By: Abby Altman
In week 1 of the NFL season, the Minnesota Vikings hosted the Green Bay Packers at US Bank Stadium. The Vikings began the game with a first possession touchdown, and built comfortably on their lead for the remainder of the game, leaving with a relaxing 23-7 victory.
Week 1 gave Vikings fans all over, a new confidence in the team, as well as the new front office and coaching scheme. This confidence carried over with many fans into week 2, as the Vikings traveled to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles.
In week 1, the Eagles beat the Detroit Lions by just 3 points, giving up 35 points to Detroit’s growing offense.
Week 2’s matchup felt like a complete turnaround, for both teams.
The Eagles took a 24-7 victory over Minnesota, leaving the Vikings looking lost and confused all over the field.
Eagles QB Jalen Hurts threw for 333 yards, completing 26/33 pass attempts. Hurts had 3 touchdowns, 2 rushing and 1 passing. The Vikings zone coverages left the Eagles plenty of room to convert short and quick passes into 10+ yard gains. Philadelphia had 25 first downs to the Vikings 20.
It wasn’t just the first downs, however, that kicked Minnesota in the butt. Kirk Cousins threw for 3 interceptions, 2 of which were caught by Eagles cornerback Darius Slay. Slay had a career game, tying his game record for interceptions, and setting a new game record, with 5 passses defended.
The Vikings offense looked erratic, dropping passes placed perfectly by Cousins and mixing up routes, causing interceptions.
Both of Slay’s interceptions came off of star WR Justin Jefferson. Slay allowed just 1 catch when covering Jefferson.
When asked about Jefferson, Slay said “He’s one of the best in the world, but I’m one of the best in the world too.”
Justin Jefferson was one of the most shocking pieces missing in the Vikings week 2 loss. Jefferson had just 6 catches for a grand total of 48 yards. Compared to his week 1 performance, where Jefferson made 9 catches for 184 yards, Jefferson seriously struggled this week.
The Vikings performance in the 1st half was almost shockingly bad. The Vikings went 3 and out on their first 2 drives and only connected for a touchdown on 1 drive. In the second half, the connections looked better between Cousins and his offense, but nobody was able to complete a drive to begin a comeback.
In the 2nd half, the Vikings found themselves in the red zone on 4 different drives, but were unable to score on any of them. Cousins was picked in the endzone several times, despite the valiant efforts of the offense.
“When I look back on tonight, ultimately I put this one on me,” Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said. “I don’t think I did enough for our team in-game.”
While it was apparent that a number of factors contributed to the loss of this game, the Vikings and O’Connell seem to hold some confidence heading into week 3.
The Vikings head back home for week 3 to take on the Detroit Lions for another divisional matchup. Both teams head into the week 1-1.
Update: The Vikings beat Detroit 28-24.