It was difficult to know what to expect from the Minnesota Vikings when they traveled to Lincoln Financial Field to take on the Philadelphia Eagles, but we didn’t expect them to give away a game.
But, that’s exactly what they did.
The Vikings had their opportunities, but four turnovers, including a crucial one at the end of the first half, doomed them to defeat in a 34-28 loss to the Eagles on Thursday Night Football.
The Eagles drew first blood in this one, getting on the board courtesy of a 24-yard Jake Elliott field goal on their opening possession to give them a 3-0 lead. The two teams then exchanged punts, but Brandon Powell fumbled on the return for the Vikings to give Philadelphia the ball back.
The Vikings’ defense then got a turnover of their own, thanks to safety Theo Jackson, who intercepted a pass intended for Devonta Smith to stop the Eagles’ drive at midfield.
Minnesota followed that up on the very next play with another turnover, as Alexander Mattison fumbled and the Eagles recovered in Minnesota territory. Fortunately, no damage was done as Elliott’s 55-yard field goal attempt sailed wide to the right.
The Vikings then got themselves on the scoreboard and got their first lead of the night, moving the ball 50 yards and getting into the end zone on a 5-yard pass from Kirk Cousins to T.J. Hockenson to go up 7-3 early in the second quarter.
The Eagles took the lead right back on the ensuing possession, courtesy of Hurts. He went over on a 1-yard sneak after a long drive that saw the Eagles call almost exclusively run plays against the Vikings blitz-happy defense. With the touchdown, the Eagles went back on top by a score of 10-7 just before the two-minute warning.
The Vikings looked to be on the verge of tying the game or taking the lead, but Justin Jefferson fumbled just inches from the end zone, and it went through the end zone, resulting in a touchback. That made two games in a row that the Vikings had three turnovers in the first half, and it cost them an opportunity to go into the locker room with the lead.
The Eagles converted the miscue into a 61-yard field goal from Jake Elliott to take a 13-7 lead into the locker room.
The Vikings got the ball first to start the second half, and it took them just two plays to turn the ball over for a fourth time, as Cousins was strip-sacked by Josh Sweat with the Eagles recovering inside the Minnesota 10. Two plays later, another sneak from Hurts made it 20-7 in favor of the home team.
Philadelphia scored on their next possession as well, as Hurts found Smith again, this time for a 63-yard score to make it 27-7 less than five minutes into the second half. But, the Vikings kept on fighting, with Kirk Cousins finding rookie Jordan Addison for a 62-yard touchdown to cut it to 27-14 with nine minutes left in the third quarter.
The Vikings then cut into the lead even further about midway through the fourth quarter, as Cousins hit a wide-open K.J. Osborn for his third touchdown pass of the night, this one a 10-yarder to make it a 27-21 game.
The Eagles took over and, as they did all night long, dominated on the ground, handing the ball off repeatedly and getting chunks of yardage. D’Andre Swift broke a 43-yard run to put the ball in goal-to-go territory, and he took it in from there for a 2-yard score to put the lead back to two scores at 34-21 with just over four minutes left.
The Vikings then went down the field and made it a one-score game again, with Cousins and Hockenson connecting again for a 4-yard score to make it 34-28 with just over a minute remaining. The Vikings went for the onside kick but it was unsuccessful, and the Eagles ran out the clock to preserve the victory.
The loss means that the Vikings fall to 0-2, and have quite a bit to think about before the Los Angeles Chargers come to town in Week 3.
The Minnesota Vikings lose on Thursday Night Football to the Philadelphia Eagles by a final score of 34-28. Thank you to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game from The Daily Norseman!