Holding a 17-3 lead over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5 action, the Minnesota Vikings kicked the ball away to the Eagles, who won the opening coin toss and deferred to the second half. DeAndre Carter took the kickoff from Dan Bailey and returned it to the Philadelphia 27-yard line to set Carson Wentz and company up for their first possession of the second half.
It looked like the Vikings might get another three-and-out, but Wentz found Wendell Smallwood for a big 23-yard gain into Minnesota territory at the 47-yard line, and Smallwood then broke off a 13-yard run to move the Eagles to the 34. Jay Ajayi then took the ball down to the 25, and the Eagles had put together their best drive of the afternoon. Ajayi appeared to have a first down, but an illegal formation penalty on the Eagles pushed them back.
Wentz found Zach Ertz to convert a third-and-short situation to move the Eagles into the Minnesota red zone. Stephen Weatherly was then called for a penalty to set up first-and-goal for the Philadelphia offense. Then, on first-and-goal, Ajayi got the call again, but he put the ball on the turf, and the Vikings’ defense jumped on it for another turnover! Eric Kendricks jumped on the loose ball, and the Eagles’ drive was thwarted.
Starting from their own 5-yard line, Kirk Cousins and Adam Thielen connected on a huge play, as Cousins lofted a rainbow to Thielen on the right sideline that he turned into a 68-yard gain!
Play Action, Short Drop, Big Play pic.twitter.com/4b0HnspGEz— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) October 7, 2018
With that catch, Thielen became the first player since the NFL/AFL merger to begin a season with five consecutive 100-yard receiving games. Kudos to him for that.
Cousins then hit Stefon Diggs for a big 25-yard gain down to the 2-yard line, setting up a first-and-goal. Unfortunately, Roc Thomas was dropped for a loss, and Cousins’ pass on third down fell incomplete. Dan Bailey came on to add to the lead, and he connected from 22 yards out to extend the Minnesota lead to 20-3.
The Eagles started their next drive at their own 23 after a nice special teams tackle by Jayron Kearse. After a false start penalty, Wentz found Zach Ertz for a big gain and a first down. Wentz then found Alshon Jeffery wide open in the middle of the field for a gain of 31 yards, down to the Minnesota 35-yard line. Wentz just kept on dealing, as he found Nelson Agholor down to the 15, and the Eagles were once again in the red zone.
Danielle Hunter then corralled Wentz for a sack to push the Eagles back to 2nd-and-18, and that was enough to eventually force the Eagles into a 4th-and-5 from the Minnesota 10-yard line. The Eagles called on Jake Elliott for another field goal attempt, this one a 28-yard attempt, and he split the uprights to make it 20-6 with just under three minutes remaining in the quarter.
Elliott’s kickoff went for a touchback, and Cousins and company took over once again at their own 25-yard line. The Vikings quickly found themselves facing a 3rd-and-12 after an incomplete pass and a loss by Roc Thomas, and a short pass to Latavius Murray was not enough to move the chains, meaning a three-and-out for Minnesota. Matt Wile came in to punt the ball away, and it bounced out of bounds at the Philadelphia 34-yard line.
As we move to the final quarter of play, the Eagles have the football, looking at 2nd-and-1 from the Minnesota 32-yard line.
We have fifteen minutes left to go from Philadelphia, ladies and gentlemen, and the Minnesota Vikings lead the Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 20-6. Can the purple hold on and notch win #2 on the season?