The Minnesota Vikings head to Philadelphia to play the Eagles on Thursday Night Football. Coming off of a loss, the Vikings look to bounce back against a much tougher matchup.
The Vikings surprisingly lost to a rebuilding Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that was able to force three turnovers against Kirk Cousins.

The Eagles struggled at times in week one against the New England Patriots but were able to hold them off to secure a week one victory. The Eagles defense played well, but new offensive coordinator Brian Johnson failed to find any momentum in his first game-play calling.

The Eagles offense looked extremely choppy and didn’t look anything like the third-highest-scoring offense we were accustomed to seeing last season.


The Vikings will be looking to avoid an 0-2 start to their season and upset Philadelphia in their home opener.

Both teams had some key pieces added to their injury report heading into this week 2 matchup.


The Vikings will be without center Garrett Bradbury and will rely on backup Austin Schlottman. This should benefit the Eagles’ defensive line and allow them to put a lot of pressure on Kirk Cousins.

The Eagles will be without starting running back Kenneth Gainwell and will use a committee approach led by D’Andre Swift. The Eagles ran 16 rushing plays to their running backs in week one and relied on Kenneth Gainwell for 14 of them. This week, D’Andre Swift will see a much larger workload. Kenneth Gainwell was solid for the Eagles last week, averaging 3.9 yards per carry for 54 yards, but it would have been nice to see Swift take on a few more carries. The Eagles also struggled to involve Dallas Goedert in their offensive game plan last week. He only saw one target after seeing almost 6 targets a game last season. It’s crucial that the Eagles target him early to get him going.

The Eagles’ defense will be without All-Pro cornerback James Bradberry, Reed Blankenship, and Nakobe Dean. James Bradberry being out is the biggest blow, and he will be replaced by second-year cornerback Josh Jobe. Jobe will match up against Vikings rookie Jordan Addison, who is coming off an outstanding week one performance, recording 61 yards and a touchdown. Free safety Reed Blankenship will be replaced by rookie Sydney Brown. Brown is coming off of an outstanding preseason, and it will be good to see him in a larger role than expected. Nakobe Dean is, unfortunately, out for the foreseeable future and will be replaced by a duo of Christian Elliss and Nicholas Morrow. With multiple starters out, the defensive line needs to be impactful.


Odds

  • Spread: Eagles (-6.5)
  • Moneyline: Eagles (-270) / Vikings (+220)
  • Over/under: 49.5

The Eagles were definitely rusty last week in New England. That is what should be expected for a team that didn’t play Jalen Hurts for a single snap in the preseason. Along with that, Brian Johnson is still adjusting to his new role as offensive coordinator. The Eagles offense will look much better in this week 2 matchup.

The Vikings’ defense is not as good as the Patriots’ defense from a week ago, and this should allow the Eagles’ offense to find a better rhythm. The Vikings will also look to find a rhythm on offense and benefit from facing a banged-up Eagles secondary. The Vikings will put up a fight, but they will not spoil the Eagles home opener.

Prediction: Eagles 27, Vikings 24 (Vikings +6.5)


Player Props

T.J. Hockenson Over 49.5 Receiving Yards // -110

The Eagles struggled last week against New England Patriots tight end Hunter Henry. In fact, Henry led all tight ends in fantasy points for week one with 5 receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown.

The Eagles gave up a league-worst 92 yards to New England tight ends in week one. T.J. Hockenson is a much better receiving tight end and will benefit greatly from this matchup. In week one, T.J. Hockenson recorded 8 catches on 9 targets but only recorded 35 yards. Last year, once Hockenson was acquired by the Vikings, he averaged over 9 yards per reception.

With the Eagles allowing 11.5 yards per reception to tight ends in week one, T.J. Hockenson should see enough targets to clear 49.5 yards pretty easily.


DeVonta Smith Over 5.5 Receptions // +114

Last year, Minnesota ranked last in the NFL, giving up 192.1 yards per game to opposing wide receivers. New Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores plays a lot of man coverage to allow him to send blitz packages at opposing quarterbacks.

If the pass rush can’t get home, it’ll be a long day for the Vikings’ defensive backs. In Devonta Smith’s last seven games, he has gone over 6 receptions in six.


Photo: Getty Images

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