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Eagles' Rally Falls Short In 23-21 Loss To Vikings

In a game marred by missed opportunities, the Eagles fell to the Minnesota Vikings, 23-21, Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

Quarterback Carson Wentz completed 24 of 35 passes for 311 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions, but lost a costly fumble that resulted in a touchdown for the visitors, ending a productive Eagles drive in the process.

Tight end Zach Ertz led the way receiving with 10 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown. No Eagles running back gained more than 30 yards on the ground, but Wendell Smallwood added 44 receiving yards on three receptions and a key touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.

The Vikings received the opening kickoff and methodically drove 65 yards in 11 plays. The defense bent but did not break and forced Vikings kicker Dan Bailey to attempt a 28-yard field goal. Unfortunately for the Vikings, Bailey missed.

The Eagles took over at their own 20-yard line, but went three-and-out.

The Vikings took over at midfield and quickly moved inside the Eagles' 25-yard line, helped by a 24-yard pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins to wide receiver Stefon Diggs.

The Eagles' defense forced the Vikings to attempt another field goal, which Bailey made good on from 37 yards out, giving the Vikings a 3-0 lead with 5:02 left in the first quarter.

The Eagles went three-and-out once again after failing to convert on third-and-short. A 57-yard punt by Cameron Johnston flipped the field and set the Vikings up at their own 10-yard line.

The Eagles were able to thwart the Vikings' offense again and get the ball back to the offense at their own 33-yard line.

Wentz went to the air right away and wide receiver Shelton Gibson came down with an acrobatic 48-yard catch. The Eagles' drive stalled, but Jake Elliott hit a 30-yard field goal to tie the game at 3-3 with 12:24 left in the second.

The Vikings again moved the ball well on their next drive, spurred by a 20-yard run by Diggs. But they had to settle for a 45-yard field goal attempt from Bailey, who missed for the second time, as it went wide right.

On the ensuing Eagles possession, they quickly moved the ball into Minnesota territory, but on first-and-10 at the 31, Wentz was stripped of the football from behind and the ball fell into the hands of Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph, who took the ball 64 yards the other way for a touchdown, giving the Vikings a 10-3 lead with 4:12 left in the second quarter. Stephen Weatherly beat Lane Johnson on the strip-sack.

Two false start penalties derailed the Eagles' next drive in three plays and the Vikings took over at their own 44 with 2:56 to play in the half. It didn't take long for the Vikings to move into Eagles territory.

Two plays after Michael Bennett was penalized for roughing the passer, a controversial call as Bennett was blocked into the quarterback by tight end Kyle Rudolph, Cousins found Diggs for a 3-yard touchdown, making the score 17-3 in favor of the visitors heading into intermission.

The Eagles' offense moved the ball efficiently to start the second half and converted on two third downs on their way into the red zone, but a Jay Ajayi fumble derailed yet another productive Eagles drive. The Vikings quickly pounced on the ball and took over at their own 5.

It was the first Eagles trip to the red zone all season without points.

It took one play for the Vikings to get out of their hole, as Cousins found wide receiver Adam Thielen for 68 yards. The Vikings got to the goal line with a 25-yard pass to Diggs but the Eagles' defense held strong and forced a 22-yard field goal, increasing the Vikings' lead to 20-3 with 7:32 left in the third.

The Eagles responded with an eight-play, 67-yard drive that ended with a 28-yard Elliott field goal to make the score 20-6 with 2:57 left in the third. The defense got the stop it needed in three plays and gave the offense the ball back with less than a minute to go in the third.

The Eagles moved down the field with big completions to Ertz, Nelson Agholor, and Alshon Jeffery, who came up with a clutch reception on fourth down.

Two plays after Jeffery's big catch, Smallwood hauled in a 12-yard touchdown pass from Wentz. Smallwood also converted the two-point conversion to pull the Eagles within six, 20-14, with 12:05 left in the fourth.

Facing deafening noise, the Vikings got a first down with a pass to Diggs. But two plays later, a backwards pass was dropped and recovered as a fumble by Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham.

However, the Eagles could not capitalize on the score, as penalties pushed them back and forced a punt.

Starting at their own 11 with 9:11 to play, the Vikings used short passes to elude pressure and move the ball into Eagles territory and eventually increased their lead to 23-14 thanks to Bailey 52-yard field goal with 2:47 to play.

The Eagles used the space the Vikings defense gave them to move the ball down the field. With 1:09 remaining, Wentz found Ertz for a 7-yard touchdown to make the score 23-21. With no timeouts, the game came down to an onside kick. Elliott's kick was bobbled by Thielen, but he managed to regain possession.

From there, the Vikings drained the clock and dropped the Eagles to 2-3 on the season. It is the first time since 2016 the Eagles have lost back-to-back games and have been below .500.

The Eagles do not have much time to evaluate what went wrong against Minnesota, as they are right back on the field Thursday night against the New York Giants.

Take a look at the best photos from the Eagles' Week 5 game against the Minnesota Vikings.

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