Tim McManus covers the Philadelphia Eagles for ESPN. He joined ESPN in 2016 after covering the Eagles for Philadelphia Magazine’s Birds 24/7, a site he helped create, since 2010. You can follow him on Twitter @Tim_McManus.
Kevin Seifert is a staff writer who covers the Minnesota Vikings and the NFL at ESPN. Kevin has covered the NFL for over 20 years, joining ESPN in 2008. He was previously a beat reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Washington Times. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia. You can follow him via Twitter @SeifertESPN.
PHILADELPHIA — Eagles Soar to Victory Against Vikings in Thrilling Matchup
PHILADELPHIA — Sparked by the stellar performances of running back D’Andre Swift and wide receiver DeVonta Smith, the Philadelphia Eagles showcased their talent in a thrilling “Thursday Night Football” win against the Minnesota Vikings. With a final score of 34-28, the Eagles came alive in the second half to secure their victory in Week 2.
Throughout the game, both teams faced challenges finding cohesion on the field. However, the Eagles’ ground game remained a consistent presence.
Philly’s rushing attack was the standout feature of the game, with the Eagles accumulating over 250 rushing yards. Quarterback Jalen Hurts contributed with two rushing touchdowns, compensating for an inconsistent passing game. A notable highlight was the breakout performance of D’Andre Swift, who achieved a career-high of 175 rushing yards. This marked the most rushing yards by an Eagle since LeSean McCoy in 2013. Swift rose to the occasion in the absence of Kenneth Gainwell, who was sidelined due to a rib injury.
A pivotal moment in the game occurred during the first half when Philadelphia executed a remarkable 16-play, 75-yard drive, predominantly relying on rushing plays. Jalen Hurts continued to impress with his rushing abilities, tying with Cam Newton for the most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in their first 50 career games.
Although the Eagles have shown some areas for improvement in their passing game, their defense was able to generate three takeaways. When push came to shove, Philadelphia relied on their dominant ground game to secure the win. This signifies a valuable asset moving forward.
DeVonta Smith Shines with Breakout Performance
DeVonta Smith emerged as a superstar in the game, amassing four catches for 131 yards and a touchdown. This included two receptions of 50-plus yards. Corner Darius Slay boldly predicted that Smith is destined to be considered the best receiver in the league. While it may be premature to make such claims, all signs point to Smith having a remarkable season.
Eye-Popping Stat: Jalen Hurts’ Sneaky Success
Jalen Hurts continues to astound with his rushing abilities, having achieved 10 rushing touchdowns on quarterback sneaks since the start of last season. This is seven more than any other quarterback in the league. Hurts’ success is partially attributed to the “tush push,” with the quarterback successfully converting 34 out of 36 sneaks when pushed by his teammates. No other quarterback in the league has more than 10 push sneaks in that same time frame.
Pivotal Play: Josh Sweat’s Game-Changing Fumble Recovery
The turning point in the game came when Josh Sweat, defensive end for the Eagles, executed a critical play by stripping the ball from Kirk Cousins, the Vikings’ quarterback. Fletcher Cox recovered the fumble and advanced to Minnesota’s 7-yard line, setting up a touchdown plunge by Jalen Hurts. This marked the beginning of the end for the Vikings.
Next Game: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Eagles will face the formidable challenge of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their upcoming match on September 25 at 7:15 p.m. ET.
Minnesota Vikings Suffer Devastating Loss to Eagles
For the second time this season, the Minnesota Vikings failed to give themselves a chance to win as they succumbed to defeat against the Philadelphia Eagles. With a total of four lost fumbles, including a fumble by receiver Justin Jefferson at the goal line, the Vikings’ errors proved costly. The final score of 34-28 in favor of the Eagles highlights the Vikings’ struggle to maintain possession of the ball.
The Vikings’ performance in the first two games raises concerns about their ability to compete in the NFL. Their six fumbles mark the first time since 2003 that an NFL team has lost that many fumbles in the first two games of a season. To salvage their season, the Vikings must find answers quickly as they face formidable opponents in upcoming games, including star quarterbacks Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes, along with the talented San Francisco 49ers.
Troubling Trend: Vikings’ Lack of Running Game
The Vikings’ running game has been lackluster in their first two games of the season. With the departure of former starter Dalvin Cook and the introduction of Alexander Mattison, the Vikings have struggled to establish a productive ground attack. Mattison’s underwhelming performance of 28 yards on eight carries in the most recent game adds to the team’s concerns.
The Eagles Exploit the Vikings’ Defensive Weakness
While the Vikings struggled with their running game, the Eagles successfully capitalized on their opponent’s defensive vulnerabilities. By adopting a three-safety look as their base defense and utilizing unique defensive fronts, the Vikings provided the Eagles with an advantage. Philadelphia dominated with their physicality in the trenches, amassing an impressive 259 rushing yards.
Pivotal Play: Jefferson’s Costly Fumble
Justin Jefferson had an impressive game overall, reaching 5,000 career receiving yards in just 52 games. Additionally, he became the first player since 2011 to achieve 150 or more receiving yards in each of his first two games of a season. However, it was a crucial play that changed the tide of the game. As Jefferson reached for the goal line after a 30-yard reception, he lost control of the ball. The ball flew over the pylon, resulting in a touchback and a turnover. A touchdown in that moment would have given the Vikings a 14-10 lead. Instead, the Eagles capitalized on the turnover and secured a 13-7 lead at halftime with a 61-yard field goal. This play proved pivotal in the outcome of the game.
Next Game: Minnesota Vikings vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The Vikings will face the Los Angeles Chargers in their next game on September 24 at 1 p.m. ET.
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