AP Photo/Derik Hamilton
For the 2nd straight week, the Philadelphia Eagles madeitthrough versus a lively challenger that simply wouldn’t go away. Fortunately, the Eagles have sufficient gifted gamers—many of them still establishing—in their locker space to assoonas onceagain head into it as the victors.
Last Sunday, it was those pesky New England Patriots who remained in the videogame upuntil a vital fourth-down stop with less than a minute staying offered Philadelphia the win.
On Thursday night, it was a Minnesota Vikings group that took every punch the Eagles might provide and battled right back. There were times it looked like Philadelphia might put the videogame away in the 2nd half, however the Vikings drew within 6 points with less than 2 minutes staying.
Ultimately, Philadelphia had to browse Minnesota’s onside-kick effort and a last-second Hail Mary to escape with a 2-0 record.
A win is a win, however Philadelphia doesn’t feel like the verysame dominant group that ran roughshod over the NFC a season earlier. The Eagles captured numerous lucky breaks versus the Vikings.
Minnesota created simply 28 lawns on the ground and turned the ball over 4 times, one of which being a Justin Jefferson fumble over the objective line with 34 seconds left in the veryfirst half.
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This Justin Jefferson fumble went over the pylon and was ruled a touchback 😳 pic.twitter.com/LonOv2u6Fj
Jake Elliott nailed a 61-yard field objective on the last play of the half, making Jefferson’s gaffe a possible 10-point swing.
Thursday night’s contest quickly might haveactually gone in the Vikings’ favor. It didn’t, thanks to some of Philadelphia’s youngest budding playmakers.
D’Andre Swift, the 24-year-old running back gotten in a draft-day trade from the Detroit Lions, was the mostsignificant star of the 2nd half. After some early offending ups and downs, organizer Brian Johnson turned to more two-tight-end sets and a heavy focus on the ground videogame.
Swift took complete benefit, completing with 175 lawns and a goal on 28 brings.
As a group, Philadelphia hurried for 259 backyards and regulated the football for more than 39 minutes—without Week 1 beginning RB Kenneth Gainwell (ribs). This shown to be crucial for a coupleof factors.
For one, it enabled quarterback Jalen Hurts to settle in as things opened up in the passing videogame. Hurts was 10-of-13 in the veryfirst half however had just 84 passing lawns and an interception.
Third-year wideout DeVonta Smith, another young standout on Thursday, produced 60 of those backyards on the opening drive. Hurts endedup with 193 passing lawns and a goal, while Smith captured 4 passes for 131 lawns and a rating.
Smith is a home-run player, however he can aid the offense even when he doesn’t have the ball. His downfield capability needs that opposing defenses can’t sell out to stop the run.
Controlling the clock was likewise crucial duetothefactthat Philadelphia’s secondary hadahardtime to discover responses for Kirk Cousins (364 backyards, 4 TDs), Justin Jefferson (11 captures, 159 lawns) and the passing videogame.
This was, in part, duetothefactthat brand-new protective planner Sean Desai still appears to be discovering how to finest use his workers—Mac Jones topped 300 passing lawns in Week 1. Not having cornerback James Bradberry (concussion), security Reed Blankenship (ribs) and linebacker Nakobe Dean (foot, hurt reserve) definitely didn’t aid.
Philadelphia’s response for Minnesota’s powerful offense was to lean on its effective protective line. 2022 first-round choice Jordan Davis and 2023 first-round choice Jalen Carter are rapidly endingupbeing standouts of the system.
Davis endedup Week 1 with a half-sack, 3 dealswith and a required Ezekiel Elliott fumble in the veryfirst quarter that led to an Eagles goal. Carter had a secret sack that put New Engla