To get things started at Lincoln Financial Field, the Minnesota Vikings won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half, meaning the Philadelphia Eagles got the football first. The opening kickoff from Blair Walsh went through the end zone for a touchback, so the home team got to start their first drive at their own 25-yard line. Thanks in part to a false start penalty on the Eagles, the Vikings' defense forced a three-and-out to start the game. The Eagles called on Donnie Jones to punt the ball away, and he got away a good one. Marcus Sherels managed to return the ball to the Minnesota 19, but it was still a net of 51 yards for the Philly punter.
Matt Asiata got the first couple of touches of the afternoon for the Vikings' offense, but a dropped pass by #44 on third down led to a very fast three-and-out for the Vikings as well. Jeff Locke came on to punt the ball away for Minnesota, and he got a good one away, but the Eagles were called for running into the punter. Since the punt came on fourth-and-4, the Vikings got a free first down out of the deal. However, they couldn't get much more out of it, and Locke came in to punt again. He got another good one away, and Darren Sproles called for the fair catch at the Philadelphia 11-yard line.
Penalties hurt the Eagles again on their second drive, as a holding penalty pushed them back into the shadow of their own goal line. Carson Wentz dropped back to pass on second down, and Eric Kendricks deflected his pass into the hands of Andrew Sendejo for his second interception of the year! Sendejo took the pick down to the Eagles' 2-yard line, and it looked like the Vikings were in business. Asiata picked up a yard on first down, and then a false start on Rhett Ellison pushed the Vikings back to the 6. Then, on third down, Bradford dropped back to throw and was looking for Adam Thielen, and he was intercepted by Rodney McLeod for his first turnover this season. Minnesota threw away. . .literally. . .a golden opportunity, and the Eagles got the ball back at their own 20-yard line.
Philadelphia picked up the game's first first down on the next drive, thanks to a couple of throws from Carson Wentz to Brent Celek and Josh Huff. However, a botched handoff in the backfield between Wentz and Darren Sproles resulted in a fumble, and Anthony Barr jumped on the loose ball at the Philadelphia 17-yard line. However, on the next play, Connor Barwin got into the backfield and knocked the ball out of Bradford's hand for a fumble. Malcolm Jenkins picked up the fumble and appeared to take it all the way back to the end zone for a 76-yard touchdown. However, the replay showed that Jenkins was downed by Kyle Rudolph, and the Eagles instead took over at their own 39-yard line thanks to a penalty on Minnesota.
So, after going 318 plays with zero turnovers, the Vikings' offense turned the ball over twice in two plays. That's bad.
Fortunately, the Vikings' defense came to play, too, and forced the fifth turnover (between both teams) of the first quarter, thanks to a diving interception by Xavier Rhodes on 3rd-and-11. So, Minnesota got the ball back at the Vikings' 39-yard line. Jerick McKinnon got things started with a Wildcat run for eight yards, and Zach line got the first Vikings' first down of the day on a carry to midfield. However, the drive stalled from that point, and Locke came in to punt the ball away again. Once again, the Vikings' coverage units did their job, as Cordarrelle Patterson and Marcus Sherels combined to down the ball at the 2-yard line.
A penalty for encroachment on Sebastian Thunderbucket. . .you might know him as Tom Johnson. . .gave the Eagles five free yards to start their drive, and Ryan Mathews picked up a first down on the next play. Wentz hit Jordan Matthews on the next play on a slant for another first down. As we move to the second quarter of play, the Eagles are currently looking at 1st-and-10 from their own 35-yard line.
We are scoreless in Philadelphia, thanks to the game being a turnover-fest thus far. Can one of these teams get it figured out? Let's all get together for the second quarter of play.