Vikings vs Eagles Picks and Predictions NFL Week 2 Thursday Night Football
Minnesota Vikings vs Philadelphia Eagles picks, predictions, and game preview for this Week 2 Thursday Night Football Game.
When: 8:15 PM ET, Thursday, September 14, 2023
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Philadelphia Eagles will try to stay unbeaten when they welcome the Minnesota Vikings to town for their home opener on Thursday night.
Philadelphia (1-0) is coming off a 25-20 win against the New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon. It was far from a perfect performance for the Eagles, but they jumped out to a 16-0 lead and held on for a narrow victory.
Now they will try to fix their mistakes on short rest against the Vikings.
“Was it our cleanest opportunity? No,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said. “We’ve got a lot of things to clean up.”
So does Minnesota (0-1), which lost its season opener 20-17 at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Vikings committed three turnovers and had several costly penalties, including one on fourth down that extended a Buccaneers drive and led to a touchdown.
“We beat ourselves,” Minnesota running back Alexander Mattison said.
That was in front of a friendly home crowd. The Vikings now must find their footing in front of a passionate fan base in Philadelphia.
Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson offered simple advice for some of his teammates who will play in front of Eagles fans for the first time.
“Be ready,” Hockenson said. “It’s a hostile place to play. You walk out of the tunnels, and there’s things being thrown at you and a lot of stuff happening in that stadium.”
The top concern for the Vikings is the Eagles’ personnel.
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is looking for a better performance after completing 22 of 33 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. He also rushed nine times for 37 yards but had a costly fumble in the fourth quarter.
Hurts said the season opener offered an opportunity to grow.
“We all have standards,” Hurts said. “I have standards that are very high. I think the reality is, I’ve never reported to the standards of other people or the expectations of other people, or their opinions. We’re centrally focused on the things that we can control.”
A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith tied for the team lead with seven catches apiece, with Smith grabbing the lone touchdown pass from Hurts. They will go up against a Vikings team that has similar faces from last year but plays a different style under first-year defensive coordinator Brian Flores.
“Everything is different,” Hurts said. “They’re coached by a really good coach, and they’ve always had great players.”
Meanwhile, Minnesota will match up against an Eagles defense that has added a top rookie in defensive tackle Jalen Carter. He bolsters a defensive front that includes Jordan Davis, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and others.
According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Carter’s pass-rush get-off time was 0.68 seconds, which ranked first among defensive players with a minimum of 15 pass rushes in Week 1. He had a sack and six pressures — the most by a rookie defensive tackle since 2019.
Minnesota’s offensive line is already banged up as it prepares for Carter and Co.
Vikings center Garrett Bradbury (back) had yet to practice as of Tuesday. Meanwhile, tackle Christian Darrisaw (ankle) was listed as a limited participant.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins will have to be wary of the Eagles’ pass rush as he looks for opportunities downfield. His top target is Justin Jefferson, who hauled in nine catches for 150 yards against Tampa Bay.
Philadelphia listed Cox, safety Reed Blankenship and running back Kenneth Gainwell as having rib injuries. Cornerback James Bradberry (concussion protocol) was also on the injury report.
–Field Level Media
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