Eagles Roundup: Everything you need to know heading into Philly’s Monday night showdown with Minnesota
The Philadelphia Eagles will host Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings under the Monday Night Football lights for their home opener tonight.
It’s an early statement game for both squads. Philly and Minnesota are fresh off Week 1 victories and will be looking to prove themselves as legitimate NFC contenders.
Philadelphia is slight favorites for their Monday night matchup, sitting at -2.5 (-115), per DraftKings Sportsbook. The over/under for the game is currently set at 49 points.
The Eagles-Vikings contest is set to kickoff at 8:30 PM EST and will be televised on ABC. ESPN+ subscribers will be able to livestream the game through the ESPN app.
Here’s everything you need to know before the Eagles and Vikings kickoff tonight.
Eagles final injury report
Everyone on the Eagles active roster will be a full-go for Monday night.
It was revealed on last week that defensive end Derek Barnett suffered a torn ACL during the team’s Week 1 contest in Detroit. He’s been placed on season-ending IR.
Key matchups, film breakdowns for Eagles-Vikings
Though the Eagles managed to escape Detroit with a victory in Week 1, Jonathan Gannon’s defensive unit left a lot to be desired last Sunday. They surrendered 386 total yards and 35 points to a Jared Goff-led offense.
Heading into their Week 2 matchup, Gannon’s unit has a lot of cleaning up to do.
Philly’s defense was far from perfect last Sunday, but their first-round rookie managed to leave his mark on just 22 snaps of action.
The 6-foot-6, 336-pound Jordan Davis was as advertised against Detroit. He was a force against Detroit’s explosive running attack, helping limit D’Andre Swift and Co. to 2.9 yards per attempt when he was on the field, as opposed to 10.0 YPC when he was on the sideline.
On paper, both the Eagles and Vikings are pretty buttoned up both sides of the ball. Neither team has a glaring weakness at the moment.
Nevertheless, there are a handful of key matchups that could determine tonight’s outcome. Whichever team manages to exploit these matchups will likely leave The Linc victorious.
In regards to the Eagles offense specifically, they’ll face a solid defensive unit in Minnesota.
The Vikings have a handful of difference makers scattered throughout their defensive personnel. From Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith on the backend, to their vaunted pass rushing duo of Za’Darius Smith and Danielle Hunter, Minnesota has some real dogs on the defensive side of the ball.
But, that doesn’t mean they don’t have any weak points defensively.
From the players and coaches
Eagles fans were pretty vocal about the lack of exposure for Jordan Davis in Week 1 following last Sunday’s victory.
Local pundits pressed Gannon on his usage rate of Davis in Week 1 and if it will increase as the season goes on.
One of the overlooked storylines to come out of the Eagles Week 1 win was the emergence of undrafted rookie Britain Covey as the primary punt returner.
Although Covey only saw two punt returns for 13 yards last week, it was evident that he’s an experienced and confident return man. Even when calling for fair catches with traffic in his face, Covey didn’t flinch.
Eagles All-Pro center Jason Kelce went viral this week. Not for treating opposing defenders like a rag doll — the reason Kelce typically goes viral. This time, he was the one getting tossed around.
During last week’s matchup, Kelce found himself in the crosshairs of rookie LB Malcolm Rodriguez. Kelce did push the rookie completely out of the play, rendering the defender useless, but the rookie still unleashed a wicked hip toss on the future Hall of Famer.
As always, Kelce handled it like a man and gave the rookie linebacker some props.
Though he probably won’t be much of a factor tonight (unless he muffs a punt, something that he’s known for around Philly), Jalen Reagor will make his triumphant return to South Philly as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.
The Eagles traded their former first-round pick to Minnesota just one week before the regular season began. He didn’t see a single offensive snap in his team’s season opener. Regardless, Reagor is coming into this MNF contest with a chip on his shoulders (or so he claims)
The Eagles offense racked up 455 yards in their Week 1 matchup, and they managed to do so without getting their 2021 first-round pick involved at all.
WR DeVonta Smith posted zeros across the stat sheet last Sunday while getting targeted four times. The media asked Smith about the zero-catch performance numerous times during his weekly press conference. The young wideout handled it like a veteran.
Monday night will be the first time Philly faces All-Pro wideout Justin Jefferson. The front office infamously passed on Jefferson in favor of Reagor during the first-round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Fans, players, and coaches are all well aware of this storyline heading into Monday night. Jefferson was asked about being passed on by Philly last week and his response didn’t sit well with the Philly faithful.
Minnesota’s special teams coordinator Matt Daniels said some questionable things about his new punt returner Jalen Reagor when his team initially acquired him.
“He’s a very stout, cocky-built guy,” Daniels told the Minnesota media after Reagor joined the Vikings. “Strong legs. Big glutes. Really nice calves. I was salivating over this dude.”
Not exactly the response anyone was expecting from Daniels, but the ST coordinator has since admitted that he may have gone a little too far.
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Following their Week 1 victory, the Eagles are now the betting favorites to win the NFC East. Per DraftKings Sportsbook, Philly sits at -150 odds to take the division crown.
An updated look at the NFC East betting odds