See more of the story

The Eagles entered play Monday evening with an 8-0 record — the lone NFL team without a loss — and ostensibly holding a two-game edge over the one-loss Vikings in the NFC by virtue of a head-to-head win earlier this year.

A Vikings fan looking for a pessimistic narrative even amid an 8-1 start could mutter, "Yeah, well now that the NFL has seven playoff teams in each conference and just one bye, the Vikings are going to have to win three playoff games because there's not much chance of catching the Eagles."

By the end of Monday, though, the narrative had changed. Philadelphia's surprising 32-21 home loss to Washington left the Eagles and Vikings at 8-1 — a big outcome for Minnesota even if the tiebreaker could still hold sway as the season goes along.

The way the game unfolded, however, also underscored a cautionary tale for the Vikings as they continue to navigate a season of winning on the margins — something I talked about on Tuesday's Daily Delivery podcast.

Philadelphia came into Monday's game having turned the ball over just three times in eight games. Their turnover margin was by far the best in the NFL — and still is now, even after a dent was put into it.

The Eagles had four turnovers against Washington — more, simple math says, than in the previous eight games combined.

Even if we take away the last one, a botched lateral on a desperate final play, turnovers told a lot of the story of the game. The biggest one came midway through the fourth quarter when former Gophers DB Benjamin St. Juste stripped the ball from Eagles receiver Quez Watkins after a big play brought him deep into Washington territory as Philly looked for a go-ahead touchdown.

What does this have to do with the Vikings? Well, the Eagles are still No. 1 in turnover margin at plus-13. And the Vikings are No. 2 at plus-8. If you want one statistic that correlates toward success the vast majority of the time, there you have it.

The Vikings teach and preach turnovers. They also have been fortunate to survive eight Kirk Cousins interceptions (most of any team in the top 10 of turnover margin) and perhaps fortunate to have recovered eight opponent fumbles while giving away just two of their own.

The Vikings are 8-0 this season when they win or are even in the turnover battle. They're 0-1 when they lose it, having given away three to the Eagles while getting just one back in that 24-7 loss in Week 2, also on Monday night. The Eagles are now 8-0 when winning the turnover battle, 0-1 when not.

With the Vikings winning on the margins even more than the Eagles, continuing to win the turnover margin is priority No. 1.

Let it slip for even one game? Well, you saw what happened on a couple of Monday nights.