MINNEAPOLIS –The Minnesota Vikings gave the Eagles everthing they could handle in the first quarter of Sunday's game at Mall Of America Field, leading the Eagles 7-3 after one quarter.
Even without running backs Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart, the Vikings had success moving the football in the opening 15 minutes.
Minnesota opened the game with an impressive drive, using a combination of short passes and straight-ahead runs by Matt Asiata to move into scoring position. A couple of first downs led to a Matt Cassel 18-yard completion to tight end Chase Ford, and all of a sudden Minnesota was at the Philadelphia 32-yard line.
On a third-and-13 play, Cassel was forced out of the pocket and lost a yard – Connor Barwin was credited with the quarterback sack -- and Minnesota's Blair Walsh missed a 55-yard field goal, wide left.
Philadelphia's offense had a three-and-out series – a completion to Riley Cooper lost a yard, a LeSean McCoy run gained a yard and a Nick Foles pass to Zach Ertz was incomplete – and Minnesota went back on the attack.
This time, the Vikings put the ball in the end zone.
After a Donnie Jones punt backed Minnesota up to its 9-yard line, the Vikings came out firing. Cassel completed a 26-yard pass to Jarius Wright and then a couple of plays later Cassel stepped away from pressure and went deep to Greg Jennings, who got behind three Eagles defenders, including safeties Nate Allen and Patrick Chung, for 57 yards and a touchdown.
McCoy ran for 16 yards on the first play from scrimmage the next time the Eagles had the ball and a Foles run gained 21 yards on third and 11 to get the offense moving. Foles went to McCoy for 24 yards on a screen to move into scoring territory, but the drive stalled and Alex Henery came in for a 35-yard field goal to cap the 9-play, 63-yard drive.
But Cassel came right back on the next possession, firing a 22-yard completion to Jennings to give the Vikings a first down at the Philadelphia 40-yard line. Cassel opened the game 9 of 9 passing for 168 yards and a touchdown.
The quarter ended with Minnesota facing a second and 7 at the Eagles 17-yard line.