After a satisfying dismantling of the Packers in week 1, the Minnesota Vikings move on to face yet another difficult opponent in the Philadelphia Eagles. While the Vikings dominated their last matchup against this team in 2019, much has changed for both teams since then, both in their rosters and coaching staffs.
The Eagles had a strong showing in their debut against Detroit. AJ Brown proved to be the player that Philly hoped he would be, as he racked up 155 yards on 10 receptions. Furthermore, the running game allowed the Eagles to remain in the driver’s seat of this matchup, as the team rushed for nearly 220 yards behind an extremely talented offensive line. However, on the opposite side of the ball, the Philadelphia defense looked suspect. Even with the rather unspectacular Jared Goff at quarterback, the Eagles were unable to stop the Lions led by D’Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown. Situationally, Philadelphia made crucial mistakes, nearly blowing a 17-point fourth-quarter lead, as the game came down to a successful fourth down conversion by the Eagles. Such mistakes cannot be made against a likely more powerful Vikings offense.
This offense, led by Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson, took the league by storm on Sunday. Head coach Kevin O’Connell demonstrated his incredible offensive prowess, creating favorable matchups and getting the ball to his best players against one of the most talented defenses in football. Furthermore, defensively, the new-look Vikings were far more creative than in years past, finally finding the ability to frustrate and confuse one of the smartest quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers.
While both Minnesota and Philadelphia shined offensively, the Vikings defense held its own against Aaron Rodgers, while the Eagles crumbled in a faceoff with Jared Goff. Nonetheless, AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert will be an incredible challenge for these Vikings that have only seen receiving weapons such as Sammy Watkins and Randall Cobb. I expect the Vikings to win in a close offensive shootout, 35-30.