The Eagles (2-2) suffered a tough 26-23 loss to the Titans last Sunday in Nashville, so they’re looking to rebound.
And the Vikings (1-2-1) are looking for a little revenge from last year’s NFC Championship Game, where the Eagles completely dismantled them. The Vikings are also coming off a hard-fought loss to the Rams last week.
Here are five matchups to watch Sunday:
Alshon Jeffery vs. Xavier Rhodes
After missing the first three weeks of the 2018 season, Jeffery returned last week and casually played 65 snaps with over 100 yards receiving and a touchdown. It was arguably his best game in an Eagles uniform. In last year’s NFC Championship Game, Jeffery had five catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns.
Doug Pederson said he expects Rhodes to follow Jeffery all over the field this week and he’s probably right. Without Jeffery, the rest of the Eagles’ receivers haven’t been able to make plays consistently, so if Rhodes can lock him down, it would go a long way for the Vikings.
This has been a good battle dating back to Jeffery’s days in Chicago. These two compete hard against one another.
Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen vs. Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby
The duo of Diggs and Thielen is one of the best in the NFL and they’re the big reason why the Vikings are one of the most high-flying passing units in the league. And if you haven’t noticed, the Eagles have had their problems in the secondary.
Mills has been the scapegoat this week and Darby should probably send him a fruit basket for taking all the attention off of him. Because Darby had a bad game in Tennessee too. Mills couldn’t cover deep and Darby couldn’t tackle. The Eagles have high expectations for both and this will be a big test after a clunker.
Zach Ertz vs. Vikings’ LBs
Don’t look now, but Ertz is the best tight end in the NFL. He has 31 catches for 327 yards so far this season and is on pace to smash career records in both. But the Vikings have good linebackers and have been pretty good against tight ends this season. They’ve given up just 16 catches for 246 yards and a touchdown against TEs. That’s not the best in the league, but it’s pretty good.
Still, look for the Eagles to get Ertz going. He’s been their most consistent offensive weapon this season.
Kirk Cousins vs. familiar foe
Even though Pederson called him “Kurt” on Wednesday, Cousins has fared pretty well against the Eagles in his career. From his time in Washington, Cousins was 4-3 against the Eagles and has thrown for more yards and touchdowns against them than any other team in the league. His passer rating against the Birds is 99.7.
Vikings’ run game vs. Eagles’ run D
Dalvin Cook has been banged up and the Vikings have the worst rushing offense in the NFL, averaging 63.0 yards per game. They actually had 116 yards on the ground in the opening win, but then had 68 in their tie to the Packers, 14 in their blowout loss to the Bills and 54 in their shootout in Los Angeles. They haven’t been good, but they still want to run the ball. They have a defensive head coach and are going to want to be a little more balanced.
Unlike the Eagles’ pass defense, their run defense has been incredible this season. The Eagles are giving up just 63.8 yards per game on the ground. That’s the best mark in the league. So we have the worst rushing team in the league going against the best rush defense in the league.