With a Monday Night Football showdown between the undefeated Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles looming, there are predictions aplenty surrounding the two teams. That said, the best telltale sign as to how these two teams may perform could be found in past matchups. Here’s how some of the Vikings stars on the offensive side of the ball have fared against the Eagles in years past.
Dalvin Cook has played 57 regular season games in his NFL career. Only one of them has come against the Philadelphia Eagles. Back in 2019, the Vikings played host to the Eagles for a Week 6 showdown. The Vikings improved to 4-2 on the season with a 38-20 blowout win over Philly, but Cook did not have a strong game.
On 16 carries, Cook totaled only 41 rushing yards for an average of 2.56 yards per carry. He caught both of his targets for 13 yards and did add a touchdown to his stat line, but this was one of just seven times in his career where he averaged fewer than 2.6 yards per carry.
Philly is also the only team where he has averaged fewer than 3.0 yards per carry while having 15+ carries against them. For the Vikings to win on Monday, their offense likely needs a much stronger showing from him than he gave them in 2019. Especially considering the Eagles defense was extremely porous against the Detroit Lions, this could be very feasible.
This is a topic that has been discussed all week throughout the Vikings media circles. Kirk Cousins has been flat-out dominant against the Philadelphia Eagles throughout his career. In nine games against the birds, he’s completed 67.16% of his passes for 2756 yards, 21 TDs, and just 6 INTs, with his teams winning six times.
Cousins has the highest passer rating of any QB in NFL history while playing at Philadelphia (min. 75 pass attempts). His 112.1 rating sits comfortably above Peyton Manning’s 106.6 and Dak Prescott’s 101.7. Additionally, Philly is one of five teams against whom Cousins has averaged more than 300 passing yards per game.
The Cousins-Justin Jefferson looked strong in Week 1 as the duo connected nine times for 184 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Vikings passing offense will need to be at full throttle once again to steal a road win.
After Week 1’s win, Justin Jefferson has officially played 34 games in his NFL career. The third-year superstar has never played the Philadelphia Eagles. In fact, the only NFC East team that Jefferson has gone up against is the Dallas Cowboys, who the Vikings played in each of his first two seasons.
This Eagles secondary could prove to be one of the toughest that the Vikings wide receiver has played in his young NFL career. One of Darius Slay or James Bradberry likely will give Jefferson 100% of their attention throughout the entire game in an effort to slow him down. It will be crucial that he does not let them faze him.
The season-opener may have relatively quiet for Adam Thielen. In fact, his 36 receiving yards were the fewest he’s ever had in a Week 1 start. That said, history suggests that Thielen will have a bounce back game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Over his three games against Philly, he’s recorded
This included a game in Philadelphia in 2018 where the Minnesota State-Mankato product put together 7 receptions, 116 yards, and a touchdown in a 23-21 win over the Eagles. With Philly inevitably putting much of their attention on Justin Jefferson this week, Thielen may be poised for another big performance for the Vikings offense against these birds.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh can often be found training for a marathon, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his takes, NFL and otherwise, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken