Are the Vikings, Eagles bonafide Super Bowl contenders?
In week 10, the Eagles lost their unbeaten record while the Vikings upset the Bills but which team is more likely to contend come the playoffs?
VOCH LOMBARDI: What's up, y'all? It's Voch Lombardi. Watch every second of the NFL season when and where you want it only on The Zone.
So I learned two lessons from last week's action. We'll start here. First of all, the Philadelphia Eagles took a loss to the Washington Football Wizards. They're the Commanders, I just refuse to say Commanders, but the football Wizards, right?
The Eagles took a loss to them on Monday Night Football, but I don't want to be overexcited, I don't want to be super hyperbolic about this thing. Oh, well we finally have the recipe to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles. And if you do XYZ, this is what will happen to you. I don't think that's the actual case. I think sometimes these games get kind of weird.
We're in the same division and we know each other and sometimes the lesser teams can step up to that. And then there's the idea that, hey, we're the big, bad Philadelphia Eagles. We could be playing down to our competition. It could be the idea that if you keep winning, at some point you're just going to lose, right?
And I don't know if that's real numbers or science or math or anything, but the more you win, the more chance you have to lose. I'm just superstitious in that way and I just believe that the league is very close in terms of talent. But when you have just a little bit, you just kind of stray away. Like if you're the Eagles and you have a little more talent than everybody else, then yes, you can separate yourself.
But at the end of the day, they're all pros. So yes, the Washington Football Wizards can sneak up on the Eagles and win football games here or there, right? If anything I think this is a good thing for the Eagles.
I think that they finally have an opportunity to step back and say, all right, y'all, we got to beat. Let's not focus on this undefeated thing, and they actually get to watch film and break down what they did bad. So now they go, OK, we're Eagles and we're better than that because y'all just found a way to exploit this.
But I will say, I will say, I do think that the idea that this undefeatable Eagles thing has kind of gone away a little bit. I've seen teams be able to run the football versus the Eagles. I'm not saying that the Houston Texans game was close, but in the first half or so, the Texans made it reasonably close versus the Eagles because they were able to run the football.
Cooper Rush is terrible, but the Dallas Cowboys versus Eagles Game was relatively close because they were able to run the football on the Eagles, right? And then you see this loss that the Eagles took versus the Washington Football Wizards. It mostly came by way of Taylor Heinicke making some tough throws and running the football.
So we'll just keep our eyes on that. We're not making any bold declarations right now, but we'll just keep our eyes on the notion that if you run the ball on the Eagles, let's see what else can happen to you. The other thing that I learned is that the Minnesota Vikings are indeed a team I should be respecting. I kind of wanted to just hold my reservation on the Vikings because I feel like, and I think most people felt this way, that the Vikings hadn't won a game versus any teams, that you would deem respectable, right?
And the one loss that the Vikings had was versus the Eagles. Well, going into this game, if you take a look at last week, stop missing episodes. If you take a look at what I said last week, the idea that the Vikings are playing the Bills now. This Bills team that we respect, this Bills team who could be one of the best teams in the league, this Bills team that could possibly be a Super Bowl contender for you. Let's see what the Vikings do versus those dudes.
And not only did the Vikings hang in there on a talent perspective, right? But the Vikings showed toughness and grit, and that's what I think is most important, right? That's what I think we've been missing with these Kirk Cousins-led teams, right?
If everything's perfect, and it's on schedule, and your talent is doing talent things, then yeah, the Vikings have a pretty good opportunity of beating up on you, right? But what happens when things get off schedule? What happens when you got to be a little tough? What happens when the pressure gets on Kirk Cousins shoulders and you got to go and win that game?
And boy, Kirk Cousins had some pressure on him versus a top five defense in this National Football League. And my goodness, and look, let me just be fair. Let me just pause for two seconds and say, listen, you can never go wrong just getting the ball to Justin Jefferson. You know what I mean?
Dalvin Cook didn't really go super, super crazy this game, right? But if you're Kirk Cousins, the two things you can always lean on is I can hand the ball off to Dalvin Cook and I can throw the ball to Justin Jefferson. And he probably pulled off one of the best catches we've ever seen in our life. Odell Beckham would love to have worked with him, but it's top three, top five catches of all time, for sure.
So now I'm looking at the Vikings moving forward, right? How do we assess that? Because at the end of the day, man, look, I know they beat the Bills, and that Bills team is a tough bills team, but Kirk Cousins is still a Kirk Cousins. You understand?
So now I do have to respect them. I do have to respect the Vikings as a good team, but the burden that comes along with all good teams. All right, cool, you're good and you beat this good team, but can you do that four times when you get to the playoffs? That's just natural progression.
If you're an OK, team, now we're seeing if you can be good. If you're good, we're seeing if you could be great. We're looking at the Minnesota Vikings as, OK, you're a bona fide playoff contender. We're looking at as you're for real. Justin Jefferson, Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook.
Now we're sort of evaluating the Minnesota Vikings by way of, OK, well you only lost one game this year. Are you a Super Bowl contender? That's the water that the Vikings are sitting in and they play my beloved Cowboys next Sunday. Pray for them.