The Philadelphia Eagles are 2-0 after beating the Minnesota Vikings in front of a national crowd on Monday Night Football. Final score: 24 to 7.
Going into the 2022 season, Jalen Hurts and Jonathan Gannon were seen as the Eagles’ biggest question marks.
On Monday night, it was exclamation marks.
The improvement of Hurts is the biggest story to emerge from this game. He was sensational out there. The third-year quarterback did some high-level throws against tight windows. He threw with great accuracy and touch. He made great decisions and looked total. It was the most impressive passing performance of his career. Oh, and he’s great as a runner again. At the very least, this was an achievement by a franchise quarterback. If he continues to play at this level, the Eagles may just have the NFL MVP below the middle.
Gannon’s defense was not perfect; one can find things to quibble about (see: Haason Reddick Falls into Cover to Set Up a Vikings Touchdown). Overall, though, there was clearly a lot more good than bad. Having previously been absolutely destroyed by some competent quarterback, Gannon had answers for Cousins. The Eagles capped Minnesota to just seven points and came away with multiple turnovers. JG was under pressure to perform and he found some redemption.
All in all, this was a big win for the Eagles. They go to 2-0 with two wins over NFC opponents.
They are undefeated and enter another big game in Week 3: a road game against the Washington Commanders.
The Eagles’ first game against Carson Wentz since he traded the man who replaced Hurts.
Read on for a recap and stay tuned for BGN’s postgame coverage.
- The Eagles targeted DeVonta Smith on the very first game, which went for a five-yard reception. Who could have guessed that the Birds would try to hit him early? Jalen Hurts rolled to the right and found an open Dallas Goedert for a first down. Miles Sanders’ first carry was over 12 yards. Hurts was tackled without a win to bring a 3rd-and-9. In third place, Hurts found Kenneth Gainwell too short for a catch-and-run to move the chains… but the big game was wiped out by Landon Dickerson who was downfield illegally for quite a bit. On 3rd and 13th, Hurts pocketed with good protection and struck out to AJ Brown for a first down. Nice throw! Hurts found Zach Pascal short to convert a 3rd and 3. Pascal also had a third down conversion in Detroit last week; he is a factor in those situations. Two plays later, Hurts powered by contact to press it in for a touchdown. Strong opening drive. Strange sequence on the extra point for the Eagles where they had to redo the extra point because there were “Vikings attendants” on the field. How was that not a penalty? The Vikings were then penalized for offside… but the Eagles refused the flag instead of trying to get two points off the 1-yard line. EAGLES 7, VIKINGS 0.
- The Vikings’ first drive was a three-and-out with Darius Slay knocking down a Kirk Cousins pass intended for Justin Jefferson. Jefferson wanted a pass interference call, but the refs didn’t give it to him. Slay quickly grabbed Jefferson’s hand… but the umpires won’t always mention that. Nick Sirianni caught fire and ran downstairs to celebrate with the defense after the stop.
- Offensive pass interference on DeVonta turned a 3rd-and-2 into a 3rd-and-12. Hurts was then fired from behind after holding the ball to force a punt. Jalen Reagor was booed as he lined up to return the Eagles’ first punt…
- The Vikings came to 3rd-and-5 and James Bradberry knocked the third down throw to Irv Smith. Strong start for Jonathan Gannon’s defence.
- The Eagles were called up for their fourth offensive penalty on their third drive. It was their third unfit man downfield with Isaac Seumalo being named as the culprit.
- Hurts threw deep to a wide open Quez Watkins, who was freed with a Vikings safety mistakenly helping with Goedert rather than sticking with the fast wide receiver. EAGLES 14, VIKINGS 0.
- Jalen Reagor jet sweep on 3rd-and-1 for a 17-yard gain…and booing from the crowd at the Linc. The Vikings drove into the red zone and Haason Reddick, who fell into cover against backup tight end Johnny Mundt, allowed a 17-yard reception to set up first-and-goal at the 2-yard line. Cousins then hit Irv Smith with a short pass for the score. Reddick in cover certainly feels like a waste. EAGLES 14, VIKINGS 7.
- The Eagles got to 3rd-and-12 and Hurts overran the line, but they were helped by a Vikings illegal contact penalty for another run of downs. Hurts’ first incompleteness came on a play where Goedert was tightly covered and almost made a flyout, but Cameron Dantlzer knocked the ball out before the tight end came into possession. Just a great defensive move to break a good throw in a tight window. Hurts’ third downpass was completed shortly before the sticks to force a punt. Second offensive ride of the night with no points.
