Philadelphia Eagles 2-0 after defeating the Minnesota Vikings in front of a national crowd on Monday Night Football. Final score: 24 to 7.
Entering the 2022 season, Jalen Hurts and Jonathan Gannon were seen as the Eagles’ biggest question marks.
Monday night, they were exclamation points.
Hurts improvement is the biggest story that emerged from this game. It was exciting there. The third-year quarterback made a number of high-profile throws in tight windows. He threw with great accuracy and touch. He made great decisions and looked at everything there. It was the most impressive passing performance of his career. Oh, and he was pretty cool as a runner again, too. At least, that was the quarterback’s performance of the franchise. If he continues to play at this level, the Eagles may have an NFL MVP under the center.
Gannon’s defense wasn’t perfect. One can find things to dodge about (see: Haason Reddick’s fall in coverage to prepare a Viking touchdown). On the whole, there was clearly a lot more good than bad. After being utterly destroyed by any kind of competent quarterback, Gannon had answers for Cousins. The Eagles selected Minnesota with just seven points and came out with multiple turnovers. JG was under pressure to perform and found some redemption.
Finally, this was a huge win for the Eagles. They move to 2-0 with two wins over NFC opponents.
They’re undefeated as they enter another big game in Week 3: a road match against the Washington leaders.
The Eagles’ first match against Carson Wentz since trading the man who replaced Herz.
Read on for a summary and stay tuned for BGN’s post-game coverage.
- The Eagles targeted DeVonta Smith in the first play, which went for a reception from five yards. Who would have guessed that the birds would try to get it early? Galen Hurts rolled right and found Dallas Goedert open for the first time. Miles Sanders’ first load went 12 yards. Pains were dealt with no gain to bring in a 3 and a 9. In third, Hurts found Kenneth Gainwell too short in the catch-and-run to move the chains…but the big play was eliminated by illegal Landon Dickerson a little lower. On 3 and 13, Hurts stood in the pocket with good protection and delivered a punch to AJ Brown for the first time. Nice throw! Hurts found Zach Pascal short to turn 3 and 3. Pascal also had a third downward turn in Detroit last week. He is a factor in those situations. Next, Hurts was run through contact to get him into the landing. Powerful unlocking motor. Weird sequence on the Eagles extra point where they had to bring back the extra point because the “Viking midwives” were on the field. How was this not a penalty then? Then the Vikings were punished for snooping…but the Eagles rejected the flag instead of trying to go two points off the 1-yard line. Eagle 7, Vikings 0.
- The Vikings’ first drive was a three-pointer with Darius Sly knocking down Kirk Cousins’ pass assigned to Justin Jefferson. Jefferson wanted to make a call that enters a pass but the stewards did not give it to him. Slay was quickly taken over by Jefferson…but the referees wouldn’t always call that out. Nick Siriani fired and ran to celebrate with the defense after the stop.
- DeVonta’s attacking pass overlap turned 3 and 2 into 3 and 12. Hurts was then sent off from behind after holding the ball to force a shot. Galen Regor booed as he lined up to replay the Eagles’ first kick…and then delivered a cheer after being saved by Zeke McPherson for just one yard gain.
- The Vikings finished third and fifth and knocked James Bradbury on the third throw in front of Irv Smith. Strong start to the defense of Jonathan Gannon.
- The Eagles were called up for their fourth offensive penalty in their third career. He was the third unqualified man with Isaac Sumalo called the perpetrator.
- Hurts threw deep into the wide-open Quez Watkins, which was released with a Vikings safety that incorrectly assisted with Goedert rather than staying with the fast, wide receiver. Eagle 14, Vikings 0.
- Galen Regor’s plane made a sweep at 3 and 1 for a gain of 17 yards…and boos from the crowd at Link. He led the Vikings into the red and Hasson Riddick, who sprinted into coverage against tight reserve end Johnny Mundt, allowed a 17-yard reception to set up 1 and a goal on the 2-yard line. Then Cousins hit Irv Smith with a short pass to score. Reddick’s coverage certainly seems like a waste. Eagle 14, Vikings 7.
- The Eagles finished third and twelfth and Hertz went off limits far from the mark but were helped by the illegal Vikings contact penalty for a new set of defeats. Hurts’ first incompleteness came in a play where Goedert was tightly covered and nearly caught the ball but Cameron Dantlzer knocked the ball off before the tight finish established possession. Just great defensive play to break a good throw in a narrow window. Hurts’ third bottom pass was completed off the sticks to force Punt. The second offensive command at night without points.
