It didn’t take long for panic to set in among much of the Philadelphia Eagles fan base. Seeing your favorite team get pushed to the limit versus what was supposed to be an inferior team sometimes has that effect on people.
There isn’t anything that takes the wind out of one’s sails more than blown leads in the fourth quarter, and watching the Detroit Lions trim a 17-point Eagles advantage to a three-point margin was uber concerning. In the end, the Birds won. That’s all that matters, but stating that Week 1 didn’t teach us anything would be naive.
Sure, it was one game. Things will settle, and Jalen Hurts is progressing. The next test features a game on Monday Night Football versus a game Minnesota Vikings team. A win would go a long way in easing some new and unexpected stress.
Here’s the roadmap to an Eagles win over the Vikings in Week 2 on Monday Night Football.
As much as Howie Roseman and Jeffrey Lurie hate to hear this, running the ball might be what the doctor ordered.
Control the time of possession.
The Eagles are a gifted rushing team. We know that. Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie and vice president/general manager Howie Roseman want an air-raid. We know that as well, but when facing a high-powered offense that’s led by Kirk Cousins, a man that has had Philly’s number more often than not, the best elixir may be the aforementioned running game.
Controlling the time of possession and keeping the other team’s offense on the sideline is always a great idea. That shouldn’t be an issue as the Green Bay Packers racked up more than six yards per rushing attempt versus Minnesota in Week 1.
Limit the Vikings’ running game. Is that possible though?
The Vikes have a talented backfield of their own. Dalvin Cook is coming off of three consecutive Pro Bowl seasons, and his backup, Alexander Mattison, is no slouch either.
The Eagles were stout versus the run in 2021, but they allowed D’Andre Swift to rack up a 9.6 yards-per-carry average in Week 1. That can’t happen again in Week 2, or it’s going to be a long night for the Birds. They have to limit Cook at all costs.
Is there any way Justin Jefferson can be bracketed?
As great as Darius Slay and James Bradberry are, and they are great, it’s difficult to contain Justin Jefferson for four quarters. He can change the game’s momentum in a single play.
We won’t know until the game is underway what the Vikings’ offensive strategy is, but it could behoove Jonathan Gannon to play a little bracket coverage in an attempt to take Number 18 away from Kirk Cousins as often as possible.
Adam Thielen is a monster on the other side of the formation, but we’re willing to take our chances with Slay and/or Bradberry covering him.
Deploying a few blitz packages could be helpful!
In short, when the Eagles blitzed in Week 1, it worked. It’s hard to determine what Jonathan Gannon is thinking, but with all the playmakers he’s been given, it makes sense to take a few chances and abandon this anxiety he seemingly has about being beaten by way of the deep pass. Playing conservatively and giving up everything underneath isn’t working either.
We want more Jordan Davis!
This one speaks for itself. When you invest the 13th-overall selection into someone like Jordan Davis, he has to play more than 22 defensive snaps, especially when he was effective while in the game.
Calling all Eagles fans to Lincoln Financial Field…
Part of the reason the Eagles are favored in this game is that it’s being played in the friendly confines of Lincoln Financial Field. Had the Vikings been the home team it may not have been this way.
We saw in Week 1 how a rowdy and raucous home crowd can affect the ebbs and flows of an NFL game, not only at Ford Field but in last week’s Monday Night Football game as well. How about the Seattle Seahawks?
If you’re going to the game, we need you. The Philadelphia Eagles’ 12th man could make things very difficult when the Vikings are operating on offense.