The game is the second-last NFL game that will be played at the Metrodome in Minneapolis as preparations have already begun for the new stadium and the demolition will start on January 18, according to Minnesota Vikings Director of Communications, Jeff Anderson.
The Vikings had deactivated both starting running backs (Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart) as well as both starting cornerbacks (Chris Cook and Xavier Rhodes) due to injury. Because of this, going into the game, the Vikings were not being given much of a chance against a surging Eagles team with a hot quarterback and potent Chip Kelly offense.
The Vikings struck first when quarterback Matt Cassell hit receiver Greg Jennings for a 57 yard pass to put the Vikings up 7-0. The Eagles and Vikings traded field goals, two for Philadelphia and one for Minnesota. Matt Asiata punched in a one yard run to score with 7:49 left in the half to make Minnesota’s lead 17-6. Philadelphia’s Alex Henery kicked a field goal as time expired in the half to bring the halftime score to 17-9.
The two teams combined to score 52 points in the second half. Vikings’ quarterback Matt Cassell kicked off the scoring three minutes into the second half when he caught the defense flat footed and sprinted, untouched, into the end zone from the six yard line. Asiata also picked up two touchdowns and was joined by Cordarrelle Patterson in scoring in the second half. Blaire Walsh picked up a field goal and four extra points.
The Eagles scored 21, but the Minnesota Vikings’ offense was just too much for the Eagles’ defense and the Vikings’ defense stepped up their play significantly. All this in spite of being without their most potent offensive weapon, Adrian Peterson and their two starting cornerbacks, Xavier Rhodes and Chris Cook, the Vikings’ reserves and backups stepped it up significantly.
Also performing admirably for the Vikings was Shaun Prater who, playing in his first-ever start, gave Eagle’s quarterback Nick Fowles just his second interception of the year.
For the Vikings, their fourth win of the year came in week 14 of 16. With only three games left in the regular season and just four wins the Vikings’ playoff hopes are over (the Bears have eight wins so far and the Vikings cannot catch them) but the team is playing their best football of the season.
The Vikings travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals next week before returning to Mall of America Field to close the Metrodome era against the Detroit Lions on December 29, 2013. Stay tuned to The Minnesota Sports Report for more news and photos from the final game at Mall of America Field.