Skip to main content

Five Storylines, with a Bonus Question, for Eagles-Vikings Matchup

The bonus questions relate to the attached video and a comedy set in Philadelphia that has an Eagles theme in its upcoming Season 2 premiere
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

PHILADELPHIA – Here are five storylines going into Monday Night Football with the Eagles hosting the Minnesota Vikings.

DeVonta Smith’s catches. How many catches will the WR have? Everybody knows by now he had none in last week’s win over the Detroit Lions.

“I think the same conversation as last week, that’s be prepared to make the most of your opportunities,” said A.J. Brown when asked what the conversations have been with Smith heading into Monday night’s game. 

“I have no doubt in my mind that he’s going to come out and respond. I’m excited for him. There’s definitely going to be a lot of attention on me, but that’s what comes with it and I know he’s excited to hoop, as we say.”

Jordan Davis’ snap count. Will the rookie defensive tackle play more than 22 snaps? The run defense certainly seemed more effective with him in the game last week.

“I just do what the coaches tell me to do,” he said. “I can’t put myself in the game. Obviously, we have great guys up front, too. Whenever it’s my turn I just go out and do my thing…whatever I need to do.”

Davis was asked earlier in the week by SI Eagles Today what he learned about himself in his first NFL game. He gave an interesting answer.

“Um, you know, I’m ready,” he said. “I struggle with self-confidence sometimes and I’m like. ‘Alright, you’re here, you gotta do something, don’t mess up, don’t mess up,’ I’ll be overthinking. But when the dust cleared and everything settled, ‘I’m like, all right, you held your own, I’m ready for this.’”

Defensive line’s pass rush. This is the biggest key to the game. The Eagles cannot afford to let Vikings QB Kirk Cousins stand back there and pick them apart. Not with Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and tight Irv Smith roaming down the field.

It’s difficult to be optimistic for a team that had just 29 sacks last year and only one in the season opener being able to do that.

Eagles' offensive tackles. Last week, Lane Johnson at Jordan Mailata handled the Lions’ edge rushers, Charles Harris and rookie Aidan Hutchinson. Neither player had a sack or a quarterback pressure, though Harris made seven tackles.

Hutchinson had three sacks and Harris one in beating the Washington Commanders on Sunday.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

Now comes a more seasoned group of rushers in Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith, both of whom entered the league in 2015 and have more than 100 sacks combined.

Another sack shutout by the Eagles' bookend tackles would help a win become a reality.

Special teams. The Eagles kickoff return team came up with a big play in recovering an onside kick. 

They also did a good job not allowing much yardage in the return game, and Britain Covey had a return of 11 yards that showed perhaps the potential for greater things to come from him and he caught everything punted to him.

Last year, the special teams struggled in many facets, so finding a way to make a positive play in what figures to be a close game could be a difference-maker.

BONUS QUESTION: What happens when a principal uses the teacher’s parking lot as an overflow parking area for a game?

Hilarity ensues.

OK, some context beyond the attached video.

The second season of ‘Abbott Elementary,’ which is set in Philadelphia and uses the city as a true character, debuts on Wednesday night on ABC.

For those who have not seen the show, it uses a lot of Philly references.

In the season premiere, there’s a special Eagles tailgate storyline. In short, the principal (played by comedian and Emmy nominee Janelle James) is using the teacher’s parking lot as overflow parking for a game due to the school’s proximity to Lincoln Financial Field.

There a fun AJ Brown shoutout in our season two premiere as well.

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.