As the last team in the NFL to lose this season, the Minnesota Vikings had played well enough to keep their weaknesses mostly hidden.
Their post-bye trip to Philadelphia was not only a performance failure, but an exposure of their flaws.
Pass blocking was the biggest problem in a 21-10 defeat by the Eagles on Sunday afternoon, as Sam Bradford lost two of his four fumbles and threw an interception behind a leaky patchwork line that didn’t get much help from the rest of the offense but was thoroughly outplayed by their opponents.
Bradford took six sacks and was hit 12 times by his former team that used insider knowledge toward a crafty strategy by defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz that called for a well-disguised series of blitzes out of zone coverages.
The Vikings (5-1) had no trouble admitting defeat in by far their worst game of the season. They weren’t quite willing to acknowledge being outsmarted.
Coach Mike Zimmer lit into his team, particularly the offensive line, in blunt, stern postgame remarks that garnered plenty of national attention.
Zimmer, recalling the lopsided loss in last year’s opener at San Francisco, still isn’t worried, however about his team’s ability to bounce back.
The Vikings play at Chicago on Monday night, giving them an extra day to address the deficiencies and mistakes.