- TJ Edwards dropped a third pass from Cousins down the middle to force three other breakouts.
- Hurts hit DeVonta above middle on consecutive plays for gains of 19 and 16 yards. Then the Boston Scott tied for 16 yards. Sanders then took a nine-yard toss. Faced with third and second, Hurts set out to run…but not just down the first. Instead of going out, follow a good lead block by Goedert on Harrison Smith and then run through the contact to extend the landing. Very cool stuff! 21, Vikings 7.
- Josh Sott fired his cousins…but grabbed his face mask to wipe the sack. WMP. Cousins was about to drop out of action in a deep throw that seemed to be under pressure…but almost completed deep into Irv Smith…which instead dropped what would have been a landing. What a break. Especially for CJ Gardner-Johnson. Cousins’ third bottom pass was incomplete to bring in another stop. Strange how it wasn’t intentional grounding when no one was near the ball. The judges said Dalvin Cook was in the area but…he wasn’t. Absolutely.
- The Eagles took charge on the 5-yard line with a 1:14 left in the second quarter. Hurts threw the ball with a nice touch on a soft spot to find DeVonta for the first time. Hurts Goedert hit for 19 hunting yards and ran along the left sideline. Not sure why the Vikings left it open. Hurts put a fine twist on another pass for Goedert over the middle, and another high-profile throw. This completion set a 38-yard field goal from Jake Elliott. Huge to be able to get some points in that driving and make it a triple possession game. It’s hard to be more like Hurts! 24, Vikings 7.
- The Vikings opened the second half by leading methodically into the red. But then Javon Hargrave hit his cousins when he threw to force a poor throw intercepted by Darius Sly! After the pick, Slay celebrated by running to the court benches and handing the ball to James Harden. The Philadelphia fan novel comes alive.
- The Eagles took command on their 19-yard line and headed into third and fifth from the 21-yard Vikings line. Lynn Johnson’s false start led to the Eagles’ return. The Eagles resolved to attempt a field goal from 41 yards…it was repelled. Credit to Arryn Siposs for conducting a treatment to prevent prolapse.
- The Vikings took over the Eagles’ 24-yard line. And it didn’t matter because Cousins threw another pick, this one for Avonte Maddox.
The fourth quarter
- Hurts made a nice throw while rolling left to hit Watkins along the sideline for big gains. Unfortunately for him, he was eliminated by a punishing sentence of Jordan Mailata. The Eagles ended up betting.
- The Vikings went on 11 plays, 27 yards (how sad) that ended with a trip after Fletcher Cox’s tape sack.
- Hurts threw a screen pass to Gainwell that bounced off his hands and was picked up by… old friend Jordan Hicks.
- Slay dropped a pickaxe into the end zone. It was like the third or fourth choice of the night for him. Then Slay caught the next person who went out of his way for the touch. Game.
- The Eagles ran some time and then the Vikings spawned some time before the game was officially over. Josh Sweet sacked Cousins in the final match of the game.
Final score: Eagle 24, Vikings 7.
- Quiz Watkins returned to kick-off.
- AJ Brown was checked briefly in the medical tent in the middle of the second quarter. However, he did not miss any time.
Birds come out to beat Detroit Lions It was not as such Convincing as many had hoped. While there were a number of positives that could be taken from that game, there were still concerns about Philadelphia’s defense. Can Jonathan Gannon find a way to resist a quarterback who isn’t exactly terrible? Kirk Cousins has proven troublesome to birds in the past and it’s currently difficult to give Philly’s defensive coordinator the benefit of the doubt.
Vikings are looking to follow up on a big win over Green Bay Packers Another strong effort. The Minnesota defense limited the damage Aaron Rodgers could do in the first week. There could be pressure on the Eagles’ attack to put in a lot of points if Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook prove as challenging as they sound.
The winner of this game will feel good. They will have a 2-0 record and claim as one of the best teams in NFC. The loser may think they are good but not good enough.
Bleeding Green Nation will cover this game with live updates in the form of highlights, analysis, etc. Make sure to follow up and refresh the page often.
(Note: This is not a game topic; it’s a live blog that will turn into a game summary. Use the BGN game threads dedicated to each quarter to discuss in-game events there. The thread of the first quarter is here.)