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PHILADELPHIA — If Jalen Hurts desires to silence his doubters there isn’t a higher alternative to showcase his abilities than on Monday evening soccer in opposition to the Minnesota Vikings (8:30 p.m., Channel 6, ESPN-plus).
Eagles extensive receiver A.J. Brown, who had a profession day with 10 receptions for 155 yards within the season-opening 38-35 win over the Detroit Lions, issued a playful problem to Hurts.
“I’m excited to see how he handles the big stage,” Brown mentioned.
The Eagles and the Vikings are rather a lot alike. Each put factors on the board to win in Week 1, and each have deficiencies on protection.
The Vikings have been lucky in a 23-7 win over the Inexperienced Bay Packers through which Aaron Rodgers and his younger abilities gamers left two touchdowns on the sector, together with what would have been a 75-yard scoring cross to Christian Watson on the primary play. Ten yards within the clear, the rookie dropped it.
The Eagles blew all however a area objective of a 31-14 lead within the third quarter. Afterward critics blamed defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, who whereas taking his share of the knocks deserves credit score for not blaming it on all the brand new, underperforming items.
Eagles mega-bucks cross rusher Haason Reddick and deal with Javon Hargrave have been lacking in motion. Rookie defensive deal with Jordan Davis performed simply 22 snaps whereas getting older veteran deal with Fletcher Cox withered enjoying 39 largely uneventful snaps. Cornerback James Bradberry had a pick-six however was lucky Jared Goff was enjoying quarterback, for he couldn’t sustain with the Lions receivers.
Did we point out that Bradberry was the poster baby for the protection’s pitiful, unprofessional tackling?
Kirk Cousins and receivers Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen will carve the Eagles up until they offer up strain within the A gaps, the place the Vikings are susceptible.
It helps that pure pocket passer Cousins is straightforward to find. However provided that the protection isn’t monitoring working again Dalvin Prepare dinner.
“It’s good as long as you’re getting to him,” Eagles veteran Brandon Graham mentioned of Cousins. “If you’re just letting him stand back there it’s 7-on-7. I think it’s more about making sure we take care of the run first in order for him to be in that position to drop back. We’ve got to make sure we stop Cook first. His burst, I mean, he’s a home run hitter. So we’ve just got to make sure we’re getting numbers to the ball and tackling him.”
The run sport units up the play motion for Cousins, who’s 6-3 in begins versus the Eagles, together with 2-0 with the Vikings (5 TD passes, one interception). Jefferson caught 9 passes for 184 yards and two TDs final week whereas Prepare dinner rushed for 90 yards.
Just like the Eagles, the Vikings aren’t recognized for his or her tackling. There isn’t any manner they’ll be capable of get to the cell Hurts as they did Rodgers, who strikes like a Rocky statue.
The Vikings are hoping coordinator Ed Donatell’s zone scheme limits the scrambling alternatives of Hurts, who rushed for 90 yards on 17 carries final week.
The Eagles have to get receiver DeVonta Smith concerned this week, as he was shutout within the opener. The identical with tight finish Dallas Goedert, who could also be a much bigger risk, figuratively and actually.
The Vikings have an getting older secondary. Edges Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith are strong cross rushers who additionally transfer inside. Linebackers Jordan Hicks and Eric Kendricks are on the opposite facet of 30.
The soccer world shall be watching the Eagles and Hurts. Properly, not the whole planet as a result of the Tennessee Titans oppose the Buffalo Payments within the 7:15 p.m. sport on ESPN.
“I’m very excited for the first home game,” Brown mentioned. “I just think the place is going to be on fire. I keep hearing so much about it. I just think the place is just going to be electric. It’s going to be tough to play in there if I’m the opposing team. It’s definitely a passionate city. They really love this game. They let us know. But it’s been love since I’ve been here.”
The identical can’t be mentioned of Gannon, who seemed like something however a genius final season. It will be a good suggestion for him to observe his again on the Linc. Critics need him fired and can be pleased if (insert any identify) took over the coordinator job.
“If it was good, and then the next game it wasn’t it’s just like you’re going backwards,” Graham mentioned of the best way the protection performed. “As long as we just keep trending upward that’s all I really care about. It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish. And we want to make sure we’re trending in the right way. I know we’ve got issues. And I know for us we know how good we can be. We see that we have to work on certain stuff if we want to be great. Missing tackles, stuff that we can control, we just try to take care of those. Make sure we’re getting numbers to the ball, running to the ball because that’s a choice.”
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