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Vikings at Eagles Week 2 Game Preview

EAGAN, Minn. — For the second time in as many seasons, Minnesota is heading to Philadelphia in Week 2 for a prime-time game.

This time, instead of a Monday, however, the Vikings and Eagles will play to start this season's Thursday Night Football slate on Prime. Kickoff is 7:15 p.m. (CT).

Vikings Uniform

The Vikings will be in their traditional modern road uniforms, with white jerseys and purple pants.

Minnesota's helmets will have "Bud" decals to honor Hall of Fame Head Coach Bud Grant, who passed away in March at age 95. Grant was the 14th overall pick of the 1950 NFL Draft. He played 12 games on defense for the Eagles in 1951 and switched to receiver, totaling 56 receptions for 997 yards and seven touchdowns in 1952 before heading to the CFL to make more money.

4 Storylines

1. Quick turnaround: The shortened week will have multiple eyes turning toward the injury report for both teams.

The Vikings didn't practice Monday but estimated that Garrett Bradbury (back) did not participate and tackle Christian Darrisaw (ankle) and outside linebacker Marcus Davenport (ankle) were limited.

The Eagles listed five players as not participating, a little less than 24 hours after their game in New England concluded. Safety Reed Blankenship, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and running back Kenneth Gainwell are dealing with injuries to their ribs. Linebacker Nakobe Dean was listed with a foot injury, and cornerback James Bradberry is in concussion protocol.

The Vikings put their efforts toward physical recovery tactics like massages and other therapy and focused on the mental aspect of the game in meetings.

2. Bounce-back opportunity: It didn't take long for adversity to hit the 2023 Vikings, but much of it was self-inflicted in Sunday's home loss to the Buccaneers. From three turnovers, to missed blocks and lapses at key moments, Minnesota has plenty to clean up quickly to give itself the best chance against the defending NFC Champs.

One of the keys to success for the 2022 Vikings winning 13 games was the fact the team never dropped two games in a row during the regular season.

Minnesota went from its most-thrilling win (at Buffalo) to a hideous home loss against Dallas to defeating New England (on Thanksgiving), but that game was at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Philadelphia's tough environment will present a challenge as Minnesota tries to prevent consecutive losses to start 2023.

3. Protect the football and the pocket: Keys to finding success will be protecting the football better than against Tampa Bay, when Minnesota suffered two fumbles and an interception in the red zone.

Turnovers were problematic a year ago in Philadelphia, too, when the Eagles picked off Kirk Cousins three times. Minnesota countered with one interception of Jalen Hurts by Jordan Hicks, but it wasn't enough to offset going minus-2 in the turnover category.

Similar to last week's interception, the three by the Eagles occurred deep in Philadelphia territory (the goal line, the 13 and in the end zone).

Press box statisticians counted nine hits on Cousins Sunday. A year ago, the Eagles were credited with seven hits and added 11 passes defensed.

Darius Slay, who recorded two of the three interceptions against the Vikings, and opened his 2023 season with a 70-yard pick-6 on Sunday at New England.

Protecting the football and the pocket will be at a premium.

4. Mitigating Hurts' dual threat

The Vikings limited the Buccaneers to 2.2 yards per carry and a long of 6 yards.

Minnesota could face a stiffer test from Philadelphia's run game, which is boosted by the dual-threat ability of QB Jalen Hurts. In addition to completing 22 of 33 passes for 170 yards against New England, Hurts added nine rushes for 37 yards with a long of 14.

Last season, Hurts completed 26 of 31 passes for 333 yards and added 11 rushes for 57 yards with two scores on the ground, including a 26-yard scoring scamper.

3 Things 'Bout the Eagles

1. Super Bowl starters: Although the Eagles lost their offensive (Shane Steichen) and defensive (Jonathan Gannon) coordinators from a year ago to head coaching jobs with Indianapolis and Arizona, respectively, Philadelphia has plenty of returning experience from last year's run to Super Bowl LVII.

Nine of the 11 offensive players who started Sunday were in the opening lineup for the big game in February. The Eagles opened Super Bowl LVII in a nickel against the Chiefs but in a 4-3 base on Sunday against the Patriots. All but two players (linebacker Zach Cunningham and safety Justin Evans) on the field for the first snap of Week 1 were with the team last year, and five of the returnees started in Super Bowl LVII.

Brian Johnson (offense) and Sean Desai (defense) are Philadelphia's new coordinators. 

2. Prime-time experience: This will be the 100th appearance in a prime-time game since Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie purchased the team in 1994. Philadelphia is 58-41 so far and is 20-12 since 2016, including a 4-1 showing in 2022 in prime-time games under Lurie.

The Eagles and the Cowboys (106) are the only two teams with 100-plus prime-time games since 1994.

3. Quick start: Philadelphia stormed to a 16-0 lead at New England before hanging on for the 25-20 win.

The Eagles drove 61 yards on their first possession for a 32-yard field goal and ended the Patriots first opportunity with the interception returned by Slay.

New England fumbled on its next snap to give the ball back to Philadelphia at the Patriots 26-yard line. Hurts soon found Devonta Smith for a 5-yard touchdown.

2 Trends

Vikings spread football around: Cousins completed 33 of 44 passes for 344 yards in Week 1. Although he targeted Justin Jefferson 12 times and T.J. Hockenson on nine occasions, he spread the other 23 targets to six teammates.

Hurts rolling: Hurts has now led Philadelphia to wins in 18 of his past 19 regular-season starts, which includes a 14-1 mark in 2022 for the NFL MVP runner-up. His passing yardage (4,461) set a team single-season record in 2022, and his 35 total touchdowns tied a franchise record last season.

1 Talking Point

"No opportunity in this league, regardless of when it takes place, you don't want to underreact to anything because it's our job to acknowledge the truth, acknowledge exactly what happened, and that's us having a little bit more information about the what, but I totally understand that reaction, especially with the excitement building for hopefully this football team. We didn't get it done [Sunday], and that's where we've got to go back and acknowledge on a short week the things that both we caused ourselves, the things that the opponent caused, and then what opportunities did we miss possibly in the game on any one of our three phases that the outcome would've been different, so I think there's all of the above involved as we comprehend [Sunday] with a mindset of moving forward."

— Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell

Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Eagles.


Team connections

Hicks was drafted by the Eagles in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft and played for Philadelphia from 2015-18.

Minnesota's Director of Player Performance Josh Hingst was the Eagles Head Strength and Conditioning Coach from 2013-20.

College and Pro Connections


Series History

The Vikings are 15-15 all-time against the Eagles but just 7-11 in Philadelphia (includes 0-4 in postseason games).