The Philadelphia Eagles are 2-0 after beating the Minnesota Vikings in front of a national audience on Monday Night Football. Final score: 24 to 7.
At the start of the 2022 season, Jalen Hurts and Jonathan Gannon were considered the Eagles’ biggest question marks.
Monday night, it was exclamation points.
Hurts’ improvement is the biggest story to emerge from this game. He was sensational there. The third-year quarterback made a number of high-level throws into tight windows. He threw with great precision and touch. He made big decisions and looked total there. It was the most impressive passing performance of his career. Oh, and he’s great as a runner again. At the very least, it was a franchise quarterback performance. If he continues to play at this level, the Eagles may well have the NFL MVP under center.
Gannon’s defense wasn’t perfect; we can find things to quibble about (see: Haason Reddick going to cover to set up a Vikings touchdown). Overall, however, there was obviously a lot more good than bad. After being completely destroyed by any type of competent quarterback, Gannon had some answers for Cousins. The Eagles limited Minnesota to just seven points and came away with several turnovers. JG was under pressure to perform and he found redemption.
All told, it was a big win for the Eagles. They move to 2-0 with two wins over NFC opponents.
They are undefeated entering another big game in Week 3: a road game against the Washington Commanders.
The Eagles’ first game against Carson Wentz since trading the guy Hurts replaced.
Read on for a recap and stay tuned for post-game coverage from BGN.
- The Eagles targeted DeVonta Smith on the very first play, which ended in a five-yard reception. Who would have guessed that the Birds would try to touch him sooner? Jalen Hurts rolled right and found an open Dallas Goedert for a first down. Miles Sanders’ first run was 12 yards. Hurts was tackled with no gain to bring in a 3rd and 9. On third down, Hurts found Kenneth Gainwell short for a catch-and-run to move the chains… but the big play was wiped out by Landon Dickerson who was illegally a bit back. On the 3rd and 13th, Hurts stood in the pocket with good protection and fired a strike at AJ Brown for a first down. Nice throw! Hurts found Zach Pascal short to convert a 3rd and 3. Pascal also had a third conversion in Detroit last week; he is a factor in these situations. Two plays later, Hurts powered through contact to hit it for a touchdown. Powerful opening drive. Bizarre sequence on the Eagles extra point where they had to redo the extra point because “waiting Vikings” were on the ground. How was that not a penalty, then? The DID Vikings were then penalized for being offside… but the Eagles refused the flag instead of trying to pick up two runs from the 1-yard line. EAGLES 7, VIKINGS 0.
- The Vikings’ first drive was a three-and-out with Darius Slay knocking down a Kirk Cousins pass intended for Justin Jefferson. Jefferson wanted a pass interference call but the referees didn’t give it to him. Slay quickly grabbed Jefferson’s hand … but the refs aren’t always going to call that. Nick Sirianni was sent off and ran to celebrate with the defense after the stoppage.
- Offensive pass interference on DeVonta turned a 3rd-and-2 into a 3rd-and-12. Hurts was then sacked from behind after holding the ball to force a punt. Jalen Reagor drew boos as he lined up to return the Eagles’ first punt … then drew cheers after being tackled by Zech McPhearson for a single yard gain.
- The Vikings came in 3rd and 5th and James Bradberry knocked down the third pitch to Irv Smith. Good start for the defense of Jonathan Gannon.
- The Eagles were called for their fourth offensive penalty on their third practice. It was their third ineligible man on the pitch with Isaac Seumalo named as the culprit.
- Hurts threw deep to a wide-open Quez Watkins, who was released with a Vikings safety mistakenly assisting Goedert instead of staying with the fast wide receiver. EAGLES 14, VIKINGS 0.
- Jalen Reagor’s throw sweeps 3rd-1 for a 17-yard gain … and the crowd boos at Linc. The Vikings entered the red zone and Haason Reddick, who got into cover against backup tight end Johnny Mundt, allowed a 17-yard reception to set up the first and the goal at the 2-yard line. The Cousins then hit Irv Smith with a short pass for the score. Reddick in the cover certainly looks like a waste. EAGLES 14, VIKINGS 7.
- The Eagles came in 3rd and 12th and Hurts went over the marker, but they were helped by a Vikings illegal contact penalty for another set of downs. Hurts’ first incompleteness came on a play where Goedert was tightly covered and nearly caught, but Cameron Dantlzer stunned the ball before the tight end established possession. Just great defensive play to break up a good pitch in a tight window. Hurts’ third pass was completed short of the sticks to force a punt. Second offensive drive of the night without points.
