Eagles come unhinged in loss to lowly Vikings
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- DeSean Jackson fumed on the sidelines. Philadelphia's beleaguered secondary had its own meltdown on the field.
And the high-flying Eagles landed with a mighty thud against the short-handed Minnesota Vikings.
The Eagles' offense was stymied in the first half by Minnesota's makeshift secondary and Matt Cassel threw for 382 yards and two touchdowns to help the Vikings end Philadelphia's five-game winning streak with a 48-30 victory on Sunday.
Jackson caught a career-high 10 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown, but it was the play he couldn't make in the third quarter that grabbed the most attention. He was wide open down the sideline, but Nick Foles saw him too late and his pop-fly pass was picked off by Shaun Prater.
Cameras caught Jackson jawing at the coaching staff on the sidelines, and he had to be restrained by fellow receivers Jason Avant and Riley Cooper as the frustrations of the day boiled over.
"Frustration's part of the game. That was a big turnaround and I felt I was open," Jackson said. "Just wasn't able to get the ball and make a play like I thought was going to happen. That's neither here or there. We lost the game and that's all that matters."
Foles completed 30 of 48 passes for a career-high 428 yards with three touchdowns and the interception, but most of the production came after the Eagles (8-6) trailed 27-9 midway through the third quarter.
LeSean McCoy, the NFL's leading rusher, was held to 38 yards on just eight carries and the Eagles weren't able to take advantage of a Vikings team that was missing star running back Adrian Peterson and their top three cornerbacks.
Fresh from a big win at home in the snow over Detroit that gave them control of the NFC East over Dallas, the Eagles fell flat inside the Metrodome. They visit the Cowboys the last week of the season.
"There was a lot of frustration, honestly," Jackson said. "We just thought as a team and as an offense, we should've came out there and been able to have a lot more success than we had. That's neither here nor there. We just weren't able to get it done.
"It's very frustrating with how we've been playing the past couple weeks. We've just got to figure it out somehow, some way."
Eagles coach Chip Kelly said he didn't know why Jackson was so upset, and he went over to "try and squash it and we'll get to the bottom of it."
"Football family, it's a lot of dysfunction at times," Avant said. "Everybody's trying to be perfect and do their job. It's fun because we learn how to make it fun, but at the same time it can be strenuous on you. Sometimes tempers flare and maybe the cameras caught that, but it's no big deal at all."
Peterson missed the game with an injured ankle and his backup, Toby Gerhart, was out with a bad hamstring. But Matt Asiata rushed for the first three touchdowns of his career and Greg Jennings had a career-high 11 catches for 163 yards and a touchdown to pick up the slack for the Vikings (4-9-1).
The Eagles allowed more than 21 points in a game for the first time in 10 games and gave the Vikings plenty of help with a few costly personal foul penalties. Foles was called for a peel-back block in the first half that wiped out a touchdown run by Jackson and Cary Williams' taunting penalty in the fourth quarter set up a 5-yard TD from Cassel to Cordarrelle Patterson that essentially ended any hopes of an Eagles comeback.
"We've got to be more disciplined, for sure," McCoy said. "Today we were not disciplined enough. The type of football we play, we're smart, aggressive and we didn't do that today. We were playing sloppy, small things we shouldn't have done. We've got to keep our cool."
Foles was sacked four times, at least three of them the result of him holding the ball longer than he should have to try to give his receivers as much time as possible to get open. The Eagles had nine penalties for 94 yards.
They managed just nine points over the first 41 minutes of the game, but still were able to cut the deficit to 27-22 on a beautiful, one-handed catch by tight end Zach Ertz in the back of the end zone late in the third quarter.
But yet another short pooch kick by Alex Henery gave the Vikings the ball at their own 46 and cruised to the end zone in six plays to push the lead back to 12 points.
NOTES: Eagles CB/KR Brandon Boykin left the game with a head injury after a kick return. ... DB Kurt Coleman also left the game with a head injury. ... Avant had three catches for 40 yards and a TD. ... The Eagles were 2 for 5 in the red zone while the Vikings were 5 for 6. .... Henery kicked field goals of 35, 51 and 33 yards.
AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org