Philadelphia Eagles down to Minnesota Vikings on Monday night

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Against a weak NFC backdrop, the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles beat their Week 1 rivals. They banded together in Philadelphia for a rush hour game last night.

They’re the signature attraction for ABC/ESPN television channel’s first Monday night of the 2022 season. The Eagles enter the season as one of the favorites to move beyond NFC to the mainstream. The Super Bowl follows the improvements their main office has made to the roster. In the midwest, a team of Vikings strong enough to challenge the weakened Green Bay Packers’ attack for the top spot in the NFC North. The only problem for the Eagles and the Vikings – their starting midfield pairing was Jalen Hurts and Kirk Cousins ​​respectively.

The Eagles traded in for AJ Brown, adding him to a broad-gathering legion that was already strong with Devonta Smith and Quez Watkins. Smith is only in his second season, but he certainly has the talent to become one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Brown was in that group. The Eagles also added Hasson Reddick and James Bradberry to make the defense more solid.

Defensive health was one of the reasons why Vikings could not reach the knockout stages last season. They lost pass runner Danielle Hunter in early November for the rest of the season to a physical injury and another pass runner – Everson Griffen – to a scary incident, and he has admitted that he is bipolar. This year Hunter is healthy and the Vikings brought in Za’Darius Smith from the Green Bay Packers to keep a strong one-two pass. Their attack also includes Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen.

So two strong squads, with two question marks in midfield.

After two lucrative franchise seasons in Washington, Cousins ​​signed a fully guaranteed $84 million deal with the Vikings in 2018. Cousins ​​is expected to improve after the Minneapolis Miracle season, during which The Vikings came back to beat the New Orleans Saints in the Split Round, and then lost to eventual Super Bowl champions the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game.

Since that conference title game, neither team has sniffed the Super Bowl. Cousins made the playoffs once in 2019 and lost in the Divisional Round. The Eagles’ best regular-season record since their championship 2017 season has been 9-7. Last season was Hurts’ first as a full-time starter. He helped the Eagles sneak into the playoffs at 9-8, and they were rewarded with a trouncing, courtesy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In that game, the Eagles’ offense was completely ineffective.

On Monday night, the Eagles got a big home win against the Vikings and the best and worst of both quarterbacks were on display. Hurts scored on a spectacular touchdown run — the second of his two scores on the ground — and he also connected on some major downfield passing plays. Cousins threw three picks — something he hadn’t done since 2020 — and his final pick could have happened on several different plays during that drive. By the end of the game, it appeared that Cousins had lost any sense of where an NFL quarterback should put a football. And the Twittersphere had a laugh.

He began the second half with an interception in the end zone as the Vikings had a chance to score. The defense was able to hold steady the following possession, and the Vikings blocked an Eagles’ field-goal attempt. Then with great starting field position at the Eagles’ 30-yard line, Cousins threw another pick. His passer rating for the night? 51.1.

All of Cousins’ interceptions were in the second half, with the Vikings already down 17 points. After Sunday’s return by the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets, the Vikings knew that the deficit was far from overcome. However, their midfielder could not deliver.

Yet again, it was the Cousins’ worst game in two seasons, and the Vikings still have some chance to get back into the game. If Irv Smith, Jr catches a perfectly placed rainbow from Cousins ​​late in the second quarter, he scores a goal and the Vikings will only be down seven.

While Hurts only had five incomplete passes throughout the night – one of which was an intercept – and threw 333 yards and a touchdown, it didn’t look like he was threading a needle with all of his passes. . In his best games, his pass catchers were wide open – a far cry from the look he received in the playoff loss to the Buccaneers.

Also, the score never changed in the second half. The Eagles were lucky when the attack of the talented Vikings fell through. That 24-7 lead would become the final score of the game, as the Eagles rose more than 35 yards in just one drive in the second half.

There will be many opinions to come after this big nationally televised competition – Monday Night Football returns on ABC – but no one should change their mind about Cousins ​​or Hurts.

They play different games, but both affect their teams in similar ways. Cousins ​​and Wounds are weak points in championship-level offenses, and it will show up like a jelly on a white shirt when the most important game comes in winter.

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