Vikings owner Red McCombs left Veteran's Stadium in disgust in the third quarter, sparing him what the rest of us had to see -- a second straight lopsided loss for the Vikings that leaves their playoff future bleak at best.

The Vikings had trumpeted the bye week as a turning point for the 2001 season. After all, no team had a better record (9-1) going into a bye week or (9-1) coming out of a bye week.

Those numbers seemed to fade as fast as the Vikings' playoff hopes Sunday, as the Eagles shredded the Vikes 48-17. The last two games have seen the Vikings outscored 89-31, the most points allowed in two consecutive games since surrendering 93 points to the St. Louis Cardinals and Green Bay Packers in 1963 -- more than a month before President Kennedy was assassinated.

Compounding the problem is that all five of the Vikings losses have been against NFC teams, which means, even if the Vikings win their remaining conference games, the best they can finish in the conference is 7-5 -- which likely won't win any tie-breakers.

While players like Matt Birk were saying after the game that the Vikings aren't done yet, the road is long and hard the rest of the way and being two games under .500 and chasing down three teams in the NFC Central is going to make the second half of the season a monstrous challenge for the Vikings.

* The Vikings are in jeopardy of ending the longest current streak of consecutive postseason appearances with five.
* A disturbing stat from the 2001 season continued Sunday. Of the 45 rushing first downs the Vikings have made, 25 have come on runs by quarterback Daunte Culpepper, while only 20 have come from Vikings running backs. On Sunday, the Vikings had just three rushing first downs -- two by Culpepper and one by Doug Chapman.
* A couple of injuries sustained Sunday may be serious. Left OT Brad Badger sprained a toe and left the game early in the first quarter. In his absence, Everett Lindsay was shifted from guard to tackle and Calvin Collins replaced Lindsay at guard. Lindsay was starting at guard, replacing injured Corbin Lacina, a sign of the depth problems the Vikings have on the offensive line. The other serious injury was to DL Winfield Garnett, who was bent backwards on his knee on a run by Duce Staley. No word was immediately available on the extent of the injury.
* Heading into this week, there were 40 pass plays of 50 yards or more. Just one of those involved the Vikings and it was by Cris Carter, a play on which he fumbled at the 2-yard line. Randy Moss has yet to have a reception more than 40 yards.
* The 31 points scored by the Eagles in the first half Sunday were the most in a half since 1988.
* The Eagles pounded the Vikings for 269 yards in the first half -- 139 passing and 130 rushing.
* Michael Bennett was expected to play Sunday and was given medical clearance, but was deactivated hours before gametime -- an indication that Chapman had the starting job...for now.
* One player who was active was CB Dale Carter. However, he didn't play Sunday.
* If you believe stats let out by TV crews, VU was told FOX Sports claimed the Vikings missed 28 tackles Sunday -- to which one staffer asked "On which run by Staley?"
* As noted above, the Vikings have been outscored 89-31, but 15 of the Vikings' points have come after the other team had called off the dogs and was resting some of its defensive stalwarts.
* The 48 points allowed Sunday were the most allowed in the regular season by a Dennis Green-coached Vikings team. The last time a Vikings team allowed that many points was Dec. 8, 1984, when San Francisco hung 51 points on Minnesota. Not to be accused of being doomsayers, that year the Vikings finished 3-13.

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