5 Bold predictions for when the Eagles battle the Vikings

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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) celebrates with teammates after scoring on a 26-yard touchdown run during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Philadelphia Eagles take on the Minnesota Vikings tonight on Thursday night football. It’ll be a short week for a team that is losing key starters to early injuries. Nonetheless the Birds have to find a way to get into an offensive rhythm while also regrouping as a defense. They’ll have their work cut out for them against Justin Jefferson and Kirk Cousins but here are my five bold predictions for their week 2 matchup:

Jalen Hurts will be unleashed

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) looks for an opening while under pressure from New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon (9) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

There’s no hiding the fact that Jalen Hurts looked extremely rusty in their matchup against the Patriots. Hurts only threw for 170 yards and rushed for 37 yards against a very stingy Pats defense. I fully expect Hurts to show out a bit, especially after the way the offense looked on Sunday. I’m predicting that he passes for 250 yards and 2 passing touchdowns with one rushing touchdown as well.

Jordan Davis & Jalen Carter will wreak havoc

PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 30: Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Jordan Davis (90) rushes during the game between the Pittsburg Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles on October 30, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

How is this duo flying under the radar? Jordan Davis had a key forced fumble while Jalen Carter was living in the Patriots backfield with 7 pressures and 1 sack. This week they will be facing a beat-up offensive line that is missing key starters. If they can make it tough for Kirk Cousins to breathe back there then the Eagles will have a very convincing win. 

Dallas Goedert blows up

Eagles giants
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert (88) runs with the ball after making a catch as New York Giants cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (22) tries to stop him during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The last time an Eagles playmaker was ignored in week 1 was DeVonta Smith last year against the Lions. Sirianni vowed to get him involved which led to Smith finishing with 7 receptions for 80 yards against the Vikings but he was not the top receiver… 

Instead, that was Dallas Goedert who finished with 82 receiving yards. I still don’t believe that the Vikings will have an answer for Dallas Goedert and he will be the focal point of the game plan tonight. I wouldn’t be surprised if he finished with 6 receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown.

Sean Desai and Eagles rookie make their mark

Sean Desai
CHICAGO, IL – AUGUST 21: Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai looks on during a preseason game between the Chicago Bears and the Buffalo Bills on August 21, 2021 at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

With Reed Blankenship out for the game, I would think that the Eagles find a way to get Sydney Brown involved heavily. Against the Patriots, Sean Desai used Terrell Edmunds in the box heavily throughout the game, and with Nakobe Dean now out, I think he stays there. This should mean that finally get to see a heavy dose of the rookie in the home opener.

The Eagles could use a spark in the secondary, especially against Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison. This will also give Sean Desai the confidence needed to lean on his rookie early on. Justin Evans was a serviceable safety against the Patriots but it feels like the Eagles should rely on their rookie for now. Allow him to make the mistakes that Evans already made and learn from it.

Brian Johnson shows out

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JANUARY 29: Philadelphia Eagles coach Brian Johnson looks on during the NFC Championship Game between the San Fransisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles on January 29, 2023 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

It’s too early to say that Brian Johnson is due for a big game but he’s due. Johnson was the talk of the city when he was promoted and I am still not a believer that it was only Shane Steichen who helped orchestrate the incredible 2022 offense. I do believe that Johnson’s playcalling was too reserved against the Patriots’ defense. 

This feels like a game where he loosens up a bit and starts to throw fastballs for strikes. If the Eagles offense ever needed a game to get them moving in the right direction then it would be this game. 

AP Photo/Matt Slocum