Oh, baby, the Philadelphia Eagles stomped the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football, 24-7. I did not see that coming. The Vikings looked so convincing against the Packers in Week 1, that I thought the young Eagles would look out of sync playing against the Vikings. I was wrong. The surprising (somewhat) part of the game was not their offense. People knew the Eagles were going to be able to score points. The Eagles' defense stepped up against one of the best receiving corps in the NFL. More on that later. The question everybody has to be asking now is not whether the Eagles are good. We can assume that now. The question is—how far can the Eagles go?
En Fuego's Ryan Ward touched on this a month ago. The Eagles' offense took a huge step before the season started when they acquired AJ Brown from the Tennessee Titans. Brown's presence not only makes him dangerous, but it also frees up some of the other receivers. This was relevant on Monday night as four different receivers went for over 50 yards. Dallas Goedert, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, and Brown all make the list. Miles Sanders has proven to be effective in the running game. Speaking of the running game, Sanders is protected because of the Eagles captain, Jalen Hurts.
Jalen Hurts scored two touchdowns in the big win against the Vikings. He rushed for 57 hards along with those two scores, and he also threw for a touchdown while collecting 333 yards on 26/31 passing. The Eagles will go as far as young Hurts will take them, and he has accepted the challenge in 2022. This makes Hurts the second Eagle in the Super Bowl era with 300 passing yards and two rushing TDs in a game. He has easily been the best player on the team in the first two weeks.
Week 1 was concerning. They gave up 35 points to Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions. In Week 2, defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon turned up the Eagles' defense. The increase in blitz plays led to Kirk Cousins feeling the pressure and throwing sloppily. He routinely failed to find Justin Jefferson. Speaking of Jefferson, the man is a beast of a receiver, but he drew a tough assignment. This put cornerback Darius Slay on the map. Slay was on Jefferson like white on rice. The Eagles came up with three interceptions on the evening, including two from Slay. If the Eagles continue to be the offensive powerhouse they have started being, this improved defense turns them into legitimate contenders.
Let us slow down a little. Not every team is the Vikings and not every quarterback is Kirk Cousins. The Eagles knew Cousins would struggle with increased blitzes and their secondary took care of the rest. When the Eagles play quarterbacks like Kyler Murray who is super mobile in the pocket, the defense will have to adjust. This goes the same for Hurts as well, who will have to play teams with better defensive lines than the Vikings.
Go birds. This team is too fun to watch. If the Eagles fail to win the NFC East, I will be shocked.