Vikings expert shares their weaknesses ahead of Eagles home opener

Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

They say a win is a win, but history has taught us, more often than not, that’s just something we tell ourselves to alleviate the stress that often stems from a game that presented more of a challenge than it should have. The truth is all wins aren’t created equal. Some wins teach us that our favorite team was fortunate and that there’s still work to be done. Look no further than the Philadelphia Eagles‘ victory over the Detroit Lions if you need evidence.

Heading into Philly’s home opener in Week 2 versus the Minnesota Vikings, both teams have a checkmark in the win column. Still, if you don’t think how teams win matters, why are so many of you more nervous about this game than you were a month ago?

Don’t get us wrong, our staff at Inside The Iggles expects Philadelphia to wind up on top. There you have it. We’re on record, but this game will carry similar peaks and valleys to Week 1’s contest. We don’t believe the Birds will make things easy on themselves, but the Vikes aren’t a finished product either. That should place Philly ‘on the road to victory’.

There are areas where the guys in purple can be taken advantage of, but don’t take our word for it. Instead, read the words of a man that’s far more in tune with the day-to-day activities of Minnesota’s NFL franchise than we are.

Adam Patrick, the editor of The Viking Age, allowed us behind enemy lines to hear a few secrets about the Eagles’ guests for their home opener.

Admittedly, when your day-to-day routine revolves around the activities of an NFL franchise and any fallout that comes as a result, it’s difficult to keep up with everything the other 31 teams are doing. It’s good to have friends when you need some information.

For more than a decade, Adam Patrick has been covering the Vikings. He’s also the editor at The Viking Age, FanSided’s home for all things related. We chased him down to ask him what Minnesota’s weaknesses are and where the Bird would be best suited to attack. Here’s some of what he had to say in what wound up being an intriguing conversation.

"There are issues in the trenches. The interior of the offensive line is terrible and has been for the last few seasons. The run defense gave up 6.2 yards per carry last week which is concerning seeing as how the Vikings struggled there in 2021. In addition, the Vikings only scored six points in the second half last week after scoring 17 in the first half. They also struggle on third down. They converted four of 13 attempts on the afternoon."

So, here’s some of what we got from that. As much as Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman probably hate to hear this. Running the ball might be what the doctor ordered here. The bright side of that is it keeps the high-powered Vikings offense on the sideline and provides opportunities to run play-action. That is if your team runs play-action. We’ll shelve that one for the time being and revisit that discussion later.

Here’s more from Patrick.

"The Eagles may also have an advantage when their passing attack lines up across from the Vikings’ defensive backs. Minnesota’s corners got lucky last week because they almost gave up a 75-yard touchdown on the first Packers’ offensive drive, but Christian Watson dropped it. The Vikings are also being led by an inexperienced head coach. This is his first regular-season road game and his first primetime game as a head coach. We saw what type of effect a similar environment had on the Broncos’ rookie head coach (Nathaniel Hackett) in Week 1 on Monday night. This could be a long evening for Kevin O’Connell."

Earlier we mentioned that much can be learned about the deficiencies of an NFL team even in victory and that all wins can be dissected. Who you play matters. Why do you think undefeated teams from smaller conferences, the Cincinnati Bearcats for example, get embarrassed by traditional powers like the Alabama Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff?

Perhaps we misspoke earlier. Sure, in the National Football League, earning the W is all that matters, but you need to understand something. All wins are not created equal. Some wins further expose deficiency. The only people that don’t fully understand that are Dallas Cowboys fans. Why do you think they’re always the last to learn that their team won’t be in the Super Bowl again?

Sure, as move through the regular season and further from the opening weekend, we won’t continue to discuss the lessons learned from Philly’s puzzling performance in the Motor City. That is unless, of course, we’re still seeing an anemic pass rush and an awful game plan from Jonathan Gannon, but there’s also a difference between embarrassing an annual contender, as the Minnesota Vikings did in Week 1, and holding on to survive versus a team that won’t earn a postseason berth.

The Vikings and Eagles both own 1-0 records after their first game. In the end, that’s the point, but neither team is where they want to be from a schematic standpoint. Then again, that can be said about every team in the NFL minus the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs.

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By comparison, the Vikings should provide a better test for the Eagles than the Lions did as they’re a more talented team, one that, across the board, has better players. The coming game is a nice litmus test.

The results of this game will provide a better understanding of where both teams are now that most of the rust caused by not playing is gone. Expect the debates to continue when this game is in the books regardless of what happens.