This is going to be fun.
The Vikings are in Philadelphia to take on the Eagles in a battle of two talented teams who started their seasons with a victory. It's very early, but this Monday night matchup could tell us a lot about the balance of power in the NFC this season. It could also matter for playoff seeding down the line.
Both teams are loaded with star players on both sides of the ball, so a close game is a reasonable expectation. But who wins? Let's dive into some predictions, first from myself and then from a variety of national analysts. As a reminder, the Vikings are 2.5-point underdogs.
Will's pick: Eagles 30, Vikings 27
2022 record: 1-0
Although I think the Vikings are going to have a very successful season this year, I think they'll come up just short in this game. The Eagles' running game is a major concern after the Vikings allowed the Packers to rack up 6.6 yards per carry against them. So is A.J. Brown going against Minnesota's suspect cornerback group. On the other side of the ball, I'm worried about the Eagles' interior defensive line wreaking havoc against Vikings center Garrett Bradbury and rookie right guard Ed Ingram, and I'd imagine Jonathan Gannon will have a better plan to make things hard — or at least less easy — for Justin Jefferson than the Packers did. I think this is a battle of top-five teams in the NFC, so it could go either way, but I'll take the Eagles to win a fun one
SI MMQB: Two of SI's five pickers — Albert Breer and Mitch Goldich — are taking the Vikings. John Pluym, Conor Orr, and Gary Gramling are taking the Eagles at home.
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com: Eagles 30, Vikings 27
The Eagles’ defense was less than the sum of its parts in Detroit, which could be a problem against a Vikings offense that isn’t just running Sean McVay’s old playbook. Kevin O’Connell did a great job blending schemes he’s worked in and finding ways to get Justin Jefferson open against the Packers. Minnesota's defensive line faces a much tougher test here; Jalen Hurts’ ability to create when pressured could be the difference. Hurts is set to have one of the best rushing seasons by a quarterback in NFL history.
Bleacher Report Staff: Vikings 28, Eagles 26
Surprisingly, five of B/R's seven pickers are taking the Vikings on the road.
Aaron Rodgers called Justin Jefferson “the best player in the game today.” If the star wideout doesn’t post gaudy numbers, watch out for Dalvin Cook, who can pierce an Eagles defense that gave up 181 rushing yards to the Lions last week.
Mike Florio, PFT: Eagles 24, Vikings 21
The Vikings are improved, but beating Philly in their home opener is too much to expect this early in the season.
Michael David Smith, PFT: Vikings 28, Eagles 21
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: Eagles 32, Vikings 26
This is one of the best games of the week, with two 1-0 teams coming off impressive victories. The Minnesota defense was outstanding last week against the Packers, but this is a different style of offense. The Eagles will roll to a lot of points here, but the Vikings will get theirs too. This will be a shootout with the Eagles getting the best of it.
Mark Craig, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Eagles 27, Vikings 24
Philly and its fans get the nod only because they're at home and it's prime time.
Sam Farmer, LA Times: Eagles 24, Vikings 20
Week 2 starts and ends with a terrific matchup. Minnesota’s offense will carve up a lot of defenses this season, but with the Eagles’ front and those corners, they are really tough. Hard place to play too.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Vikings 31, Eagles 27
The Vikings unleashed Justin Jefferson in their new offense against the Packers and also supported him well with Dalvin Cook. They also found some newfound energy with their 3-4 defense to stifle Green Bay. The Eagles got rolling with A.J. Brown and Miles Sanders around Jalen Hurts in Detroit. In this high-scoring affair, it comes down to who can run better, backed by big pass plays. Trust in Minnesota's defense a little more than Philadelphia's.
Seth Walder, ESPN: Eagles 24, Vikings 21
Eric Moody, ESPN: Vikings 23, Eagles 20
What to watch for: The Eagles' defense was gashed for 181 rushing yards on 28 carries (6.5 per carry) in Week 1 against the Lions. The tackling was shoddy coming off a light training camp, and gap assignments were an issue. That could spell big things for Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook, who ran for 90 yards on 20 carries against the Packers. Part of the solution could be more of Philadelphia defensive tackle Jordan Davis. When the first-round pick was on the field Sunday, Detroit averaged 2.9 yards per carry on the ground compared to 10 yards per carry when he was on the sideline. — Tim McManus
Bold prediction: A Vikings skill position player other than receiver Justin Jefferson will have a 100-yard day. This isn't to rule out Jefferson also hitting triple digits, but after watching him tear up the Packers' defense in Week 1, the Eagles will pay more attention to him and invite quarterback Kirk Cousins to throw more often in the direction of receivers Adam Thielen and K.J. Osborn and even Cook. — Kevin Seifert
Stat to know: Receiver A.J. Brown had 155 receiving yards in his Eagles debut, the fifth-most by any player in his first game with a new team all-time. No Eagles receiver has had consecutive 100-yard receiving games since Jordan Matthews in 2015. Brown also had 10 receptions in Week 1, and the most catches by an Eagles player in the first two games of a season is 16 (done six times).
Betting nugget: Cousins is 2-9 outright and ATS on Monday Night Football, though he has won and covered his past two such games. And since 2010, the Vikings are 0-7 ATS as an underdog on Monday Night Football.
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