The second of the two matches to kick off on the Monday Night Football this week sees two teams from the NFC battling it out when the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Minnesota Vikings in an entertaining looking clash.
Both these teams started their season with a win last week which means that come the end of it one of them is going to be 2-0 for the fledgling campaign and be in a decent position to launch some sort of silverware bid.
The Philadelphia Eagles opened up their campaign with a high scoring win over the Detroit Lions last week. There were positives and negatives in that win. The obvious positive was that their new signing AJ Brown ran riot and whenever you bring a marquee player to a team you are looking for exactly that. He will be full of confidence and you would imagine there will be more to come when his partnership with Jalen Hurts beds in too.
The negative was that the Eagles defence coughed up 181 yards on the ground in a match they led 38-21 going into the final quarter so they are going to need to tighten up in that area if they are going to be successful. That is likely to happen but while it does the Eagles do at least have the knowledge that they can win high scoring matches on the road and the way this league is at the minute you have to have that ability.
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The Minnesota Vikings had a big win in their opening match last week. I don’t necessarily mean that in terms of the score, although it was a fairly decent win in that regard, but more because they beat the big dogs in their division in the form of the Green Bay Packers. I think it was fair to say that the Packers were there for the taking but you still have to take them and the Vikings did it in confident, comfortable and ruthless fashion which bodes well for them.
Whenever a team begins a season while they will want to win their opening game, on top of that they would want their main playmakers to get involved and hit the ground running. Justin Jefferson certainly did that with 184 yards from his nine receptions. Dalvin Cook ran for 90 yards as well so the Vikings offense, which everyone expected to be more potent this season, lived up to the billing. They weren’t tested defensively though so it will be interesting to see how that unit goes here.
We have a clash of styles for the final match of the week with the Philadelphia Eagles and their elite run game going up against a Minnesota Vikings whose offense looks to be built around given the ball some air. These two both had good wins last week but there is a bit of an asterisk next to both of them because the Eagles only beat the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay defence never turned up against the Vikings so I want to see these in action against genuine competition before I get involved too heavily.
I do think the receiving yards line for Dalvin Cook is a little on the low side here though. I would imagine a lot of the Philadelphia defence will be schemed to avoid giving the big plays up to Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen which means that there could be a large gap to exploit behind the line backers for the likes of Dalvin Cook to take advantage of. He was targeted in the air five times last week and caught three passes for 18 yards and his line is only 0.5 higher here. The Eagles pass rush is likely to get more pressure on the Vikings O line than Green Bay did so the check down pass will be a good option for Kirk Cousins here and so I expect Cook to have a big game, primarily in the run game but in case Minnesota play from behind I’ll take the running back to cover his receiving line instead.
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