So the Vikings Eagles matchup that everyone had circled on the calendar is here, but our teams look vastly different than our fan bases expected.Here are some of my thoughts on the upcoming matchup. If you have any questions that you'd like answered from an Eagles fan’s perspective, ask away in the comments.
I think the mindset of the Vikings may be more advantageous for you this time around. Your team should be hungrier coming off the losses to Buffalo and LA, and desperate to not fall to 1-3-1. This is opposed to the extreme emotional high you were riding from beating the Saints last season and that resultant feeling of invincibility. Also the Eagles are no longer home-dogs, ubiquitous bulletin board material last season. The motivation to prove the doubters wrong is definitely in Minnesota's favor this time around. There is worry from some Eagles fans that the team is still coasting off of last season's success and that the hangover maybe real.
Eagles Defense Vs. Viking Offense
The Eagles' strength so far this season, albeit inconsistent like the rest of the team, is still the defensive line. It has played better at home than in our road losses in the heat of the South in Tampa and Tennessee. This still looks like a plus matchup vs the Viking run game and pass blocking.
Now the Eagles secondary vs the Viking receivers is a totally different story. This matchup is heavily slanted to Minnesota and facing Diggs/Thielen is pretty scary considering the way Mills/Darby are playing right now. We have seen lots of deep passes over their heads, missed tackles, and we are missing Rodney McLeod at full safety and playing a rookie slot corner (Avonte Maddox) in his position. Not a good look so far. Schwartz's scheme has always struggled for us when the pass rush isn't getting home (which has been the case late in games on the road this season), and if Flip can scheme a way to keep Kirk protected like Tampa did, our secondary is gonna get lit up.
Vikings Defense Vs. Eagles Offense
On the Minnesota defensive side, missing Griffen obviously hurts but Hunter is still a quality starter and is more than capable of getting around Jason Peters right now. He's dealing with a quad issue and gets run over if he has to put too much weight on that right leg. It makes him vulnerable to the inside rush. The rest of our line has struggled with pressure so far too. Most of that is a direct result of having Sproles and Clement out. Smallwood looks lost in blitz pickup. But we have seen inconsistent play from the rest of the starting line too and it is a bit confounding. It’s a matchup that may prove pivotal in this game.
Carson is back and looks like he was throwing and moving pretty well and it helps that Alshon Jeffery is back from offseason surgery, but with all the pressure Carson is having a hard time sustaining drives consistently. I expect to see some sacks from Barr/Kendricks taking advantage of Smallwood if Clement is inactive again.
On the back end, both of our teams have been mightily inconsistent. You guys probably have a better handle on what’s going wrong than I, but I am not very confident in the Eagles receivers outside of Alshon. Jordan Matthews is back and it looks like he brought his drops back with him, infecting Nelson Agholor with them again. Those drops are another big reason we have not been able to consistently sustain drives.
If you made it here, thanks for reading!
So that hits some of the wavetops in this matchup, if you guys want any more specifics from an Eagles fan perspective, ask away. Also I know there is still some hard feelings left over from last season on both sides. Maybe we can bring some civility back to the conversation, at least for those who aren’t banned already? Thanks.