- TJ Edwards hit a third down pass from Cousins over the middle to force another three-and-out.
- Hurts hit DeVonta across the middle on back-to-back play for gains of 19 and 16 yards. Then Boston Scott took a tie for 16 yards. Then Sanders picked up a tie for nine yards. Facing 3rd and 2, Hurts started running… but not just for the first down. Rather than go out, he followed a good block of the lead by Goedert over Harrison Smith, then drifted through contact to extend for a touchdown. Pretty impressive stuff! EAGLES 21, VIKINGS 7.
- Josh Sweat fired Cousins… but grabbed his face mask to wipe the bag clean. Wow. Cousins was nearly fired on a deep throw that appeared to have been affected by pressure… but it was nearly completed deep for Irv Smith… who instead dropped what could be a touchdown. What a break. Especially for CJ Gardner-Johnson. Cousins’ third downpass was incomplete to throw up another stop. Strange that it wasn’t an intentional grounding when no one was even near the ball. The umpires said Dalvin Cook was nearby, but… he wasn’t. Not at all.
- The Eagles took over at their own 5-yard line with 1:14 over in the second quarter. Hurts threw the ball with a nice touch to a weak spot to find DeVonta for a first down. Hurts hit Goedert for a 19-yard catch-and-run down the left sideline. I’m not sure why the Vikings left it open like that. Hurts put in a great touch on another pass to Goedert over the middle, another high level throw. That completion netted a 38-yard field goal from Jake Elliott. Huge to be able to take some points on that drive and turn it into a three-ball possession game. Hard to be more impressed with Hurts! EAGLES 24, VIKINGS 7.
- The Vikings opened the second half by methodically entering the red zone. But then Javon Hargrave hit Cousins while pitching to force a bad throw that was intercepted by Darius Slay! After the pick, Slay celebrated by running to the field seats and passing the ball to James Harden. Philadelphia fanfiction comes to life.
- The Eagles took over on their own 19-yard line, driving to 3rd and 5th of the Vikings’ 21-yard line. A false start on Lane Johnson knocked the Eagles back. The Eagles settled for an attempted 41-yard field goal… which was blocked. Thanks to Arryn Siposs for making a tackle to avoid a touchdown.
- The Vikings took over on the Eagles’ 24-yard line. And it didn’t matter, because Cousins threw another pick, this one at Avonte Maddox.
- Hurts made a nice throw as he rolled to the left to hit Watkins down the sideline for a piece of the win. Unfortunately for him, it was wiped out by a holding penalty on Jordan Mailata. The Eagles eventually had to kick.
- The Vikings went on an 11-play, 27-yard drive (how sad) that ended in a punt after a Fletcher Cox strip sack.
- Hurts threw a screen pass to Gainwell which bounced off his hands and was plucked by… longtime friend Jordan Hicks.
- Slay dropped a pick in the end zone. It was his third or fourth choice of the evening. Then Slay caught the next one going his way for a touchback. Game.
- The Eagles turned some clocks and then the Vikings had some waste time production before the game officially ended. Josh Sweat fired Cousins on the final cut of the game.
FINAL SCORE: EAGLES 24, VIKINGS 7.
LINE UP NOTES
- Quez Watkins was back to kick off.
- Midway through the second quarter, AJ Brown was briefly viewed in the medical tent. However, he did not miss any time.
The Philadelphia Eagles host the Minnesota Vikings in their home opener on Monday Night Football. It is a relatively large match-up between two 1-0 teams at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Birds are coming off a win against the Detroit Lions that wasn’t as convincing as many hoped it would be. While there were some positives to be gained from that game, concerns about Philadelphia’s defense remain. Can Jonathan Gannon find a way to hold out against a quarterback who isn’t quite terrible? Kirk Cousins has proven tricky for the Birds in the past and it’s hard to give Philly’s defensive coordinator the benefit of the doubt right now.
The Vikings want to follow a big win over the Green Bay Packers with another strong effort. The Minnesota defense limited the damage Aaron Rodgers could do in Week 1. There could be pressure on the Eagles’ attack to score a lot of points if Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook prove to be as challenging as they appear.
The winner of this game will feel pretty good. They have a 2-0 record and a claim as one of the very best teams in the NFC. The loser may think they are good, but not quite good enough.
Bleeding Green Nation will cover this game with live updates in the form of highlights, analysis, etc. Make sure to follow the page and refresh the page often.
(NOTE: This is NOT a game thread; it is a live blog that will turn into a game recap. Use the BGN game threads for each quarter to discuss in-game events there. The first quarter thread is HERE.)