NFC champion Eagles look to go 2-0 when they host Cousins, Vikings


Thursday, 8:15 p.m. EDT Prime Video


AGAINST THE SPREAD: Minnesota 0-1; Philadelphia 1-0

SERIES RECORD: Vikings lead regular-season series 15-11. Philadelphia has won all four playoff games between the clubs.

LAST MEETING: Eagles defeated Vikings 24-7 on Sept. 19, 2022, in Philadelphia

LAST WEEK: Vikings lost 20-17 at home to Tampa Bay; Eagles won 25-20 at New England





TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Vikings minus-3; Eagles plus-1.

EAGLES PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Jalen Hurts passed for 170 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 37 yards with a fumble in Sunday’s win over the Patriots. It was his first game since signing a big-money deal in the offseason that guarantees him $179.3 million. Hurts and the offense, in general, were less dynamic in the opener than a season ago when he combined for 35 touchdowns in the air and on the ground while leading the Eagles to the Super Bowl. The third-year starter repeatedly has stated how he holds himself and the team to a high standard of excellence, something the Eagles likely will need to pull out a victory in their home opener Thursday.

VIKINGS PLAYER TO WATCH: Vikings WR Justin Jefferson pushed aside stalled contract negotiations with the club with a typical performance in Sunday’s loss to Tampa Bay, catching nine passes for 150 yards. Jefferson, who racked up 4,825 yards in his first three seasons while being selected to the Pro Bowl each year, had just two catches for 12 yards after halftime against the Buccaneers, though. He surely will be looking to find the end zone in Week 2.

KEY MATCHUP: Eagles CB Darius Slay vs. Jefferson. The veteran Slay, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, likely will be asked to blanket Jefferson, especially with the expected absence of CB James Bradberry (concussion protocol) against the Vikings. Slay’s 70-yard pick-six highlighted Philadelphia’s win over the Patriots, and the matchup against Jefferson pits one of the league’s top receivers against one of the league’s top pass defenders.

KEY INJURIES: Vikings C Garrett Bradbury (back) and LT Christian Darrisaw (ankle) were injured against the Buccaneers. Bradbury was hurt on the second drive and didn’t return. Darrisaw missed some snaps in the second quarter but played after halftime. OLB Marcus Davenport (ankle) was sidelined in Week 1 after getting injured in practice. All three players are day to day, coach Kevin O’Connell said Monday. ... Eagles CB James Bradberry (concussion protocol) likely will miss Thursday’s contest, and LB Nakobe Dean (foot) will not play after getting hurt against the Patriots and placed on injured reserve. S Reed Blankenship, RB Kenneth Gainwell and DT Fletcher Cox all suffered rib injuries against New England and their status for Thursday is uncertain.

SERIES NOTES: Nick Foles passed for 352 yards and three touchdowns in Philadelphia’s 38-7 victory over Minnesota in the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 21, 2018, a season that ended with the Eagles winning their first Super Bowl championship.

STATS AND STUFF: Eagles rookie DT Jalen Carter, the No. 9 overall pick in last spring’s draft, had one of the club’s two sacks against New England. Philadelphia led the league with 70 sacks last season. ... RB D’Andre Swift had one carry for 3 yards in his Philadelphia debut on Sunday after being acquired from the Lions in an offseason trade. Expect a bigger role from Swift against the Vikings with the status of Gainwell uncertain. ... S Blankenship led the Eagles with nine tackles against New England. ... Eagles K Jake Elliott made all four field-goal attempts in the opener, hitting from 43, 45, 50 and 56 yards. ... WRs A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith combined for 126 yards against the Patriots a season after becoming the first wide receiver duo to each top 1,000 yards for the club. ... QB Kirk Cousins threw an interception and lost a pair of fumbles as the Vikings lost the turnover battle 3-0 to Tampa Bay. Cousins threw for 344 yards and a pair of TDs. The Vikings generated just 41 yards on the ground against the Bucs, led by Alexander Mattison’s 34 yards on 11 carries. TE T.J. Hockenson was just behind Jefferson, making eight catches but was limited to 35 yards.

FANTASY TIP: Philadelphia’s Dallas Goedert went without a catch in Sunday’s win over the Patriots, and Hurts likely will look to get his tight end involved against the Vikings. In a similar situation last season, Hurts connected with WR Smith a team-high seven times in a Week 2 win over Minnesota after Smith didn’t have a catch in a Week 1 victory over Detroit.


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