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Eagles-Vikings: 3 things to watch in Week 2 on Monday Night Football


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Eagles-Vikings: 3 things to watch in Week 2 on Monday Night Football


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Eagles' (1-0) home opener is finally here. Fans will flock to Lincoln Financial Field to watch Philadelphia host the Minnesota Vikings (1-0) at 8:30 p.m. on Monday. 

Here are three things to watch in the game: 

Can Jalen Hurts spread the love?

Last week against the Detroit Lions, the Jalen Hurts-A.J. Brown connection got off to a hot start. The duo hooked up for 10 catches for 155 yards through the air, including a 54-yard bomb late in second quarter. 

Brown was targeted 13 times. Dallas Goedert and Kenneth Gainwell were tied for second on the team in targets with four apiece. 

But, what if the Vikings attempt to take Brown away and dare Hurts to try to target other skill guys?

It'll be interesting to see if Hurts will be able work through his progressions and target other skill position players like Goedert, DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins if the Vikings double team Brown.

Will the Eagles contain Justin Jefferson?

Justin Jefferson, the wideout the Eagles famously skipped over to select Jalen Reagor in the 2020 NFL Draft, comes to town for the first time on Monday night. 

Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and the Eagles' defense will have their hands full after Jefferson went nuclear in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers with a stat line of nine catches, 184 receiving yards and two touchdowns. 

Under first-year Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell, the former Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator, Jefferson is playing in the Cooper Kupp role. Last season, Kupp was the Super Bowl MVP and captured the receiving triple crown.

If we see the same soft defense from Gannon on Monday night, Jefferson might be able to feast against the Eagles. 

Where's the pass rush?

Staying on the defensive side of the ball, the Eagles' pass rush was nearly non-existent in 2021, and the group didn't get off to a good start against the Lions. 

Last season, the Eagles only had 29 sacks, which ranked second-to-last in the NFL. 

In Week 1 against the Lions, Philadelphia only recorded one sack. Veterans Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham were able to get to Lions quarterback Jared Goff on that play, but that probably doesn't happen if he doesn't fumble the snap. 

It didn't help that Goff was getting the ball out at an average of 2.47 seconds each play, which ranked first in the NFL in Week 1 according to Next Gen Stats, but the pass rush – a position the Eagles invested in this offseason by signing Haason Reddick – needs to be better. 

The Eagles lost defensive end Derek Barnett for the season due to a torn ACL, which hurts their depth. 

But the Eagles' pass rush should still produce, despite losing Barnett. 

Gannon needs to get creative when deploying Reddick against the Vikings. If Philadelphia can generate any sort of pass rush, it would take the load off the secondary, which has a tough task against Jefferson and the rest of Minnesota's receiving core. 


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What I will be watching most closely is the scoreboard. That said, I'll still be paying attention as to why it reads whatever it reads.

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