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Vikings win, expose weakness in Eagles' secondary

The Philadelphia Eagles' five-game winning streak came to an abrupt end Sunday.

Matt Cassel passed for a season-high 382 yards and two touchdowns, and the Minnesota Vikings exposed a weak Eagles secondary in a 48-30 victory.

Here's what we learned from Sunday's game:

  1. Although they have just four wins, the Vikings have been competitive in 11 of their 14 games. They have been an even tougher out with Cassel, who has all five of the team's games with 240-plus passing yards this season. He's proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be Minnesota's best quarterback, in large part because he has a major edge over Christian Ponder on intermediate and deep passes.

According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, the "current thinking" is Cassel likely will enter training camp as the starter in 2014, but in competition against a highly drafted rookie.

  1. The Eagles' secondary had shown marked improvement over the past two months after getting torched early in the season. Sunday's performance suggests that improvement was mostly the direct result of a favorable schedule against underwhelming passing attacks.

Even before cornerback Brandon Boykin (head) and safety Kurt Coleman (hamstring) were forced out, Cassel was having his way with defensive backs who didn't have to worry about stacking the box to stop Adrian Peterson. Looking a step slow all season, Greg Jennings cruised past the 100-yard mark for the first time this season, posting a career-high in receptions (11) while having the second-most yards in a game (163) of his career.

  1. Nick Foles' ball placement was off the mark early. He padded his stats in the second half as the Vikings went into prevent mode.

In addition to tossing an interception for the second consecutive game, Foles' illegal peel-back block cost DeSean Jackson an 18-yard touchdown on an end-around. Foles still managed a passer rating over 100.0 for the fifth time in his last six games. This offense remains one of the league's most effective.

  1. Filling in for Peterson and Toby Gerhart, Matt Asiata was lucky to convert three shorttouchdown runs. He showed no hint of playmaking ability, failing to break off a single run longer than 10 yards on his whopping 30 carries.
  1. Coach Chip Kelly can expect criticism for his failed fourth-and-inches attempt on his own 24-yard line late in the third quarter. It was a defensible move, though. The Eagles were down by 15 points, and it was a high-percentage play.
  1. The upset loss makes it more likely that the NFC East title will be decided when the Eaglestravel to Dallas in the season finale.

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