The Eagles made a statement in prime time with a dominant 24-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football in the home opener at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles gave fans plenty to cheer about as quarterback Jalen Hurts was masterful, throwing for 333 yards on 26-of-31 passing. He opened the game connecting on his first 11 pass attempts, setting a new career high. Hurts had one touchdown passing – a BOMB to Quez Watkins for 53 yards – and two rushing scores as well as another 57 yards on the ground.
The defense held up its end of the bargain after the Eagles raced out to a 24-7 halftime lead by holding the Vikings scoreless in the second half. Cornerback Darius Slay put himself in position to be the NFC Defensive Player of the Week with two interceptions and five pass breakups, while keeping Vikings star wide receiver Justin Jefferson in check. The defense forced three turnovers – all Kirk Cousins interceptions – and the Eagles are 2-0 with their first NFC East showdown up next on Sunday in Washington. Here’s how the game unfolded:
The Eagles took the opening kickoff and marched 82 yards in 11 plays as Jalen Hurts finished off the drive by barreling through three Vikings defensive players for a 3-yard touchdown run, his second of the season. DeVonta Smith caught his first pass of the season on the first play from scrimmage, a 5-yard gain. The key play of the drive was a third-and-13 pass to A.J. Brown, his first reception as an Eagle at Lincoln Financial Field, for a 19-yard gain to the Minnesota 10-yard line. Hurts was 5-for-5 for 63 yards with completions to four different receivers. Miles Sanders added 14 ground yards on two carries. Eagles lead 7-0 with 9:09 remaining in the first quarter.
The Eagles ended the first quarter with a 7-0 as the defense forced two punts. Darius Slay broke up a pass intended for wide receiver Justin Jefferson on third down on the Vikings’ first drive. Then, James Bradberry denied a pass intended for tight end Irv Cross to end the second drive. The Vikings managed just 10 yards of offense in the first quarter.
Jalen Hurts went deep to Quez Watkins, who got behind the entire Minnesota defense for a 53-yard touchdown to extend the Eagles’ lead to 14-0 with 14:52 left in the first half. Hurts is 10-of-10 for 154 yards and a touchdown.
The Vikings answer back after the Watkins with a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. The Vikings converted two third-down situations – a third-and-1 with an end around to Jalen Reagor for 17 yards then a third-and-6 with a pass to K.J. Osborne for 15 yards. Tight end Irv Smith caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to get Minnesota on the board
Jalen Hurts completed his first 11 passes. The first incompletion came with 7:08 left in the first half on a well-placed ball to tight end Dallas Goedert in traffic that the Vikings were able to break up.
With 1:58 left in the first half, the Eagles extend the lead with a 26-yard touchdown run by Jalen Hurts. The drive started with back-to-back passes to DeVonta Smith that gained 19 yards and 16 yards, respectively. Two plays later, Boston Scott ran up the middle for a gain of 16 and two plays later Miles Sanders added 9 yards on the ground before the scoring play. Eagles lead 21-7.
The Vikings were just 1-for-4 in the red zone as defensive end Josh Sweat ended the night with a sack of quarterback Kirk Cousins on the game’s final play – a third-and-goal from the Eagles’ 11-yard line that went for a loss of 7 yards
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