Two of the top teams in the NFC square off on Monday Night Football when the Minnesota Vikings visit the Philadelphia Eagles in week 2 of the 2022 NFL season. Both teams are coming off a week 1 win, although the Vikings’ victory over the Packers was a bit more impressive than the Eagles’ win over the Lions, as the Eagles barely staved off a fourth quarter comeback by the Lions to avoid the upset. Let’s take a look at the odds, injuries and depth charts for this Vikings vs. Eagles matchup and see my picks and predictions for the game.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles Betting Odds
The Eagles opened as 2.5-point favorites at home against the Vikings, and they are -130 on the moneyline. Early action is moving in the Vikings’ direction, with over 70% of money being bet on the Vikings and on the over, which is set at 50.5. The Eagles were expected to be favored in this one especially considering they’re at home, but the Vikings looked better in week 1, so it’s not surprising that action is moving in that direction. If it keeps moving in that direction, there might be some value on the Eagles.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles Prediction
The Eagles got everything they hoped for out of prized offseason acquisition A.J. Brown in week 1: 10 catches on 13 targets for 155 yards, including this 54-yard dime from QB Jalen Hurts.
AJ Brown 128 yards on 6 catches🔥🔥
54 yard deep ball from Jalen Hurts
AJ has the most 50+ yard catches since he came into NFL three years ago
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) September 11, 2022
The only thing Brown didn’t do was get in the endzone. With the acquisition of Brown, the Eagles were expected to become more pass-heavy in 2022 after being the most run-heavy team in the league in 2021. Their run/pass split was 39-32 in week 1 (55% run), although most of Jalen Hurts’ 17 carries came on passing downs, so they did skew slightly more toward the pass in terms of play selection. In this matchup, they may need to lean more heavily on the pass to keep up with the Vikings’ high-powered offense.
As impressive as Brown was for the Eagles, Justin Jefferson was even more dominant for the Vikings in amassing nine catches on 11 targets for 184 yards and two touchdowns. It will be fun to watch two of the best receivers in the game on Monday Night Football. This will be the first time Jefferson has faced the Eagles since they passed on him in favor of Jalen Reagor (now with the Vikings) in the 2020 NFL Draft. Kirk Cousins has a reputation for struggling on Monday Night Football and has a 2-9 career record, but those two wins have come in his last two games (both against the Bears) with Jefferson on the squad.
This is one of the best matchups on the week 2 slate, and one of the toughest to pick. My favorite bet in this one is the over, as both teams’ offenses are ahead of their defenses. This one might turn into a shootout where the last team with the ball gets the win. For that reason, I am not confident in giving the points with the Eagles. Jefferson is a matchup nightmare, and the Eagles also looked vulnerable against the run in week 1, which could mean a nice night for Dalvin Cook. Don’t ask me why, but the Eagles also tend to struggle in week 2 – they are 3-13 in their last 16 games in week 2.
My Predictions: Vikings win 33-31, Vikings cover, over 52.5 points.
Eagles are 3-14 ATS in their last 17 games in September
Vikings are 4-1 ATS in their last five games in September
Eagles are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 games in Week 2
Over is 9-2 in Vikings last 11 road games
Over is 5-0 in Eagles last 5 home games
Underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings between these teams
Minnesota Vikings Injuries: CB Andrew Booth Jr (Q – quad), S Lewis Cine (Q – knee)
Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell said that that CB Andrew Booth's quad injury does not appear long-term. His status for Week 2 at Philadelphia is unclear though.
S Lewis Cine (knee) should be ready to go vs. the Eagles barring a setback in practice this week.
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) September 12, 2022
Philadelphia Eagles Injuries: DE Derek Barnett (IR – knee), OT Andre Dillard (IR – forearm)
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles below.
Vikings WR Justin Jefferson vs. Eagles’ secondary
According to reports, one of the main reasons the Eagles passed on Jefferson in the draft in favor of Reagor was that they thought Jefferson was more of a slot receiver, and they preferred a more speedy outside receiver like Reagor was supposed to be. The Vikings wasted no time pouncing on the Eagles mistake.
Now Jefferson lines up all over the field, both outside and in the slot, and on both sides of the formation, making it very difficult to create a defensive game plan to double-team him or shadow him with an elite cover corner like the Eagles’ Darius Slay. It will be up to the Eagles’ whole secondary to try to slow down Jefferson.
Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon is known (and often criticized) for running a very conservative style of defense focused on preventing big plays. This has been effective at times, but it has also allowed opposing QBs to pick them apart on underneath routes and complete a very high percentage of their passes. So the Eagles might be able to run a scheme that prevents Jefferson from breaking off big plays, but it could also open up other opportunities for Kirk Cousins and the other pass catchers like Adam Thielen and Irv Smith Jr.
Vikings RB Dalvin Cook vs. Eagles’ defensive front
Lions running back D’Andre Swift torched the Eagles in week 1 to the tune of 144 yards on 14 carries. Now the Eagles face another dangerous back in Cook, who combined with solid backup Alexander Mattison to gain 126 yards on 28 carries (4.5 ypc average) against a good Packers defense. The Eagles led the NFL with 15 missed tackles in week 1, and Cook and Mattison are both physical running backs who are tough to bring down, so the Eagles will need to do a much better job of wrapping up in this contest.
It will also be interesting to see whether the Eagles give mammoth rookie DT Jordan Davis more snaps to help slow down the run. Davis played only 22 of 69 snaps (32%) against the Lions, and mainly played on obvious running downs, but seemed to be effective when he played. There are questions about his conditioning, which may have contributed to the low snap count. The Eagles may need more from a player like him to help slow down Cook.
Eagles WR A.J. Brown vs. Vikings’ secondary
After getting a 41% target share in week 1, A.J. Brown is likely to draw even more attention from opposing defenses than he already demanded. The Vikings’ starting corners Patrick Peterson and Cam Dantzler both have the size to match up with Brown, but Brown has shown that he can beat bigger corners with his speed just as much as he can beat smaller corners with his physicality. Look for Hurts to take a few more deep shots to Brown in this game. It will also be interesting to see if the Eagles can get their other starting receiver Devonta Smith more involved in this game, after he only got four targets and no catches in week 1.
Eagles’ punt coverage vs. Jalen Reagor
This one is just for fun, because the Eagles traded Reagor to the Vikings just a little over two weeks ago. Reagor played zero snaps on offense in week 1, possibly because he was still getting up to speed on the offense, but he is now the Vikings’ primary punt returner. You can be sure he’ll be looking to break one off against his former team, but he was also prone to muffed punts on the Eagles, which could lead to a game-changing play if it happens in this game.