The Eagles got off to a slow start in this one with Jalen Hurts and the passing offense looking out of sorts. Fortunate for Philly, the Vikings failed to seize control by turning the ball over multiple times ... including a huge Justin Jefferson fumble that ultimately turned a near touchdown into a 61-yard field goal to give the Eagles a 13 to 7 lead at halftime.
Josh Sweat announced his presence at the start of the second half that set the Eagles up with a short touchdown to go up two scores for the first time all game. It was then a 27 to 7 game after Hurts threw a really nice deep touchdown to DeVonta Smith, who had a strong night.
The Vikings tried to stage a comeback but their efforts were ultimately curbed in large part due to D’Andre Swift, who was awesome in this game. One week after getting a single carry while playing RB2 to Kenneth Gainwell, who missed this game due to injury, Swift WENT OFF on Thursday night. The Philly native logged a career-high 28 carries for 175 yards (6.3 average) and one touchdown. They don’t win this game without him, especially with the passing attack too often out of rhythm. Swift obviously MUST be RB1 moving forward.
The Eagles don’t play again until September 25. That’s when they’ll be in a road game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football. Lots of things to clean up before then. Also valuable time for the injured players to rest up.
Read on for a recap and stay tuned for BGN’s postgame coverage.
- The Vikings won the coin toss and elected to defer to put the Eagles offense up first. With Kenneth Gainwell out, D’Andre Swift was the first running back up. Jalen Hurts broke the pocket to get away from a third down blitz and took off running to pick up the Eagles’ first first down. Hurts aired it out deep to an open DeVonta Smith, who had to slow down and make a leaping contested grab for a 54-yard gain to set up 1st-and-goal. Awesome catch, could’ve been a touchdown if Hurts was able to hit him in stride. The goal-to-go sequence didn’t go well with a bubble screen to A.J. Brown for one yard, a Swift run for one yard, and then Hurts rolling out right and looking to pass but deciding to take off running into traffic to get stopped at the 6-yard line. The Eagles settled for a 24-yard Jake Elliott field goal to take the early lead. Nick Sirianni should have looked to get more aggressive there. EAGLES 3, VIKINGS 0.
- Jordan Davis hit Kirk Cousins as he threw to force a punt. The second-year defensive tackle is apparently a pass-rusher now!
Jordan Davis? On a passing down? Wrecking Kirk Cousins!?!? Oh heck yes!! pic.twitter.com/Fto9X7oKtc— Shane Haff (@ShaneHaffNFL) September 15, 2023
- Britain Covey fumbled on his first punt return. Very fortunate that Kelee Ringo was able to jump on the ball.
- Hurts had Goedert open along the right sideline on first down but the throw was too high to allow the tight end to get both feet in. The Eagles ended up going three-and-out with Hurts running for three yards on 3rd-and-9.
- The Vikings’ punt returner gained 19 yards before getting stripped by Justin Evans to set up a Nicholas Morrow recovery. Almost another negative special teams play turned into a positive one!
- Swift ran three straight times for gains of 7, 4, and 12. Clearly has more juice than any other Eagles running back we’ve seen thus far. Despite having a clean pocket to work with, Hurts underthrew a pass to DeVonta Smith over the middle in traffic to get picked off. Just not a strong start by the Eagles’ quarterback.
- Avonte Maddox got the ball right back for the Eagles with a forced fumble! Really nice hit on Alexander Mattison. Justin Evans with the recovery.
- The Eagles go three-and-out again after Hurts ran for no gain, A.J. Brown caught a five-yard pass, and then a Hurts read option keeper lost three yards on 3rd-and-5. The Eagles brought out Elliott for a 55-yard field goal ... and he missed it wide right. Welp.
Take away the DeVonta Smith contested catch, and the Eagles have run 19 plays for 43 yards - 2.3 yards per play.— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) September 15, 2023
Feels like the Vikings are all over their staples/core plays and know what's coming.
Eagles' offensive play-calling: seems they really want to be spread out. Will give Hurts + OL a clearer picture of who is and isn't coming -- good opportunities for quick throws and YAC. Helped the RB running game.— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) September 15, 2023
Probably time to go heavier/condensed and commit to run game
- Jordan Davis picked up his first career full sack (had half of one in Week 1) with Cousins tripping after taking the snap.
