EAGAN, Minn. – Star Tribune writer Mark Craig shared his five takeaways following the Vikings' 34-28 loss to the Eagles on Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field.
Craig wrote about how the night started with the Vikings defense containing Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. After scoring a field goal on their first possession, the Eagles totaled 28 yards on their next three series.
But then Philadelphia started running the ball. On Hurts and the Eagles offense, Craig wrote:
The Eagles offense looked like a work in progress throughout Week 1 and into the early going Thursday night. Hurts looked unsure of himself and the offense until [Offensive Coordinator Brian] Johnson started pounding the ball [and finishing with 48 carries] for 259 yards (5.4) and three touchdowns. Initially, the Vikings did a nice job setting the edges to keep Hurts hemmed in. Danielle Hunter, who had three sacks, almost had another one early but his inside-out rush allowed Hurts to skirt past him for seven yards on third-and-5.
Later, cornerback Byron Murphy lost the edge on an 8-yard run. Hurts also caught the Vikings napping up the middle on an 8-yard run that turned third-and-6 into Josh Elliott's 61-yard field goal closed the first half. And, of course, the legalization of the "push" play helped Hurts sneak for one first down and score twice from the 1-yard line.
Craig's four other takeaways included thoughts on punt returner Brandon Powell and the NFL's touchback turnover rule.
The Vikings don't give up. We'll give them that. But they have to be the sloppiest team in the league right now. And that sounds weird to say for a team that had only two penalties for 15 yards Thursday night. (Although, c'mon, Harrison Phillips. You're better than that offsides penalty. The Eagles were letting time run out in the third quarter when they somehow got you to jump offsides on third-and-3. What?!) Even Justin Jefferson was sloppy, losing the ball at the pylon for a touchback turnover late in the first half. This also is just a bad rule. After booth review, the field ruling went from Vikings ball at the 1-inch line to Eagles ball – all because replay showed the ball crossed over the top of the pylon by millimeters. People have been arguing for the NFL to change this rule for years. And they're right. It's too penal for the offense and too often rewards the defense too much for not doing anything.
Click here to read all five of Craig's points from Thursday night.
Pro Football Focus calls the Vikings' passing game 'dominant'
For a second consecutive week the Vikings passed for more than 300 yards. Led by Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson, Minnesota is arguably the best downfield passing team in the league.
The Vikings passing game was dominant throughout the night. However, the sack fumble to start the second half was the one misplay that cost them dearly, as it set up the Eagles for a short field and, ultimately, a touchdown.
On the other side of the ball, the Eagles passing game struggled for the second game in a row. And this time, it didn't happen against a defense as good as the New England Patriots.
Justin Jefferson has [totaled] 309 yards after two contests and is on pace for a record-shattering year. T.J. Hockenson and Jordan Addison also had a nice game for the Vikings, as Minnesota's passing and receiving game certainly wasn't the problem last night.
'Pioneer Press' features rookie Jordan Addison's dreams becoming reality
Jordan Addison's NFL career is off to an historic start.
On Thursday, the 21-year-old rookie became the 20th player since 1970 to catch a touchdown in his first two games. He also joins Percy Harvin (2009) and Sammy White (1976) as the only rookies in team history to start a season with touchdown receptions in two consecutive games.
The Pioneer Press featured Addison's story of how he brought his wildest dreams into fruition.
Addison was a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh when he first met Brennan Marion. At the time, Addison was a rising star with the Panthers, and Marion had recently been hired as the program's receivers coach. As they got to know each other, the conversation veered toward what Addison hoped to accomplish in the future.
"He gave me some average goals," Marion said. "I told him to come back tomorrow with his wildest dreams."
In response, Addison dreamed as big as he possibly could, returning to Marion the next day with ambition coursing through his veins.
He wanted to win the Biletnikoff Award, which is given annually to the best receiver in college football. He wanted to bring a conference championship to Pittsburgh for the first time in more than a decade. He wanted to walk across the stage and dap up NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after getting drafted in the first round.
Read the rest of the Pioneer Press’s feature story on Addison here.