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Early Look: Vikings at Eagles

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Vikings are ready to get back to work after a few days off.

Minnesota, the lone unbeaten team in the NFL at 5-0, had its bye week as players and coaches scattered away from Winter Park.

The Vikings now turn their attention to the Eagles, who are 3-2. Philadelphia started 3-0 but lost two straight to Detroit and Washington.

The obvious storyline of the week is the September trade the teams made that brought Vikings quarterback Kyle Rudolph to Minnesota.

Here's an early look at the matchup:


Bradford finally got a chance to catch his breath during the bye week as the quarterback's first six weeks in Purple were spent learning the playbook and establishing a rapport with his teammates.

Bradford's opening stretch of games with Minnesota were also successful. He is 4-0 as the Vikings starter and is one of two quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts to have not thrown an interception so far in 2016 (list the other qb here).

Bradford has completed 88 of 125 passes (70.4 percent) for 990 yards and six touchdowns for a passer rating of 109.7.

Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz had an up-and-down game in Sunday's loss to Washington, completing 11 of 22 passes for 179 yards, which are all season lows. Wentz did not throw a touchdown or an interception.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Wentz is off to a strong start for his young career. He has completed 102 of 157 passes (65 percent) for 1,186 yards with seven touchdowns and one interception.


The Vikings have relied on a multi-pronged approach, with running back Jerick McKinnon getting the bulk of the work. McKinnon leads Minnesota with 57 carries for 174 yards and a touchdown. 

Running back Nick Easton has also gotten some work with 36 carries for 103 yards and a pair of scores. The Vikings have had to shuffle around their offensive line of late due to injuries, but Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said he planned to focus on the running game coming out of the bye.

Eagles running back Ryan Mathews had nine carries for 60 yards in Sunday's loss while veteran Darren Sproles recorded four carries for 20 yards.

Mathews is Philadelphia's lead back and has 53 carries for 206 yards and three touchdowns this season. Sproles has 28 carries for 116 yards and no scores.


Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs missed Minnesota's Week 5 win against Houston but still leads the team with 25 catches for 372 yards. He also has a touchdown. Minnesota tight end Kyle Rudolph has 21 catches for 236 yards and leads the Vikings with three touchdown catches. 

Wide receivers Adam Thielen and Cordarrelle Patterson each caught their first touchdowns of the season in a Week 5 win over the Texans. Thielen has caught 20 passes for 272 yards while Patterson has 11 receptions for 91 yards.

Philadelphia's receiving corps is led by Jordan Matthews, who had three catches for 75 yards on Sunday. Matthews tops the Eagles with 22 catches for 344 yards and a pair of scores.

Sproles is also a threat out of the backfield. He is second on the team with 15 catches for 187 yards and a touchdown. Nelson Agholor, Dorial Green-Beckham and Zach Ertz also have double-digits receptions this season.


The Vikings defense had the week off but stayed atop the league in a handful of categories. Minnesota ranks first in points allowed per game (12.6), yards per play (4.44) and passing yards per play (5.25).

The Vikings are second in total yards allowed per game (287.6) and fifth in rushing yards per game (77.8).

Minnesota's stingy and opportunistic defense has helped the Vikings to a plus-11 turnover margin, the best in the NFL. The Eagles are third at plus-6.

Safety Harrison Smith leads the Vikings with 40 tackles while linebacker Eric Kendricks has 37. Everson Griffen, Brian Robison and Danielle Hunter  are tied for the team lead with 4.0 sacks apiece. Linval Joseph has 3.0, and Tom Johnson has 2.0. The Vikings rank third in the league with 19 team sacks.

The Eagles had a defensive touchdown Sunday against Washington as Malcolm Jenkins had 64-yard interception return for a touchdown. Philadelphia gave up 230 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Philadelphia ranks fourth in passing yards allowed per game (207.4) and sixth in yards allowed per game (312.0). The Eagles have 14 team sacks. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox leads the team with 4.0.

View some of the best images shot by the team photographer (IG: vikingsphotog) from the season so far.

Special teams

Marcus Sherels has returned a pair of punts for touchdowns this season, the latest coming on a 79-yard effort last Sunday against the Texans. Patterson leads the league with a kickoff return average of 29.9 yards.

Minnesota punter Kevin McDermott is having a strong year so far as he is averaging 43.6 yards per punt with a net average of 39.9 yards. Locke is tied for third in the NFL with 13 punts landed inside the 20-yard line and with 12 forced fair catches.

Kicker Kevin McDermott has connected on nine of 12 field goals with a long of 50 yards. He made a 19-yard field goal against Houston and converted all four extra point attempts.

The Eagles scored on special teams Sunday as Wendell Smallwood scored on an 86-yard kickoff return. Philadelphia leads the NFL in kickoff return average at 31.3 yards. Sproles is also a dangerous punt returner who has seven career touchdowns.

Philadelphia kicker Caleb Sturgis has made 12 of 13 field goal tries with a long of 53 yards. Eagles punter Donnie Jones averages 44.3 yards per punt and has downed eight kicks inside the 20-yard line.

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

Over the Years

Minnesota leads Philadelphia 13-12 in the overall series. The Vikings are 13-9 in the regular season against the Eagles but are winless in three tries against Philadelphia in the postseason.

The Vikings started red-hot in the series, winning the first seven matchups between the teams. Philadelphia lost just once in 10 tries from 1989 to 2009 but the Vikings have won the past two battles in the series.

View images from the Vikings 14th regular season game of 2013 which was against the Eagles on December 15.