- Jalen Carter had a big tackle for loss on Mattison to set the Vikings back to 2nd-and-13. Facing 3rd-and-9, Cousins had a clean pocket to work with to find T.J. Hockenson open with Justin Evans lagging behind in coverage. Hockensen later bounced off of a Mario Goodrich tackle attempt to walk into the end zone. Nine-play, 55-yard touchdown drive for the Vikes. (Also, what is Derek Barnett doing here?) EAGLES 3, VIKINGS 7.
- The Eagles went with five straight Swift touches (four carries, one reception) to pick up two first downs. Another run for Swift and then Boston Scott’s first carry brought up 3rd-and-1. Another Scott run moved the chains for a third first down. An 8-yard Hurts run and another Scott carry gave the Eagles a fourth first down. The Eagles finally moved the chains with a completion in the form of Hurts hitting Brown over the middle for a fifth first down. Two more Swift runs, a sixth first down. Swift ran to set up 2nd-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Then this sequence ensued:
Eagles fans were cheering knowing that the Tush Push was coming on 2nd-and-goal from the 1-yard line.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) September 15, 2023
Vikings call a timeout to wipe out the play even though the ball got snapped. Nick Sirianni furious on the sideline.
Eagles get it in on the next try anyway.#Eagles up, 10-7.
16-play, 75-yard, touchdown drive for the Eagles. VERY run heavy; only two completions for 12 passing yards. EAGLES 10, VIKINGS 7.
- The Vikings went 74 yards in eight plays and nearly had a touchdown with Jefferson trying to extend the ball over the goal line ... but he lost control and it went out of the end zone. That’s a touchback! The ball was originally ruled out at the 1-yard line but a review overturned that ruling. MASSIVE break for the Eagles to wipe Vikings points off the board. Stat-keeping note: Terrell Edmunds was credited with his first career forced fumble.
- The Eagles went 37 yards in five plays while using their three timeouts to set up a 61-yard field goal attempt. Tough one! But not for Elliott, who just got it up over the crossbar! 10-point swing there following Jefferson’s fumble. EAGLES 13, VIKINGS 7.
Eagles have lead, but big story is the passing game is a mess.— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) September 15, 2023
Aside from DeVonta Smith contested catch, 14 pass plays for 22 yards - in a game where they have 1-on-1 matchup advantages.
Feels like 2021 - can win games, but can't win big unless passing game gets figured out.
- Josh Sweat strip-sacked Cousins and Fletcher Cox recovered for a return to the Vikings’ 7-yard line!
- It looked like Swift got into the end zone ... but he was ruled down just short of the goal line. Replay on the stadium video boards showed a score but the Eagles didn’t challenge and instead went for the Tush Push. Surprise, surprise: it worked! EAGLES 20, VIKINGS 7.
Jalen Hurts is now tied with Cam Newton (10, 2011-21) for the most career games by a QB with 2+ rushing TDs in #NFL history. He has also tied Donovan McNabb (28, 1999-2009) for the 8th-most rushing TDs in #Eagles history. #FlyEaglesFly— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) September 15, 2023
- Zach Cunningham made a nice play to sniff out a Vikings screen to bring up a five-yard loss. Josh Jobe had good downfield coverage on a 3rd-and-15 throw to force an incompletion and bring up a Vikings punt.
- Hurts hung tough in the pocket and took a shot in order to deliver an on-target deep ball to DeVonta Smith in stride for a 63-yard touchdown. Encouraging to see after a slow start for the QB and the passing offense. EAGLES 27, VIKINGS 7.
Hurts ➡️ Smith for 6!!— Shane Haff (@ShaneHaffNFL) September 15, 2023
Beautiful ball by Hurts who took a big shot to deliver the pass. pic.twitter.com/zPqnPeZttU
Jalen Hurts hooks up with DeVonta Smith for 63 yards to increase the #Eagles' lead to 27-7 in the third quarter. Smith has recorded career-long catches of 63 and 54 yards in tonight's game, bringing his game total to 3 receptions for 123 yards (41.0 avg.) and 1 TD.— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) September 15, 2023
- Cousins aired a 3rd-and-10 pass deep to Jordan Addison, who beat Josh Jobe and then broke through his tackle attempt to find the end zone. 62-yard score. Ouch. EAGLES 27, VIKINGS 14.
