Nfl Philadelphia Eagles At Detroit Lions
The Eagles are the next opponent of the Minnesota Vikings. Taking place in Philadelphia, it will be a Monday night game. The Vikings have a bad record in those games, especially on the road, outside of games against the Chicago Bears.
However, the purple team has to prepare for another team that has won its first matchup of the 2022 season. The Eagles have won their game in Detroit. While many think that the Lions could be a surprise team this year, the Eagles ran away with the game early. During the third quarter, at some point, Philadelphia led with 31-14 and 38-21 at the end of the quarter.
Yet, the Lions came back and made the game interesting again. The Eagles escaped Detroit with a three points 38-35 victory, but it became an unnecessary close game in the eyes of the road team. They are 1-0, but what’s their identity?
Biggest Strengths — Running Game/Offensive Line
The offense is famous for running football. Their quarterback is third-year player Jalen Hurts. The former Alabama and Oklahoma college star quarterback is one of the best running quarterbacks in the NFL. He ran for almost 800 yards last season and found the endzone on the ground ten times.
The offensive line is traditionally excellent. The center Jason Kelce and the right tackle Lane Johnson have been Pro Bowl caliber players for about a decade. They are getting older but are still phenomenal players. Left tackle Jordan Mailata is a former 7th-round pick without any football experience. He played rugby and is a gigantic person, measured at 6’8″ and 365 lbs. Mailata quietly evolved into one of the best tackles in the business. Guards Landon Dickerson and Isaac Seumalo are considered solid players.
Behind their excellent line, the Eagles like to run the football. Hurts is a focal point of the running game and ran 17 times against the Lions. Running backs Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell, and Boston Scott rushed a combined 22 times. The Vikings’ run defense will be asked to stop their running attack. Philadelphia finished with 216 rushing yards. No NFL team had more rushing yards than the Eagles last season.
Their big strength on defense is the defensive line. The strong trenches were the key to winning the Super Bowl in the 2017 playoffs, including a dismantling of the Vikings. Just like the offensive line, some staples of the defensive line are still on the team. Fletcher Cox, the defensive tackle, is one of the best in the business. While he might have lost a step, he’s still an elite player, and the Vikings have to be ready for one of the most disruptive players on the schedule.
The Eagles played five different defensive tackles, rotating a lot to keep the players fresh. One of the players that subbed in was Jordan Davis. The huge defensive tackle was a first-round draft pick and is one of the most impressive humans on the planet.
Other players with that size and athleticism don’t exist.
The Lions had a lot of success running the football, but the defensive line should still be considered a threat, especially because Detroit has a really good offensive line while the Vikings have some issues there.
Biggest Weakness — Passing Offense
The Eagles are one of the most complete teams in the league, and it’s not easy to find any weaknesses. However, the passing offense is still a question mark, despite spending a lot of resources to get wideout A.J. Brown in the building.
Brown recorded 155 receiving yards, and he’s one of the best wideouts in the league. In addition to him, the Eagles selected first-round receiver DeVonta Smith last year, and tight end Dallas Goedert is heavily featured.
However, the problem is not the weapons at Hurts’ disposal. It’s his skillset. While he’s an incredible athlete and a great threat as a runner, his arm is not that great. Especially accuracy and consistency are problems.
The way to beat the Eagles is by finding the balance between run and pass defense. Daring Hurts to win the game with his arm is the way to go.
The biggest injury is on the defensive side of the ball. Pass rusher Derek Barnett tore his ACL in the game against the Lions. He’ll be missed, as the pass rush from the edge is an issue, especially because Brandon Graham is 34 years old and returning from a torn Achilles tendon suffered in 2021.
Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt