PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles rolled the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football, 24-7, at Lincoln Financial Field.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts was terrific, completing 83.8 percent of his throws, which topped his career-high of 77.1 in last season’s opener in Atlanta. He ran for two touchdowns and threw for another.
The defense was dominant, intercepting Kirk Cousins three times, and sacking him twice, putting out the kind of performance that should help quiet a growing pack of critics – at least for the short week leading into a game against Carson Wentz and the Washington Commanders in Landover, Md., on Sunday.
There were plenty of big plays in the win.
Here are five of the biggest, and most important:
1. Arryn Siposs’ tackle
Imagine, a punter tracking down a cornerback in the open field. If I didn’t see it, I wouldn’t have believed it, but that’s what the Eagles’ punter did after Patrick Peterson blocked Jake Elliott’s 41-yard FG try late in the third quarter that would’ve upped Philly’s lead to 27-7.
Boyd scooped up the ball and appeared headed for a huge momentum-changing touchdown, one that would’ve cut the Eagles' lead to 24-14 with just over three minutes to play in the third quarter. He made it 27 yards, to the Eagles’ 30, before Siposs caught him from behind.
On the Vikings’ third offensive play after the block, Avonte Maddox intercepted Kirk Cousins on a third-and-seven throw from the 27.
2. Darius Slay’s two interceptions
Both came in the second half. The first ended a Vikings drive that began the third quarter and had reached Philly’s 19. His second came after Jordan Hicks picked off Hurts and returned it 19 yards to set up the Vikings’ offense with first-and-goal at the 9. Slay never let the ball reach Justin Jefferson on third down, picking it off in the end zone.
Had Minnesota scored there, with more than seven minutes still on the clock, who knows what could have happened?
3. Quez Watkins’ 53-yard TD
DeVonta Smith wasn’t the only WR without a catch last week. Watkins didn’t have any either. He had one before the TD that made the score 14-0 Eagles on the first play of the second quarter. It was also Jalen Hurts’ first TD pass of the season. Watkins ended with two receptions for 69 yards.
4. Jalen Hurts’ 26-yard TD run
The QB made a brilliant fake handoff to Miles Sanders, drawing some of the defense to the running back. He then swept to the right side and had a wide-open field in front of him, until he got inside the 10, where he had to cut to his left and then absorbed a couple of hits before crossing the goal line. The score made it 21-7 with 1:58 to go in the second quarter.
5. Dallas Goedert’s back-to-back catches
They came at the end of the first half when the Eagles got the ball at their 5-yard line and 1:21 to go. The Eagles pushed it to the 37 with 22 seconds left. Goedert then caught a pass for 19 yards to the Vikings’ 44. It was the tight end again for 24 yards on the next play. Nick Sirianni called timeout with three seconds to go, and Elliott was good from 38 yards out.
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Fan Nation Eagles Today and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglesmaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.