Game Preview – MIN at PHI

Posted: September 14th, 2023 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Game Preview – MIN at PHI

The Eagles hosted the Vikings in a primetime game in Week 2 last year. Feels weird to have that happen again, but don’t count on the Eagles having an easy 24-7 win this time around. Both teams are different, and banged up.

Minnesota played a really soft defense last year. Jalen Hurts threw for 333 yards against them. Heck, Daniel Jones lit them up in the playoffs. That should tell you all you need to know about the issues they had.

Brian Flores has taken over as the defensive coordinator. They have gone from passive to aggressive. Very aggressive.

This isn’t an ideal opponent for Week 2 because you’d prefer more preparation time. Still, good offenses like to be blitzed. That opens up a chance for big plays. You must read the blitz correctly. You need to block it well. Then you need the QB to hit the open guy quickly.

Jalen Hurts from 2022 could do that. Jalen Hurts from Week 1? On the advice of counsel, I decline to answer.

The Eagles offense must be better this week. 251 yards and 19 points is just not good enough. There is too much talent and brainpower for that group to put up such mediocre results. Weather will not be an issue. The Eagles won’t be facing a top defense. The excuses are gone. Let’s see what they can do.

I’ll be shocked if the OL isn’t better this week. That group has too much talent and pride to get out-played two weeks in a row. Jeff Stoutland and Nick Sirianni probably tore into them during the film session. I would expect the OL to come out with a real chip on their shoulder. It won’t surprise me if the offense comes out running just so the line can set the tone for the game.

One of the reasons Hurts was so sloppy last week is that he didn’t get good protection. He struggled to get comfortable in the pocket and into a rhythm with his receivers. The offense improved in the second half (153 of 251 yards came after halftime) so hopefully Hurts can build on that.

Minnesota isn’t great at rushing or covering. They only had one sack last week. They don’t have good CBs. There should be opportunities for the Eagles to throw the ball. We know DeVonta and AJ will get the ball. The big question this week will be if the Eagles can get Dallas Goedert more involved. He didn’t have a catch last week, as you’ve heard countless times since Sunday. That was an anomaly, but the coaches may design an early pass for him just to get Goedert going.

The run game will definitely look different this week. D’Andre Swift will be the lead back. Rashaad Penny will be active. The Eagles only ran for 97 yards last week. You know they want to do a lot more running than that.


The Eagles will be missing starters at LB, CB and S. That’s not ideal when facing an offense that put up 385 yards last week. But the Vikings only scored 17 points. Minnesota has talent, but still has some issues to work through.

It seems like Christian Elliss will take over at LB, Josh Jobe at CB and Terrell Edmunds at S. Elliss can cover. His issues have been with tackling. Going into a game as the starter might bring out the best in him. This is a huge opportunity for him to show what he can do. The Vikings will attack the middle of the field, trying to take advantage of Elliss and Zach Cunningham, as well as the safeties.

Sean Desai knows this and will plan accordingly. It will be interesting to see if he can get the defense to do a better job in covering the middle. Identifying problems is Step 1. Solving them is Step 2.

Expect Darius Slay to travel with Justin Jefferson for a lot of the game. Slay did a fantastic job on him last year. I’m sure Jefferson is sick of hearing about that and will be a man on a mission. I don’t see the Eagles shutting him down two years in a row. Jobe will have his hands full with rookie Jordan Addison. The Eagles need their safeties to help on both WRs to keep them from delivering big plays. Edmunds and Justin Evans will need to do their best impression of good safeties. We’ll see if they can pull that off.

The Eagles do have a significant advantage up front.


The Vikings will be without their C and will have a banged up LT. Expect the Eagles to fly up the field to get after Kirk Cousins. Last year Cousins wouldn’t take sacks, instead making bad throws (3 INTs and it easily could have been more). Will Cousins force the ball into coverage? Will he take sacks?

I’m sure Minnesota will try to get the ball out quickly, but that negates having good receivers like Jefferson and Addison. Cousins will want to get the ball down the field to them. The Eagles need to make him pay when he tries that.


I’m not sure who intangibles favor this week. The Eagles are 1-0, but were not happy with their performance in the opener. They want to play a lot better this week. Sirianni has looked borderline miserable in his press conferences. He really wants to see good football this time out.

The Vikings are 0-1 and don’t want to fall further behind the Packers and Lions. This is a huge game for them. Beyond that, they got embarrassed by the Eagles last year so you know this game means a lot to them.

The Eagles are the better team. They are at home and this is a short week. This is a game they should win.


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