Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Vikings' Frazier needs wins to keep job

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Three years ago, after a snowstorm forecast for Philadelphia prompted the NFL to postpone the game by two days, the Minnesota Vikings dominated the playoff-bound Eagles near the end of a dramatically disappointing season.

Leslie Frazier was the interim coach, and that performance no doubt boosted his candidacy for the full-time job. Now, the Eagles are next on the schedule, and Frazier's future is again uncertain with the Vikings (3-9-1) in last place in the NFC North.

"He's definitely been holding things together. As far as the future, I don't know," wide receiver Greg Jennings said. "We don't control that. That all goes from upstairs, down. All we can do is control what we do, and that's what he's been doing as a head coach."

Beating the Eagles (8-5), who have won five games in a row to take control of the NFC East, might not be enough to earn Frazier another year, but it can't hurt his cause.

"It's not the effort. It's not that. We're preparing well. We're practicing well. We're just not making the critical plays at that time to get off the field or to drive on offence or to whatever to win a game, basically," linebacker Chad Greenway said.

The Eagles started fast, hit a snag and then took off under new coach Chip Kelly, who has so-far successfully implemented his fast-paced college offence from Oregon by turning running back LeSean McCoy loose and fostering a system for young quarterback Nick Foles to thrive in.

"He's a great head coach that really his players love. He really has a huge impact on us when he speaks to us or how he does things," Foles said. "He really cares about us, so you really go out and play for a guy like that."

A guy who has been doing whatever he can to sustain his team's momentum and sidestep a letdown against a lesser opponent.

"I literally was thinking of the Vikings game coming off the field on Sunday," Kelly said.

The Eagles are an NFC-best 5-1 on the road, their last loss away from Philadelphia on Sept. 29 at AFC-leading Denver.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 15, 2013 B11

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