The Philadelphia Eagles host the Minnesota Vikings in their home opener on Monday Night Football. It’s a relatively big game between two 1-0 teams at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Birds are coming off a win against the Detroit Lions that wasn’t as convincing as many hoped it would be. While there were a number of positives to take away from that game, there are still concerns about Philadelphia’s defense. Can Jonathan Gannon find a way to hold his own against a quarterback who isn’t completely terrible? Kirk Cousins has proven troublesome for the Birds in the past, and it’s currently difficult to give Philly’s defensive coordinator the benefit of the doubt.
The Vikings want to follow up a big win over the Green Bay Packers with another strong effort. Minnesota’s defense limited the damage that Aaron Rodgers could do in Week 1. There could be pressure on the Eagles’ offense to put up a lot of points if Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook prove to be as challenging as they appear.
The winner of this game will feel pretty good. They will have a 2-0 record and a claim as one of the very best teams in the NFC. The loser may think they are good, but not quite good enough.
Bleeding Green Nation will be covering this game with live updates in the form of highlights, analysis, etc. Be sure to stay tuned and update the page often.
(NOTE: This is NOT a game thread; it’s a live blog that will be a game recap. Use BGN’s designated game threads for each quarter to discuss in-game events there. The first quarterly thread is HERE.)
- The Eagles targeted DeVonta Smith on the very first play, who went for a five-yard reception. Who would have guessed the Birds would try to get him a touch early? Jalen Hurts rolled right and found an open Dallas Goedert for a first down. Miles Sanders’ first carry went for 12 yards. Hurts was tackled for no gain to bring up a 3rd and 9. On third down, Hurts found Kenneth Gainwell short for a catch-and-run to move the chains … but the big play was wiped out by Landon Dickerson’s illegal down the track by quite a lot. On 3rd and 13, Hurts stood in the pocket with good protection and threw a strike to AJ Brown for a first down. Nice throw! Hurts found Zach Pascal short to convert a 3rd and 3. Pascal also had a third down conversion in Detroit last week; he is a factor in those situations. Two plays later, Hurts drove through contact to turn it in for a touchdown. Strong opening drive. Weird sequence on the Eagles’ extra point where they had to convert the extra point because “Vikings attendants” were on the field. How was that not a punishment, then? The Vikings were then penalized for being offsides … but the Eagles declined the flag instead of trying to take two points from the 1-yard line. EAGLES 7, VIKINGS 0.
- The Vikings’ first drive was a three-and-out with Darius Slay knocking down a Kirk Cousins pass intended for Justin Jefferson. Jefferson wanted a pass interference call, but the refs didn’t give it to him. Slay quickly grabbed Jefferson’s hand … but the refs aren’t always going to call it. Nick Sirianni was fired up and ran down to celebrate with the defense after the stop.
- Offensive pass interference on DeVonta turned a 3rd-and-2 into a 3rd-and-12. Hurts was then sacked from behind after holding on to the ball to force a punt. Jalen Reagor drew boos when he lined up to return the Eagles’ first punt … then drew cheers after he was tackled by Zech McPhearson for a gain of just one yard.
- The Vikings got to 3rd and 5 and James Bradberry knocked down the third down to Irv Smith. Strong start for Jonathan Gannon’s defence.
- The Eagles were called for their fourth offensive penalty on their third drive. It was their third ineligible man downfield with Isaac Seumalo named as the culprit.
- Hurts threw deep to a wide open Quez Watkins, who was freed with a Vikings safety mistakenly helping Goedert instead of joining the speedy wide receiver. EAGLES 14, VIKINGS 0.
- Jalen Reagor jet sweep on 3rd and 1 for a 17-yard gain … and cheers from the crowd at the Linc. The Vikings drove into the red zone and Haason Reddick, dropping into coverage against backup tight end Johnny Mundt, allowed a 17-yard reception to set up 1st-and-goal at the 2-yard line. Cousins then hit Irv Smith with a short pass for the score. Reddick in coverage sure feels like a waste. EAGLES 14, VIKINGS 7.
- The Eagles got to 3rd-and-12 and Hurts ran out of bounds shortly before the marker, but they were helped by a Vikings illegal contact penalty for another set of downs. Hurts’ first incompletion came on a play where Goedert was tightly covered and nearly made a catch, but Cameron Dantlzer knocked the ball out before the tight end established possession. Just a great defensive play to break up a good throw in a tight window. Hurts’ third down pass was completed outside the sticks to force a punt. Second scoreless offensive drive of the night.
- TJ Edwards knocked down a Cousins third down pass over the middle to force another three-and-out.
- Hurts hit DeVonta over the middle on back-to-back plays for gains of 19 and 16 yards. Then Boston Scott took the draw for 16 yards. Then Sanders caught the draw for nine yards. Facing 3rd and 2, Hurts started to run … but not just for the first down. Instead of going out, he followed good lead blocking by Goedert on Harrison Smith and then powered through contact to extend for a touchdown. Pretty impressive stuff! EAGLES 21, VIKINGS 7.
- Josh Sweat sacked Cousins … but grabbed his facemask to wipe out the sack. Womp. Cousins was almost sacked on a deep throw that appeared to be affected by pressure … but it was almost completed deep to Irv Smith … who instead dropped what might have been a touchdown. What a break. Especially for CJ Gardner-Johnson. Cousins’ third down pass was incomplete to pick up another stop. Strange that there was no deliberate grounding when no one was even near the ball. The refs said Dalvin Cook was in the zone, but … he wasn’t. At all.
- The Eagles took over at their own 5-yard line with 1:14 left in the second quarter. Hurts threw the ball with nice touch to a soft spot to find DeVonta for a first down. Hurts hit Goedert for a 19-yard catch-and-run down the left sideline. Not sure why the Vikings left him so open. Hurts put great touch on another pass to Goedert over the middle, another high-level throw. That completion set up a 38-yard field goal by Jake Elliott. Great to be able to get some points on that drive and make it a three possession game. EAGLES 24, VIKINGS 7.
SET UP NOTES
- Quez Watkins was back to take the opening kick.
- AJ Brown was briefly seen in the medical tent midway through the second quarter. However, he did not miss at any point.