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Vikings-Eagles Game Observations: Rough Night in Philly

The Vikings never got much going Monday night against the Eagles in a 24-7 loss in Philadelphia.

One week after playing a near-perfect half at home against the Packers, the Vikings opened with a half about as bad — hopefully — as they could.

Philadelphia out-gained Minnesota 223 to 83 on the way to building a 24-7 halftime lead.

The Eagles marched 82 yards easily on their opening drive and added a 53-yard touchdown pass from Jalen Hurts to Quez Watkins to open the second quarter before Minnesota responded with a touchdown drive.

Hurts racked up 151 yards on 8-of-11 passing for a passer rating of 145.1 in the first half. He also led Philadelphia with 43 yards on four rushes, highlighted by his 26-yard touchdown to make it 21-7 with 1:58 remaining.

Minnesota dialed up a deep pass to Irv Smith, Jr., on second-and-10, but the shot to the tight end fell incomplete as one of several drops by Vikings pass catchers on the night.

The horrendous start got a little more cosmetic in the third quarter.

Minnesota moved the ball into scoring territory, but Kirk Cousins was intercepted two times to keep points off the board and deny a comeback. Cousins was picked again deep in the end zone in the fourth quarter.

The Vikings (1-1) will host the Detroit Lions (1-1) at noon (CT) Sunday.

Here are four more observations presented by Minnesota Eye Consultants, the Proud LASIK Partner of the Minnesota Vikings, followed by a scoring summary:

1. Erratic night for the offense

Plenty will be written about Cousins' three interceptions, but the QB suffered drops by multiple teammates that stalled drives before the ones that ended with turnovers.

On the first pick, it looked like Cousins and Justin Jefferson crossed wires with Jefferson going behind cornerback Darius Slay.

The second was an attempt to defeat double coverage on a pass to Adam Thielen.

The third was a heave under pressure that Slay high-pointed.

Minnesota never effectively established its run game, committed self-harm with the drops and was unable to withstand pressure brought by Philadelphia's blitzes.

View photos from the Vikings-Eagles Monday Night Football game on Sept. 19 at Lincoln Financial Field.

2. Defense allows too many big plays

The Eagles racked up 486 total yards and possessed the ball for 36:14.

Philadelphia was able to find spots in Minnesota's shell for chunks of yards and repeatedly overcame penalties and a few tackles for loss along the way.

Six different Eagles totaled 57 or more yards from scrimmage. Miles Sanders rushed for 80 yards, and Hurts finished with 57 on the ground.

Dallas Goedert led all players with 82 yards, and DeVonta Smith added 80, catching all seven passes thrown his way. A.J. Brown and Watkins each totaled 69 receiving yards.

Goedert (24), Smith (19), Brown (23) and Watkins (53) all delivered long receptions.

3. Special teams were strong again

Saying that the best parts of the night for the Vikings were when neither its offense nor its defense were on the field.

That's a fact because of the reasons allowed in the first and second observations but also not providing full credit to a nice night by Minnesota's special teams.

The Vikings used a mortar kickoff to start the game and pinned Philadelphia at its 18, but the Eagles went the distance to open the game.

Punter Ryan Wright had another strong night, averaging 49.2 yards on five punts. His showing included a long of 58 and three that were landed inside the Eagles 20-yard line.

Patrick Peterson blocked a 40-yard field goal attempt in the third quarter, and Kris Boyd returned the ball to the Philadelphia 30 and in scoring range before the second of Cousins' interceptions.

4. Clever Conversion

The Vikings got clever with their alignment for their first third-down conversion of the night.

Minnesota lined right tackle Brian O'Neill on the left of left tackle Christian Darrisaw and tight end Johnny Mundt on the right of right guard Ed Ingram, with Smith on the right of Mundt.

The Vikings ran former Eagle Jalen Reagor on a sweep and he picked up a key block by Smith and 17 yards on the play.

Scoring summary

Q1, 9:09 remaining

Eagles 7, Vikings 0

Jalen Hurts rushes for 3 yards (Jake Elliott kicks PAT) [11 plays, 82 yards, 5:51 time of possession]

Third-and-what?: The Eagles appeared to have converted third-and-8 with a 12-yard pass to Kenneth Gainwell, but it was wiped off because of an ineligible man downfield penalty. Philadelphia, however, then easily converted a third-and-13 with a 19-yard pass to A.J. Brown, who found a hole in the Vikings defense.

Q2, 14:52 remaining

Eagles 14, Vikings 0

Quez Watkins catches a 53-yard pass from Hurts (Elliott kicks PAT) [7 plays, 82 yards, 3:27 time of possession]

Look away: The Eagles were able to get Watkins deep because they pulled safety Camryn Bynum's attention toward a route by Dallas Goedert.

Q2, 9:39 remaining

Eagles 14, Vikings 7

Irv Smith, Jr., catches a 2-yard pass from Kirk Cousins (Greg Joseph kicks PAT) [9 plays, 75 yards, 5:13 time of possession]

Drive saver: After Dalvin Cook was tackled for a loss of 1 on a short pass, Alexander Mattison broke a tackle to gain 5 on a run and set up a third-and-6. Cousins drilled a throw to K.J. Osborn for a gain of 15.

Q2, 1:58 remaining

Eagles 21, Vikings 7

Hurts rushes for 26 yards (Elliott kicks PAT) [7 plays, 85 yards, 3:02 time of possession]

Strong finish: The Vikings prepped Hurts' mobility, but it still affected them. The QB had enough juice to power through tackle attempts shy of the goal line and reach across the pylon.

Q2, 0:00 remaining

Eagles 24, Vikings 7

Elliott kicks 38-yard field goal [8 plays, 75 yards, 1:21 time of possession]

Bad after timeout: Minnesota opted to use a timeout with 28 seconds left and Philadelphia facing a third-and-6 from its own 21-yard line. Rather than forcing a punt, however, the Vikings allowed a 16-yard completion to DeVonta Smith that was followed by completions of 19 and 24 yards to Goedert, moving the ball all the way to the Minnesota 20.