Vikings are improved, but dominant Eagles provided a dose of reality #news

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By Carmen Vitali
FOX Sports NFC North Writer

We may need to pump the breaks at theĀ Minnesota Vikings hype teach.

The Vikings got here storming out of the gate in Week 1, making a observation over the division-rivalĀ Green Bay Packers at the back of a 184-yard efficiency from third-year receiverĀ Justin Jefferson.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins seemed reborn underneath new head trainer Kevin O’Connell, the protection seemed rejuvenated with the tandem ofĀ Danielle Hunter and previous packer Za’Darius Smith and Minnesota gave the impression to be one of essentially the most whole groups within the NFC.

That all got here crashing down because of theĀ Philadelphia Eagles (and perhaps a Monday Night Football curse).

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – SEPTEMBER 19: Fletcher Cox #91 of the Philadelphia Eagles forces a fumble in opposition to Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings right through the fourth quarterat Lincoln Financial Field on September 19, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo through Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Let’s get this out of the best way: the Eagles are just right. Really just right. QuarterbackĀ Jalen Hurts placed on a medical institution in versatility, making just right choices all evening in every segment of the ball on his approach to finishing 26 of 31 cross makes an attempt for 333 yards and a passing landing (plus a speeding rating) together with a 108.7 passer ranking.Ā 

Where the Eagles had been various and versatile on offense, the Vikings had been inflexible and stiff on protection. They refused to return out of the two-high shell they’d satisfied themselves would paintings all over again, even in opposition to a true dual-threat quarterback like Hurts.

As a consequence, he took what they gave him ā€” which was once a lot of room within the intermediate house of the sector ā€” and took merit of the following mild packing containers. Hurts hit 23 of his 25 cross makes an attempt inside of 20 yards of the road of scrimmage ā€” and that is the reason to not say Hurts did not take his photographs, both. He hitĀ Quez Watkins for a 53-yard rating in the second one quarter after being given a pristine pocket through possibly the most productive offensive line in soccer. Lost in Hurts’ heroics was once, actually, the play from the entrance 5. They unlocked the entire scope of this Philly offense, main the best way for 163 speeding yards on best of the passing recreation potency. Minnesota was once on its heels all the evening.

The Vikings did not anything to lend a hand themselves, both.Ā Dallas Goedert dropped a first-down ball positioned completely through Cousins within the first quarter. Most egregiously,Ā Kenneth Gainwell talented his staff with the ball on the Philadelphia nine-yard line after nabbing the one interception off Hurts all evening. Instead of coming away with much-needed issues within the fourth quarter whilst down through 3 rankings, Eagles cornerbackĀ Darius Slay registered his 2nd interception of Cousins at the evening ā€” once more in entrance of vast receiver Justin Jefferson and this time, finally zone.

While the ball to Jefferson finally zone was once surely underthrown through Cousins, the primary interception won’t were all at the quarterback. Jefferson dipped at the back of Slay within the 0.33 quarter, permitting Slay to be within the spot Jefferson was once meant to fill. Cousins threw the ball anyway, with the expectancy Jefferson could be there, and it felt like that was once the start of the top for the Vikings.

After that interception within the 0.33, the Vikings’ pressure chart went interception, punt, interception after which in spite of everything (perhaps mercifully) they ran out of time on their closing ownership, succumbing to the Eagles 24-7.

So whilst the Vikings seemed rattling close to unstoppable in Week 1, Week 2 published the cracks that also exist in Minnesota. Cousins nonetheless struggles on Monday evening. The protection nonetheless seems restricted in opposition to possibly extra unfamiliar warring parties. And whilst he stays a phenom, Justin Jefferson is not immune from making errors himself.Ā 

This may not make or destroy Minnesota’s season. Like we said previous, the Eagles are a actually just right staff. The Vikings will play theĀ Lions in Week 3 prior to dealing with some other highway check within the Superdome in opposition to theĀ New Orleans Saints. A playoff berth is not out of the query through any stretch of the creativeness, and it will finally end up being a actually a hit first season of the O’Connell technology in Minnesota. But there is not any denying some wind was once taken out of the Vikings’ sails in Philly and perhaps expectancies are simply a little bit less than they had been after closing week.Ā 

Through two weeks, each staff within the NFC North is 1-1.

Carmen Vitali covers the NFC North for FOX Sports. Carmen had earlier stops with The Draft Network and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. She spent six seasons with the Bucs, together with 2020, which added the name of Super Bowl Champion (and boat-parade player) to her rƩsumƩ. You can observe Carmen on Twitter at @CarmieV.

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