Jordan Addison catches a 61 yd TD pic.twitter.com/4oEFb4NRDK— Vikings Blogger (@firstandskol) September 15, 2023
- A holding penalty on Landon Dickerson and a false start by Swift (a rare RB false start) brought up 3rd-and-11. Hurts threw way #ShortOfTheSticks to Goedert to bring up a punt. Feels like there have already been a lot of third down throws (not to meant multiple coward’s draws) short of the marker this season.
- The Vikings answered the Eagles’ three-and-out with one of their own. Minny did manage to flip the field with a punt that bounced in their favor for 57 yards.
- The Eagles took over at their own 7-yard line. They picked up a couple first downs with some nice runs by Swift. Rashaad Penny got his first Eagles carry to pick up another first down.
- The Eagles began the fourth quarter on the ninth play of their drive at the Vikings’ 37-yard line. Another Hurts throw #ShortOfTheSticks brought up 4th-and-1. No-brainer to go for it with a field goal keeping it a two-possession game. Not to mention the Eagles are unstoppable on the sneak! Hurts rolled right and floated a pass to an open Brown in the end zone, touchdown! Except it was brought back ... by a really weak holding call on Rashaad Penny. Hurts went back to Brown on the next play ... and the cornerback got to the receiver’s arm early but there was no defensive pass interference flag. On second down, Hurts took off running but got stopped short of the line of scrimmage for a sack. Hurts drifted left out of protection and into a sack on third down to bring up 4th-and-34. Eagles had 1st-and-10 at their Vikings’ 25-yard line ... and it turned into a punt that gave the Vikings the ball at their own 14-yard line. Offense deserves some credit for going on a long drive but gotta be able to get points out of that.
- K.J. Osborn had a terrible drop to prevent a Vikings chunk gain. On 3rd-and-3, Cousins got rocked as he threw but his pass was complete to Jefferson for a first down. With help from Jefferson, Minny methodically moved into goal-to-go territory from the 10-yard line. On 1st-and-10, a crossing Osborn was somehow left wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide open in the end zone for an easy touchdown. Almost got prevented by Sweat getting to Cousins but the throw was out in time. 9-play, 86-yard drive. EAGLES 27, VIKINGS 21.
- The Eagles took over at their own 25-yard line with 7:41 left in the game. Hurts hit Brown on 3rd-and-5 for an important conversion near midfield. Then Swift exploded for a 43-yard run to the 4-yard line. Two plays later, Swift finally found the end zone for his first Eagles TD. Great performance. EAGLES 34, VIKINGS 21.
- The Vikings took over at their own 25-yard line with 4:13 to play. They put together a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that took 3:03 off the clock. EAGLES 34, VIKINGS 28.
- The Eagles recovered the Vikings’ onside kick attempt. They got to 4th-and-5 and then there was a false start on Goedert. The Eagles punted and Kelee Ringo made a nice tackle on the Vikings’ punt returner.
- Minny took over at their own 17-yard line with 0:07 on the clock and zero timeouts to work with. Cousins’ Hail Mary was way short of the end zone and incomplete. Game.
FINAL SCORE: EAGLES WIN, 34 to 28
- A.J. Brown was looked at in the medical tent late in the first quarter but didn’t miss time.
- Avonte Maddox walked to the locker room earlyish in the second quarter. He was ruled questionable to return with a shoulder injury. He was later ruled OUT.
- Quez Watkins was ruled questionable to return with a hamstring injury. He was later ruled OUT.
- Boston Scott entered the medical tent late in the second quarter. It was later said that he was being evaluated through the concussion protocol. He did not play again.
- Josh Sweat spent some time in the medical tent early in the fourth quarter. He remained in the game.
- Jordan Davis got looked at in the medical tent halfway through the fourth quarter. He was able to finish the game.
- Zach Cunningham got hurt late in the game.