5 takeaways from Vikings brutal 34-28 loss vs. Eagles
When it rains for the Minnesota Vikings it pours, and it found out on Thursday Night Football in a 27-7 loss. The Vikings once again found another creative way to lose, which has been the story of this franchise for 60-plus years. Here are five takeaways from another disappointing performance.
Takeaway No. 1: Live and die by the turnover
For the second week in a row, the Vikings had a chance to go into the locker room with a halftime lead that never came to fruition. With under 50 seconds to play, Justin Jefferson hauled a beautiful pass from Kirk Cousins. Approaching the goal line, Jefferson reached for the end zone and came down a yard short on Philadelphia’s playing surface. The issue was that he no longer had the ball. It flew into the end zone, resulting in a touchback.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 15, 2023
This resulted in the second week in a row where the Vikings committed three turnovers in the first half. Ironically, the last team to commit six-half turnovers was the 2005 Minnesota Vikings. The first turnover for the Vikings came as Brandon Powell fumbled a punt return inside Eagles territory. Fortunately, Jalen Hurts threw an interception six plays later.
Brandon Powell with a great return but he fumbles and the Eagles recover the ball 😬
— NFL Retweet (@NFLRT) September 15, 2023
But following the interception, Alexander Mattison put the ball on the ground which was recovered by the Eagles Justin Evans. And on the third play of the second half, Cousins fumbled on a strip sack resulting in the Eagles going up by two possessions.
Kirk Cousins starts off the 2nd half with a fumble pic.twitter.com/NqtaZlGy8B
— Zirksee🍽️ (@Zirksee) September 15, 2023
Four turnovers for any team won’t win games, a division, and most certainly a Super Bowl.
Takeaway No. 2: Same ol’ run defense
Last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Vikings gave up just 73 rushing yards on 33 carries, equaling 2.2 yards per carry. Against the Eagles it was a different story. The Vikings got gashed in the run game against the elite Philadelphia Eagles offensive line. D’Andre Swift bullied his way for 175 yards on 28 carries, Boston Scott 40 yards, while Jalen Hurts added 35 of his own and two scores. In all, the Vikings defense gave up 259 on 5.4 yards per carry, the most yards since losing to the San Francisco 49ers in 2021.
Takeaway No. 3: The other offensive run game was nowhere to be found
The Buccaneers and Eagles defensive fronts are as good as advertised, and through two weeks the Vikings rushing attack has yet to find anything on the ground. After running for 41 yards on 17 carries against the Buccaneers, the Vikings mustered just 28 yards on nine attempts. Only once last season, the Vikings had a lower rushing total when they lost to the Detroit Lions 34-23 on Dec. 11 with 22 yards rushing..
Takeaway No. 4: Lewis Cine, where is he?
Early in the game, Josh Metellus went down with an injury meaning the next man up for the Vikings. Instead of inserting 2022 first-round pick Lewis Cine, Brian Flores opted to go with the 2022 sixth-round pick, who was cut by the Tennessee Titans, Theo Jackson. The move paid off as Jackson intercepted Jalen Hurts.
Theo Jackson picks off Jalen Hurts pic.twitter.com/dtueBfe8Rc
— Sean Borman (@SeanBormanNFL) September 15, 2023
But, while this was a positive play for the Vikings, it comes with long-term questions about why Cine hasn’t gotten time on the field. It’s alarming for a player that was regarded one of the best safeties in his draft class.
Takeaway No. 5: It’s time to have that conversation
History is not on the Vikings side following dropping to 0-2. Only once has the Vikings its 63-year history overcome a 0-2 start to make the playoffs. It came during the 2008 season, where the team overcame a 1-3 start. The Vikings schedule gets more challenging with Patrick Mahomes in week five and a trip to Bank of America Stadium in week four. Next week a high-octane offense comes to U.S. Bank Stadium as Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers pay a visit. It’s not impossible for the Vikings to dig themselves out of this hole, but the chance is tiny.
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