The Philadelphia Eagles are playing a football game in Minnesota today. The stakes are only slightly less high when they last played at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018.
Still, this is an important game. The Eagles and Vikings are both 3-2. This is a great chance for one side to elevate themselves in the NFC.
It’s hard to get a great feel for what to expect in this one.
On one hand, it’s easy to focus on the Eagles’ flaws.
The Vikings’ passing attack should be able to have success against Philadelphia’s leaky secondary. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are mismatches for the Eagles’ cornerbacks. The Eagles’ offense could struggle to have a ton of success against a Minnesota defense that ranks fourth overall DVOA. Philadelphia’s offensive fire power is questionable with DeSean Jackson out, Alshon Jeffery seemingly not 100%, and Nelson Agholor being a disaster.
On the other hand, maybe we should be paying more attention to what the Eagles do do well.
The Eagles’ defense is still capable of generating pressure, as demonstrated last week. This could be a big game for Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox creating disruption against an exploitable Vikings interior offensive line. Cousins, as he’s wont to do, could be forced into multiple mistakes. The Vikings also might be dumb and rely on their ground game against the Eagles’ strong run defense. The Eagles’ offense could find success against Minnesota’s defense if the offensive line can take over the game like they did in Green Bay. One also can’t rule out Carson Wentz stepping up and having a big game where he puts the team on his back.
Again, there isn’t a great feel for how this will play out. I suppose I’ll lean with the Eagles in an extremely close game because: 1) we’ve seen them play well in a tough environment earlier this season (Week 4 at Green Bay) and 2) they have the better quarterback and head coach here. I also have faith in the Eagles’ ability to win in the trenches. Unless Cousins totally combusts, though, the margin for error here should be slim.
Score prediction: 24-23, Eagles win.
Bold prediction: Kirk Cousins throws a game-losing pick six.
Leave your own score predictions in the comments.
Which team will win: Eagles or Vikings?
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