved the ball, they kept settling for field goals instead of touchdowns in the first half. With an inaccurate Nick Foles and with LeSean McCoy virtually invisible, Philadelphia played catch-up all day. Keeping up with a Vikings team that didn't have Petersen should have been easy, yet the Eagles harkened back to the bad old days when they couldn't stop anyone.
Philadelphia fell behind by 27-9 before it got rolling, as two touchdowns and an interception brought it within 27-22. Yet when the Eagles needed a defensive stop to keep the Vikings reeling, they wound up yielding another touchdown drive anyway. From then on in, Minnesota got right back on cruise control.
The last time a disappointing Vikings team played an Eagles club with everything at stake, they won in Philadelphia on a Tuesday night in Dec. 2010. What's more, it happened the week after the Eagles' defining miracle comeback in New York -- just as this loss happened a week after a defining miracle comeback in the snow.
When the 2010 Eagles got upset by the Vikings, it doomed the Andy Reid era to a slow, painful death for the next two years. Until the Dallas Cowboys collapsed to the Green Bay Packers hours later, it looked like this upset loss would doom the Eagles towards missing the playoffs.
The 2010 Eagles didn't miss the playoffs, but their loss to the Vikings showed they wouldn't go anywhere. The 2013 Eagles are still a longshot to go anywhere in January too -- and their return to bad form in Minnesota reminded everyone why.