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Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Three things to watch

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I’ll make this one short and sweet in prep for kickoff.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings finally get a rematch against the Philadelphia Eagles after that atrocious performance by Minnesota.

It’s not an ideal time to play the Eagles, due to the direction the season has been going. However, this is also the best time to turn things around, and what a momentum-swinger it would be for the season if the Vikings pull it off. Here are three things to keep an eye out for:

3. George Iloka will get snaps on defense

When Iloka was signed, it was sort of a big deal. Iloka was a known name, someone who Zimmer knew well during his time in Cincinnati. However, he hasn’t played any snaps on defense, at least from what I know. If he did, it may have been one or two plays. He’s been dormant for the most part.

So, when will the Vikes begin to plug him in? I’ll be honest, I’m not to familiar with defensive schemes, I sometimes notice things that don’t seem right. Based off what I’ve seen, something isn’t right, and really it can’t get any worse when trying to plug Iloka in.

I’ve heard some social media talk regarding where Iloka would fit best. I don’t know how it would work, or if it would, but Anthony Barr could be moved to defensive end, and Iloka would take Barr’s spot. Zimmer has said that Barr has great speed off the edge.

2. Aldrick Robinson’s productivity

Robinson will reign over Laquon Treadwell. After a two touchdown performance, and the chemistry that was seen between Cousins and Robinson, he deserves more looks. Before last Sunday’s game, Robinson’s last, and only NFL touchdown came back in the 2012 preseason. You guessed right, it was no other than Cousins who threw him the pass.

A lot of fans were worried about the lack of catches, in regards to how many passes he was thrown. He’s known to be able to stretch the field, so those targets were mainly from deep ball passes, and Robinson being the intended receiver when a quarterback is being pressured.

Robinson will emerge as a solid third wideout throughout the season. Heck, if you’re looking for a sleeper in fantasy, I’d pick him up. High-risk, high-reward type player.

1. Emergence of a new leader on defense

There has been a leadership void during the time Everson Griffen has been out. The defense looks like a hot mess, and someone needs to step up and be a solid defensive leader. If I were to pick on who should emerge as a leader, or will emerge as a leader is Eric Kendricks.

Xavier Rhodes is kicking penalty flags like a child, Harrison Smith is a quite leader I feel like, and not the vocal leader Griffen has been. Sheldon Richardson could step up, Danielle Hunter, too. The Vikings have so much defensive talent, just no one who can calm them down or amp them up.

Bold prediction:

  • With the way the Eagles run defense is, Minnesota will find themselves airing the ball out a lot during the game. Cousins will throw for 475 yards, and three touchdowns against the Eagles’ defense.
  • Smith will find another interception today, I feel like he’s been close to grabbing one in almost every game.
  • Anthony Barr in somehow, someway will redeem himself for his lackluster performances so far this season.
  • Latavius Murray gets a few big breaks, and grabs one rushing touchdown, with 85 yards off of 15 carries.
  • Vikings pull it off in a shoot-out, 32-31.