No one is more surprised that the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Minnesota Vikings than well … basically the whole NFL. When the game’s best running back and his backup are both hurt, it can be safe to assume that the team they play for will not have a chance to win the game.
However, even without those two running backs, Matt Cassel played very well and led the Vikings to their fourth win on the season by throwing for 382 yards, two touchdowns and completing 26 of 34 passes. Cassel also added a rushing touchdown on the day, giving the Vikings four in the game.
The amount of production that came out of the Vikings’ backfield today was absolutely astounding, especially with how well Mike Asiata ran the ball. On paper, his stats may not look like much, but when any player scores three touchdowns in a game, it raises a few eyebrows. Minnesota pounded the ball 30 times with Asiata, resulting in three touchdowns and 51 rushing yards.
It does not take a NFL genius to realize that the Vikings are not going to the playoffs, I am sorry to break all of your hearts out there, Vikings fans. With their performance today, it begs one simple question: where was this group of talented players earlier in the season? Greg Jennings recorded one of the best games of his career as he caught 11 passes for 163 yards and one touchdown. This was the first time all season the he had gone over 100 yards receiving.
During today’s game, Jennings did everything and more that Vikings fans have been wanting him to all season.
The obvious statement must be said though: “If you never throw him the ball, how is he suppose to produce numbers?” It is true that every Vikings fan was probably shouting the same thing all season long at their TVs. We know what Jennings is capable of doing, so why wait until the very end of the season to finally let him perform how he is capable of? It does not make sense, but hopefully Cassel will be able to get the ball to Jennings more during the final two games of the season.
Head coach Leslie Frazier is faced with an interesting decision as the team moves into the final games of the 2013 season. Should he sit AP for the remaining two games, allowing him to fully heal and begin his rehab process now? Especially when the season is all but gone, and the Vikings really have nothing to play for?
Minnesota could then focus on giving Gerhart and Asiata more carries and valuable game experience. Rumors are already circulating that Gerhart will be moving on to another team come next season, so this could be his way of showing what he is capable of doing for a full game or two.
Asiata has seen just small flashes on the field before today as he came into this game with just 68 rushing yards and one touchdown. The amount of experience that he gained from playing today was tremendous and will help provide a foundation for the rest of his career.