Both the Eagles and Vikings desperately need a win this week. Unfortunately, since they play one another it’s impossible for both teams to succeed.
It’s fair to say the Philadelphia Eagles didn’t expect to sit at 2-2 coming into Week 5. The Minnesota Vikings didn’t expect to stroll into Philly at 1-1-2 either. That makes the game a must win for both franchises.
That should lead to a tense, spirited affair. It may only be Week 5, but expect a Playoff-type atmosphere in the City of Brotherly Love. Eagles fans will understand just how important this game is for their team’s hopes of defending their Super Bowl title.
In fairness, neither team is as bad as their current record might indicate. The Eagles really should have beaten Tennessee in overtime last week. If they had, life would feel much differently at 3-1. The recent return of Carson Wentz at quarterback gives Philadelphia fans even more reason for optimism.
The Vikings have been one of the most unpredictable teams of the young NFL season. They had a bizarre tie in Week 2 against the Packers that seemed to throw Mike Zimmer’s team out of sorts. The Vikings followed that tie up with back to back losses. First, they laid an inexplicable egg against the hapless Bills, then they lost an instant classic against the LA Rams. Zimmer and company definitely want to get things back on track this week.
The Eagles biggest concern heading into this game will be protecting their quarterback. Wentz was beat up last week against a pretty ordinary Titans front. Minnesota has one of the most vicious pass rushes in football. Zimmer will absolutely turn his front seven loose in an effort to make Wentz uncomfortable early in the game.
The Vikings offensive coaching staff should like their chances to get at the Eagles defense. In particular, their secondary looked really bad last week against the Titans last week. When Corey Davis lights you up, you know you have problems covering guys. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen could be poised for big days.
For the Eagles to win, they’re going to need to score a lot of points against a pretty talented Vikings defense. That isn’t impossible with Wentz and Alshon Jeffery back on the field, but it isn’t something Philadelphia fans should feel totally comfortable about. It may require improved play from the Eagles secondary to keep Minnesota’s offense from going wild.
Look for a shootout between two Playoff quality teams on Sunday. The Eagles get the slight edge here due to home field advantage, but the Vikings have superior personnel at the moment. We like the emotion of the Eagles crowd to push their team to victory, but this is definitely a game that can go either way.