- TJ Edwards knocked down a Cousins third pass down the middle to force another three and out.
- Hurts hit DeVonta down the middle on back-to-back plays for 19 and 16 yards. Then Boston Scott tied for 16 yards. Then Sanders took a draw for nine yards. Facing 3rd and 2nd, Hurts started to run…but not just for the first down. Instead of going out, he followed Goedert’s good blocking of the lead on Harrison Smith, then powered through contact to extend for a touchdown. Pretty awesome stuff! EAGLES 21, VIKINGS 7.
- Josh Sweat fired Cousins…but grabbed his face mask to clear the bag. Womp. Cousins nearly got sacked on a deep throw that seemed to be affected by pressure…but it was nearly finished deep for Irv Smith…who instead dropped what could have been a touchdown. What a break. Especially for CJ Gardner-Johnson. Cousins’ third down pass was incomplete to bring another save. Weird how unintentional it was on the ground when no one was even near the ball. The referees said Dalvin Cook was in the zone but…he wasn’t. At all.
- The Eagles took over on their own 5-yard line with 1:14 left in the second quarter. Hurts kicked the ball with a nice touch to a low spot to find DeVonta for a first down. Hurts hit Goedert for a 19-yard catch-and-run along the left sideline. I don’t know why the Vikings left it so open. Hurts hit another pass to Goedert well in the middle, another top shot. That completion set up a 38-yard field goal from Jake Elliott. Huge to be able to get points on that drive and make it a three possession game. It’s hard to be more impressed with Hurts! EAGLES 24, VIKINGS 7.
- The Vikings opened the second half by stepping methodically into the red zone. But then Javon Hargrave hit Cousins as he pitched to force a bad pitch which was intercepted by Darius Slay! After the pick, Slay celebrated by running to the field seats and passing the ball to James Harden. Philadelphia fanfiction comes to life.
- The Eagles took over on their own 19-yard line and went 3rd-and-5 from the Vikings 21-yard line. A false start on Lane Johnson set the Eagles back. The Eagles settled for a 41-yard field goal attempt… which was blocked. Credit to Arryn Siposs for making a tackle to prevent a touchdown.
- The Vikings took over at the Eagles 24-yard line. And it didn’t matter because Cousins threw another pick, this one to Avonte Maddox.
- Hurts made a nice throw rolling left to hit Watkins along the sideline for a big win. Unfortunately for him, he was wiped out by a waiting penalty on Jordan Mailata. The Eagles ended up having to kick.
- The Vikings played an 11-game, 27-yard practice (how sad) that ended with a punt after a strip-sack from Fletcher Cox.
- Hurts threw a screen pass to Gainwell which bounced off his hands and was picked off by… old friend Jordan Hicks.
- Slay dropped a pick in the end zone. It felt like the third or fourth pick of the night for him. Then Slay grabbed the next one that came his way for a touchback. Game.
- The Eagles ran a clock and then the Vikings had a filthy time production before the game was officially over. Josh Sweat sacked Cousins on the last play of the match.
FINAL SCORE: EAGLES 24, VIKINGS 7.
- Quez Watkins was back to kick off.
- AJ Brown was briefly examined in the medical tent midway through the second quarter. He didn’t run out of time, though.
The Philadelphia Eagles host the Minnesota Vikings in their Monday Night Football home opener. It’s a relatively important clash between two teams 1-0 at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Birds are coming off a win over the Detroit Lions that wasn’t as convincing as many hoped. While there are a number of positives to take away from this game, concerns remain about Philadelphia’s defense. Can Jonathan Gannon find a way to stand up to a quarterback who isn’t totally terrible? Kirk Cousins has proven troublesome for the Birds in the past and it’s currently difficult to give Philly’s defensive coordinator the benefit of the doubt.
The Vikings are looking to follow up a big win over the Green Bay Packers with another big effort. Minnesota’s defense limited the damage Aaron Rodgers could do in Week 1. There could be pressure on the Eagles offense to rack up a lot of points if Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook prove to be as tough as they are. they seem so.
The winner of this game will feel pretty good. They will have a 2-0 record and a claim as one of the best teams in the NFC. The loser might think he is good but not good enough.
Bleeding Green Nation will be covering this game with live updates in the form of highlights, analysis and more. Be sure to follow and update the page often.
(NOTE: This is NOT a game thread; this is a live blog that will turn into a recap of the game. Use BGN’s designated game threads for each quarter to discuss events happening in the game. The thread of the first quarter is HERE.)