Eagles defense struggles to contain Matt Cassel, Vikings receivers

Matt Cassel Matt Cassel threw for his most yardage since Nov. 14, 2010 when he was with Kansas City.
Credit: Getty Images

When head coach Chip Kelly was hired to lead the organization in January it garnered front-page headlines across the country. The same can’t be said for defensive coordinator Billy Davis when he was hired a month later.

With Kelly basking in the glow of his offense the past five weeks, Davis again flew under the radar.

Not anymore.

Davis’ defense allowed an astonishing 48 points and 455 yards of total offense in Sunday’s 18-point loss at Minnesota.

“I wish I had an answer right now,” Davis said. “I’ve got to watch the tape, but we just weren’t playing tight enough coverage. That’s attached to the rush too. It’s all attached together. It’s not just the coverage giving up plays. It’s the rush that has to get there. Collectively as a defense, we came up really short today.”

The secondary was picked on all game long by backup quarterback Matt Cassel. The Vikings QB finished 26-of-35 for 382 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions.

“I felt like we had the intensity but we didn’t make the plays. It’s as simple as that. We’ve gotta make plays,” Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. “It has to be washed away in the next week. We have to put this behind us and move forward. If anything we take out of it, it can be a good humbling experience and know that we still got to work and do those little things that got us on that winning streak.”

The defense wouldn’t blame a letdown in expectations — with running backs Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart and quarterback Christian Ponder out due to injury — for their poor performance.

“I don’t think anybody let down,” Ryans said. “I see it as we just didn’t execute. … It doesn’t matter who’s playing, we still have to go out and execute.”

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