The Vikings bounced back from back-to-back losses with a tough road win over the Eagles Sunday afternoon.
Jeremy Bergman delved into the contest for NFL.com's "What We Learned" roundtable article for Week 5. In his writeup, Bergman said that Minnesota's win was "thanks to a brilliant afternoon from Kirk Cousins and a ruthless Vikings front seven." Bergman wrote:
Cousins played worth his pay-stub against the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles (2-3), completing 81 percent of his passes for 301 yards and a score, the second straight game against a reigning division champion and highly regarded defense in which the Vikings QB has lit up the stat sheet and made his receivers better.
Bergman pointed out that Cousins became the first NFL player to record 30-plus completions in four consecutive games.
Bergman also praised the Vikings defensive line, which performed well despite being without defensive ends Everson Griffen and Tashawn Bower.
The Vikings quick pass rush, led by Linval Joseph and Danielle Hunter, sacked Carson Wentz thrice and forced him into uncomfortable pockets and throws early on. The turning point of the game came in the second quarter just after Dan Bailey missed his second field goal of the night and Philly was driving to take the lead. Stephen Weatherly, Griffen's replacement at defensive end, burst past Lane Johnson to strip sack Wentz near midfield, and Joseph, all 329 pounds of him, took the fumble 64 yards to the house, giving Minnesota a lead it would not relinquish.
Additional takeaways from Bergman included the lack of an "aggressive vertical attack" by the Eagles and a record-setting performance by Vikings WR Adam Thielen, who passed Hall of Famer Randy Moss for the most receiving yards through five games in franchise history.
Alan Page continues tradition in honor of late wife
Every year, Diane Sims-Page, wife of Vikings Hall of Famer Alan Page, organized a watch party and group of supporters for the Twin Cities Marathon.
Page carried on that tradition Sunday, despite Diane's recent passing.
Just like every year, Page stood outside of his house cheering on all of the runners and playing his tuba. He acknowledged the pain that accompanied continuing the tradition without his beloved wife but knew it was important to do so.
WCCO spoke with Page, who said that it was "wasn't the same" without Diane.
"Hopefully, we can cheer the runners along, they can have a good time, those of us who remember Diane can remember her," Page said. "In a sense, she's here. In her spirit. She's a part of all of us, so we are carrying on the tradition. It reminds me of what this is all about. Diane is about lifting people up. And she loved being out here to encourage the runners. She loved encouraging people.
"She was just, as I said earlier, she was remarkable. It means a lot, because in the end, they are a part of who we are," Page added. "And to have those people concerned about me, concerned about her, it's pretty special. It's raw, it's hard, but she wouldn't have it any other way. She made a huge impact. We've done this for 20-plus years. This this the first one she missed. It was important, and is important that we carry on."
Thielen called 'magician' by Pro Football Focus
In its new weekly article called "Re-Focused," analytics site Pro Football Focus looks at key players from each of the NFL's games.
The PFF analysis team first highlighted Cousins, whom they called "lights-out under pressure once again." They also looked at Thielen and nose tackle Linval Joseph, who rumbled 64 yards to the end zone after snagging a Carson Wentz fumble.
Adam Thielen is a magician. He hauled in seven of his 10 targets for 116 yards and made multiple extremely difficult catches look commonplace.
Linval Joseph had himself a day. He had a sack, a hurry and a run stop, but the highlight was a huge fumble returned for a touchdown.
In the end, though, PFF said it was "the Vikings offensive trio of Cousins/[Stefon] Diggs/Thielen was once again the driving force in the victory."