In continuing our look at this Sunday’s contest at Lincoln Financial Field between the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles, we have once again called on Bleeding Green Nation lead blogger Brandon Gowton to give us three reasons why he thinks his team will lose. . .yes, lose. . .to the Vikings on Sunday afternoon.
I’ve given Brandon three reasons why I think that the Vikings will lose as well, and as soon as they have that posted I will put it on our side over here. Here are the reasons that Brandon has given me as to why the Vikings can pull off what would have to be considered an upset over the Eagles on Sunday.
Sorry about the delay here! Got caught up.
THREE REASONS WHY THE EAGLES WILL LOSE TO THE VIKINGS
1 - The Vikings’ biggest strength is the Eagles’ biggest weakness.
The Vikings are quite capable of moving the ball through the air, as evidenced by the fact Minnesota ranks fifth in passing yards per game with 327.2. That’s bad news for an Eagles secondary that’s going through some issues. Eagles starting cornerbacks Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby have been inconsistent at best this season. Now they’re going up against the NFL’s best wide receiver duo in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Not great.
It’s not just the corners, though. The Eagles’ secondary is also weak because they’re missing starting safety Rodney McLeod, who was playing well before he had to go on injured reserve. McLeod’s absence forced the Eagles to play 33-year-old Corey Graham, usually a sub-package player for Philly, for 100% of the team’s Week 4 defensive snaps. Even defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz admitted that’s too much. The potential “solution” to not have to rely on Graham as much is moving rookie fourth-round pick Avonte Maddox, who had never played safety in his life until last week, to the back end of the defense. Maddox is athletic enough to play the position but he’s also small (5-9, 183 pounds) and there could be communication issues.
Kirk Cousins has always played well against the Eagles. He has a 99.7 passer rating in seven games against Philly. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him have another big day in this matchup. Cousins is one of only two quarterbacks who’s logged a win over the Eagles in Philly since the beginning of the 2016 season.
2 - The Eagles have some offensive line issues.
The Eagles have failed to adequately protect Carson Wentz since he returned to the starting lineup in Week 3. Wentz has been hit 18 times and sacked six times in the Eagles’ last two games.
Starting left tackle Jason Peters, who turns 37 in January, has been dealing with a quad issue. Left guard Stefen Wisniewski is reportedly being benched for Isaac Seumalo. Seumalo was the one who got benched for struggling early on last year. Center Jason Kelce clearly isn’t 100% as he’s dealing with some kind of knee issue. Right guard Brandon Brooks got banged up in Week 3. Right tackle Lane Johnson was dominant in 2017 but he doesn’t look close to that form right now.
As Week 4 showed, Wentz is good enough to put up a strong performance even with less than ideal protection. But it’s hard for him to be completely dominant if he’s not getting adequate protection and that’s the case right now.
3 - The Vikings could be more desperate.
The Vikings must have a real bad taste in their mouth after losing in the NFC Championship Game by a final score of 38 to 7 earlier this year. They’re going to be hungry to avenge that loss.
But even more than that, they just really need this win to keep their hopes alive. The Eagles also really need this win, but the Vikings just might be even more desperate to avoid going 1-3-1.
Thanks again to Brandon for this exchange of information on Sunday’s game. Here’s hoping for a good contest, and here’s hoping that Brandon is right and I’m wrong on this one.