If you stopped by our little corner of the Internet yesterday, you may have stumbled across our ‘Five Good Questions’ segment with Modern Day Philosopher and Man of The People Brandon Lee Gowton, purveyor of Bleeding Green Nation, the SB Nation Eagles site.
Well, I say you can never get enough of a good thing, so Brandon is back, giving us three reasons why the Philadelphia Eagles
most definitely will might lose to the Vikings Sunday.
Brandon, tell us why you have no faith in your team to compete against the mighty and powerful Minnesota Vikings Sunday (that’s not how this was asked, I’m just taking some serious artistic license here):
For full disclosure, I wrote three reasons why the Vikes will lose to the Eagles Sunday over at Bleeding Green Nation. Go over there and check it out after you finish this. Or before, whatever.
1 - The Eagles’ pass defense is a huge concern.
Prior to dominating an overmatched Jets offense led by third string quarterback Luke Falk in Week 5, the Eagles ranked 22nd in opponent yards per pass attempt. Some notable wide receiver performances against Jim Schwartz’s defense:
Terry McLaurin: 5 recs, 125 yards, 1 TDJulio Jones: 5 recs, 106 yards, 2 TDCalvin Ridley: 8 recs, 105 yards, 1 TDMarvin Jones: 6 recs, 101 yards, 1 TDDavante Adams: 10 recs, 180 yards
These receivers were simply torching the Eagles’ struggling cornerbacks. It’s hard to have a ton of faith that the Eagles will be able to cover two great wide receivers in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. The Vikings will certainly look to go after Sidney Jones, who is set to return from a hamstring injury this week. The last time Jones tried to play through a hammy issue was in 2018, when he played a role in surrendering 10 receptions, 217 yards, and three touchdowns to Amari Cooper.
The Eagles’ corners aren’t going to be able to lock down the Vikings’ receivers. Philly’s best hope is that their pass rush can generate pressure on Kirk Cousins. Perhaps there’s hope the Eagles can do that after posting 10 sacks (!) in Week 5. But prior to Week 5, the Eagles logged an NFL-low three sacks in four games. If the pass rush dries up against the Vikings, the Eagles’ secondary will be in for a long day.
And it won’t be the first time Cousins has success against Philly considering he has 18 touchdowns to just five interceptions in eight career games against them.
2 - The Eagles could struggle to attack this Vikings defense.
Minnesota ranks 10th in pass defense DVOA and second in run defense DVOA. They don’t have a real weakness.
The Eagles could be forced to abandon the run if it’s not working for them. And if that happens, the Eagles will be dropping back a lot and giving the Vikings’ pass rush opportunities to make plays.
Philadelphia’s offense isn’t overly threatening right now. The Eagles haven’t had a wide receiver catch a pass for longer than 20 yards since Week 2. There isn’t a consistent big play threat with DeSean Jackson out. Alshon Jeffery is averaging 9.9 yards per reception as he makes his way back from a calf injury. Nelson Agholor has one reception for 20 yards in his last 117 snaps and he’s made two game-losing mistakes this season.
Carson Wentz has been able to get by as a game manager for the Eagles over the past two weeks. They’ll need a bigger performance from him out of this one. The Eagles’ best hope could be running their offense though 12 personnel with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. If the Vikings find a way to stop that, though, there’s not much hope that the Eagles’ wide receivers will be able to go off against Mike Zimmer’s defense.
3 - Dome field advantage.
The Eagles certainly won’t find U.S. Bank Stadium as hospitable as it was the last time they played there in Super Bowl LII. Instead, there will be a bunch of loud Vikings fans doing their “FOLES!” chant over and over.
[ED note: Really, Brandon? REALLY?!?!?!]
The Vikings are 22-10-1 against the spread as home favorites since the Zimmer era began in 2014, which best cover percentage in the league during that span. They’re also 26-7 straight up in those games, which is the third best home field advantage only behind the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers.
Beating the Vikings in this environment will be tough for the Eagles. I also can’t help but believe Minnesota still holds some ill will for Philly. Some of those players still want to rinse the taste of 38-7 out of their mouths. They’d love to beat the team that ultimately stole their playoff spot last season.
In all seriousness, thanks to Brandon for some great insight this week with both segments. Here’s to a good weekend and hopefully a nice win by the Vikes on Sunday.