Vikings vs. Eagles time, odds, prediction, keys, TV, live stream: Justin Jefferson, A.J. Brown on ‘MNF’

In a game that offers an intriguing break in style, the Philadelphia Eagles host the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night. It’s one of two Monday Night Football games this week and a meeting between two teams who secured wins with impressive performances in Week 1.

The Eagles opened their season with a soaring (sorry) victory over the Detroit Lions, while the Vikings pressured division rivals the Green Bay Packers and ushered in the Kevin O’Connell era with a win. They all have a chance to go undefeated here and join the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the top of the NFC.

Will the Eagles protect the home field or will the Vikings cause an upset on the street? We’ll find out soon enough. Before we break down the matchup, here’s how to watch the match.

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Date: Monday 19 Sept | Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia)
TV: ABC/ESPN+ | Electricity: FuboTV (try for free)
Consequences: CBS Sports App
opportunities: Eagle -2.5, O/U 50.5

When the Vikings have the ball

The Vikings ended their Week 1 win with just 23 points against division rivals Packers, but that undercuts their fine offensive performance. Minnesota averaged 6.5 yards per game and had the sixth-best EPA per game and seventh-best points per drive in the league in opening week.

The Packers blew multiple covers that led to big plays, and Kirk Cousins ​​was able to step up and deliver the ball to those open receivers. He beat Justin Jefferson a huge game on the field and made the kind of off-platform throw across his body that we haven’t seen much of him in the Vikings’ more buttoned-up offense in the last couple of seasons. It was good to see Cousins ​​release it, slipping into the pocket and throwing it back to the right while drifting to the left.

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The Vikings did an excellent job in Week 1, moving Jefferson through the formation and repeatedly putting him on linebackers and safeties instead of Green Bay’s high-level corners. They’ll certainly want to do the same thing this week and try to make sure Jefferson sees a fair amount of Philadelphia’s linebackers by lining up in the slot and running routes down the middle of the field. Philly, like Green Bay, wants to play a lot of back-end zone, so if they time them right on the right routes, those opportunities should be there.

Of course Jefferson can also do a lot of damage on the perimeter. These games just take a little longer to develop and depend on Minnesota’s offensive line holding up against a strong Eagles defensive line. If and when the Eagles sit in shell coverages, it might be time for the Vikings to include Irv Smith Jr. a little more than they did last week. He didn’t play very many snaps after missing a couple of preseason shots with a thumb injury. Dalvin Cook should also be a good outlet on the stretches below, and his cunning puts him at odds with Philly’s linebackers.

Last week there was a marked difference in how the Eagles defended the run depending on how they aligned their defensive line. It wasn’t just whether Jordan Davis was in the game or not (which mattered a lot), but whether they were playing three or four men down the defensive line and whether or not they threw a safety in the box or not. Philly would rather play lightboxes and still be able to stop the run, but that’s easier said than done. If the Eagles come out with their four-man front and Davis is on the sidelines, that could be the best opportunity to get Cook and Alexander Mattison going in the run game.

The Week 1 Eagles vs. Lions game became a track meeting of sorts. In previous seasons, the Vikings didn’t want to get into this kind of competition. With a more aggressive, passing-friendly offense under new head coach Kevin O’Connell, they could be more comfortable if this game goes that way. According to TruMedia, Minnesota averaged a 2.1 percent win rate in Week 1, beating expectations. The Vikes have matched or surpassed that mark just nine times in their last three seasons (ie 49 games) under Mike Zimmer. There’s certainly enough firepower in this skill position group to score repeatedly, so don’t be afraid to open things up and air things out.

When the eagles have the ball

The Vikings played 82 percent of Green Bay Zone’s passing plays last week. That was the seventh-highest rate in the league in Week 1. These zones caused the Packers a lot of trouble and limited their big games on the field. Aaron Rodgers was 0-2 with an interception on throws of at least 20 air yards.

Jalen Hurts surprisingly threw just one such pass against the Lions in the season opener but had the second-highest low throw rate in the league last year. Will he be willing to take the bottom stuff the Vikings encourage, or will he try to push the ball down the field even when the opportunities aren’t there for him? After AJ Brown had a monster play in Week 1, given Minnesota’s defensive style, it could be more of a Dallas Goedert and Kenneth Gainwell-type week. Whether the Eagles can move the ball as well with these guys as they can with Brown (and Hurt’s scrambling) will be interesting to see.

Also, with Minnesota playing Zone far more often than men, it’s also worth noting how often Hurts even get a chance to take off and run. This is usually easier when the opponent is playing man coverage since the second level defenders are not keeping an eye on the quarterback. In the zone, everyone is usually facing forward at the line of scrimmage and can come up and make a tackle if the quarterback decides to run with the ball instead of throwing it. Coming from Vic Fangio’s coaching tree, defensive coordinator Ed Donatell brought with him many of the concepts that run through the league. Done right, they offer an opportunity to trap Hurts as a passer if he falls back – even if no one jumps up.

Of course, this defensive style also encourages opponents to run the ball more often, and the Eagles run the ball better than almost every team in the league. Their offensive line is perhaps the best in the NFL. Hurts is not only a great scrambler, but also extremely effective on designed runs. You’ve got Miles Sanders, Gainwell and Boston Scott to pierce the heart of the defense when it’s paying too much attention to the danger of hurts getting to the perimeter.

Minnesota’s defensive line will have their work cut out against the Eagles’ offensive line. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon did pretty well against the Vikings last week when they had the opportunity, so Philly might have some leeway in this matchup to do the same. If they succeed, it should give Brown and company a chance to cross the routes, and there are few players better at working from catch when they get the ball moving.


Latest Odds:

Philly Eagles -3

Result: Eagle 29, Viking 26

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