The confidence level of Eagles fans has taken a hit following Philadelphia’s Week 4 loss to the Titans. SB Nation’s FanPulse results show BGN readers were at a 97% confidence level last week before dropping to 65% heading into Week 5.
If you’re among the worried ones, today’s post might have you feeling a little better about the reigning Super Bowl champs.
BGN already took some time to chat with Daily Norseman in order to preview this week’s matchup. (You can read that here.) Today, we’re back with three reasons why each team might lose. This format forces us to consider each team’s weaknesses, rather than just being homers.
1) The Vikings haven’t stopped anybody since Week 1
We don’t know the reason behind why the Vikings’ defense has suddenly fallen to the bottom of the league after being one of the NFL’s best in 2017. The players are the same (mostly), the scheme is the same, but the results have not been. The Eagles were the team that pretty much started the downslide for this defense last season, and they could very well continue that trend on Sunday. We’ll have to keep an eye on the practice report for Friday to see the status of Trae Waynes (who is still not out of the NFL’s concussion protocol), but if he’s out it’s just going to make things worse on that side of the ball for the Vikings.
Throw in the absence of Everson Griffen, and it doesn’t look good defensively for the Vikings. Unless the defense can somehow recapture the magic of 2017, it could be a high-scoring game on Sunday, and I’m not sure if the Vikings can keep up in that scenario. They did it last week against the Rams, but it’s probably not realistic to expect them to keep doing it.
2) The Vikings’ offensive line is still offensive
In each of the last two weeks, the Vikings’ offensive line has allowed 29 pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. The Eagles have no problem getting pressure with just their front four, so that’s going to make things difficult for Kirk Cousins on Sunday. If he has time, there are going to be plays to be made against a suspect Eagles’ secondary, but I’m not sure if the Vikings’ offensive line is capable of giving him that time against the Eagles’ front four. That was a key to the Eagles’ victory last January, and it could prove to be the key on Sunday as well.
3) The Vikings are too one-dimensional on offense anyway
The Vikings have the worst rush offense in the National Football League through four games, while the Eagles have the best defense in the NFL against the run. If the Eagles know that they don’t have to worry about stopping the run and that Cousins is going to be dropping back to pass 50 times again, they’ll just be able to pin their ears back and come after him, and that would bleed into problem #2 that we’ve already gone over. The Vikings need to get their run game going, but I don’t think this is the week to expect them to do that.