The Minnesota Vikings head to Philadelphia on Monday night to take on the Philadelphia Eagles. After knocking off the Green Bay Packers in Week 1 at U.S. Bank Stadium, Kevin O’Connell’s corners will be tested against a talented wide receiving pair.
In Week 1, the test for Patrick Peterson and fellow Vikings corners was not the wide receivers but instead who was throwing to them. Aaron Rodgers is easily one of the most talented quarterbacks to ever play the position, but there’s no denying his pass catchers have taken a substantial step backward this season.
Coming into the year, Rodgers joked that Allen Lazard wasn’t a significant step back from All-Pro talent Davante Adams. Obviously, even he knows that couldn’t be further from the truth. During Week 1, Rodgers watched Christian Watson drop a perfectly placed deep ball to open up the game, and things largely went downhill from there. Something named Romeo Doubs was the receiver to tally the most yards, but Green Bay relied heavily on their running backs and tight ends in the passing game.
Philadelphia does not employ Aaron Rodgers, and no matter how many steps forward Jalen Hurts takes this season, he’ll still be lightyears behind what Rodgers is. That said, he presents a different challenge with his mobility, and the tandem of A.J. Brown alongside DeVonta Smith is one to be reckoned with.
Albeit facing a terrible Detroit Lions defense, Brown racked up 155 yards on ten receptions. He tallied thirteen targets and was very clearly the focal point of his new team. Although Smith was held without a catch, he still drew four targets and is a threat to rack up production on any given week.
The Vikings don’t have a shutdown corner that will shadow an opposing team’s best wide receiver. The combination of Peterson, Cam Dantzler, and Chandon Sullivan will be tasked with doing their best working on whoever lines up across from them. Talented rookie Andrew Booth Jr. has been lauded as a shrewd second-round selection for the Vikings, but he’ll miss this contest after being ruled out on Saturday.
If the Vikings are going to steal a primetime road win this week, they’ll need to keep Hurts in the pocket as often as possible and disrupt his timing with the big-bodied star in Brown.
Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.