The Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles slogged through the first half of their Thursday Night Football game. Philadelphia led the game 13-7 at halftime as the first two quarters were filled with turnovers and field goals more than anything else.
But, in the second half, business picked up. The teams combined to score 42 points in the second half, with each team scoring three touchdowns. That resulted in the Eagles coming out with a 34-28 victory, pushing their record to 2-0 on the season.
The Vikings are on the opposite end of the spectrum, as they are now 0-2 and have a lot to evaluate going forward. There is certainly a lot to take away from this game for both teams. Here are five of the biggest takeaways for the Vikings and Eagles from their Week 2 matchup.
5. Eagles Backfield Is Deep and Talented
The Eagles had to make a major change to their offense this week. Running back Kenneth Gainwell, who dominated snaps and touches in Week 1, was unable to play because of a rib injury. That opened up the opportunity for D’Andre Swift to be the team’s lead back and he went off.
Swift carried the ball 28 times, gaining 175 yards with one touchdown, adding three receptions for six yards. He has likely earned himself a larger role going forward even when Gainwell is healthy.
That duo has proven more than capable of carrying this backfield and rushing game along with Jalen Hurts. Boston Scott and Rashaad Penny are a distant third and non-existent fourth in the pecking order.
4. Turnovers Rule The Evening
In the first half, each team turned the ball over. The Vikings committed two fumbles, losing both, while the Eagles threw one interception. Minnesota didn’t capitalize on the turnover, as one of their two fumbles came in the play following the interception. Philadelphia had a missed field goal after the first fumble but took advantage of the last one, connecting on a field goal.
In the second half, the Eagles didn’t commit a turnover while the Vikings fumbled on their first possession, setting Philadelphia up for another touchdown. Overall, Minnesota turned the ball over four times while Philadelphia had one, which played a big part in the outcome of the game.
3. Can Anyone Stop Justin Jefferson?
Every receiving record in the NFL looks like it could be in jeopardy with Justin Jefferson on the field. He continued his dominance against the Eagles, catching 11 passes for 159 yards despite matching up with Darius Slay Jr. throughout the evening.
Jefferson would already be the Chicago Bears’ all-time leading receiver with the production that he has put up in the first three seasons and two games of his career. What he is accomplishing is truly mind-blowing and he is showing no signs of slowing down.
2. Vikings Issue Remains Defense
The Minnesota Vikings can keep up with any team in the NFL when it comes to scoring points. But preventing them is a whole different story. Their defense remains a below-average unit as they cannot consistently get the job done.
That puts a ton of pressure on the offense as they are going to have to win shootouts to give this team a chance at piling up victories. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores has his work cut out for him as there isn’t an area the team excels at on that side of the ball right now. Something has to change, and quickly, or this season will get away from them.
1. Will The Vikings Become Sellers?
There were a lot of people who thought the Vikings were frauds last season. They went 13-4 in the regular season but it felt fluky as they had a negative point differential and were undefeated in one-score games. This season, that script has flipped.
Minnesota is 0-2 in one-score games after losing 20-17 in Week 1 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and 34-28 in Week 2 to the Eagles. This will lead to some tough decisions having to be made in the coming weeks.
If things continue spiraling, the Vikings will have to consider becoming sellers at the deadline. They could get some very good assets in return for quarterback Kirk Cousins and pass rusher Danielle Hunter.
It would give them the assets to restock the weak spots on the roster and put them in position for a top prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. A long-term answer at quarterback is something the team needs and losing at this rate will put them squarely in the Caleb Williams and Drake Maye sweepstakes.