Quick Takes: Five takeaways from the Eagles’ statement win over Minnesota
The Minnesota Vikings are incapable of scoring more than seven points at Lincoln Financial Field.
For the first time since the NFC Championship Game in 2017, the Vikings (who many believe to be NFC contenders) traveled to South Philadelphia for a Monday night matchup with the Eagles. Jalen Hurts thrived on the primetime stage en route to a 24-7 win, moving his team to 2-0 on the young season.
Here are my five takeaways from the Week 2 victory:
Jalen Hurts puts the league on notice
With a breakout party eerily similar to that of Carson Wentz back in 2017, Hurts had the best half of his career under the MNF spotlight. The third-year QB completed his first 12 passes to start the game and found eight different receivers throughout, abolishing all favoritism theories regarding AJ Brown.
On the first play of the second quarter, Hurts found Quez Watkins on a 53-yard bomb to put his team up by 14; Minnesota never stood a chance from there. Hurts finished the night 26/31 passing for 333 passing yards, 57 rushing yards, and three total TDs, one of which he dragged two defenders five yards into the endzone.
Following his performance, Hurts (+1000) trails only Josh Allen (+380) and Patrick Mahomes (+500) as the MVP favorite. Not bad for a noodle arm, eh?
“Big-time performance on a big-time stage,” Nick Sirianni said after the game.
Not a chance in hell Hurts even attempts this pass last year. Visible growth. pic.twitter.com/J4PbG50uAi— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) September 20, 2022
Darius Slay sentences JJETS to jail time without parole
Coming off his 184-yard, 2-TD opener vs. Green Bay, Justin Jefferson didn’t see the same success in Philadelphia. On six targets as the nearest defender, Slay held Jefferson to just one reception for seven yards while recording five pass-breakups and two interceptions — the first Eagles player with that stat line in a game since Lito Sheppard in 2006.
“You know how it always goes — the older you get, the more they think you’re falling off. But I ain’t one of them guys. I’m still at an elite level. I deserve a lot of respect in this league,” Slay said. “I take no matchup lightly, but he is one of the best in the world — and I’m one of the best in the world, too.”
Darius Slay allowed just 7 yards in coverage when defending Justin Jefferson. pic.twitter.com/QB07krFgIT— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) September 20, 2022
Defense neutralizes Kirk Cousins, rushing attack
Falling behind early was a contributing factor, but Minnesota’s run game was virtually nonexistent. After allowing D’Andre Swift to run wild for 144 yards last week, Jonathan Gannon adjusted accordingly and held Dalvin Cook to just 2.8 yards per carry.
Once the Vikings had to play catchup, completions didn’t come easy for Kirk Cousins. On Minnesota’s second drive, James Bradberry broke up a pass intended for TE Irv Smith Jr. TJ Edwards later broke up another pass intended for Smith on third-down.
Cousins has routinely had the Eagles’ number dating back to his days in Washington, but his primetime woes (now 2-10) continue to haunt him.
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Arryn Siposs thwarts comeback efforts
With 3:26 remaining in the third quarter, Jake Elliott took the field for a 41-yard FG attempt. Patrick Peterson ran right by TE Noah Togiai and blocked the FG, which Vikings’ CB Kris Boyd scooped up. Boyd was well on his way to the endzone before being hawked down by punter Arryn Siposs.
Cousins threw an interception to Avonte Maddox on the ensuing possession, effectively foiling any comeback hopes Minnesota might’ve had. Tremendous hustle play by the Australian.
DeVonta Smith bounces back
I told everyone in last week’s takeaways not to worry about DeVonta Smith following his zero-catch game in Detroit, and he showed why in Week 2. Smith led all receivers with seven receptions for 80 yards on Monday night, including back-to-back first-down catches in the second quarter.
As defenses try to slow down AJ Brown (who still had five catches for 69 yards), Smith should continue to see opportunities in the Eagles’ passing game.
I don’t think putting 260-pound linebackers on DeVonta Smith is a good idea. pic.twitter.com/UZhz24eNNQ— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) September 20, 2022
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images