MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - SEPTEMBER 10: Justin Jefferson #18 of the Minnesota Vikings catches a pass in the second quarter of a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at U.S. Bank Stadium on September 10, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Week 1 is behind us. It was ugly, the Eagles won anyway, and now just a few days later, they have to take the field again. The Vikings are coming to town on Thursday night for the Eagles home opener. A team that has become a semi-rival for the Eagles ever since the Eagles beat them 38-7 in the 2017 NFC Championship game. Last year the Eagles continued that tradition by beating them 24-7. But is another blowout in the works?

Unlike the Eagles, the Vikings could not squeak out of week 1 with a win. The Bucs went into Minnesota and beat them 20-17, despite the Vikings entering the game 4.5 point favorites. That is also despite the Vikings having 127 more total yards than the Bucs. The difference maker? Turnovers. Kirk Cousins turned it over 3 times, including two fumbles and an interception. In fairness to him, he was under siege. Cousins got hit 9 times by Bucs defenders. And the Vikings run game, sans Dalvin Cook, was never able to get going.

The Eagles surprisingly enter the game as 7-point favorites. That they are favored is no shock. But being favored by a full TD, even as the home team, is a little surprising. It tells you Vegas are either very high on the Eagles or very low on the Vikings. They overachieved last season. Their defense was not good, and they were exposed in the playoffs. But they are still, they are not a team to overlook, especially on a short week. There is still talent there. Especially at WR, and on the offense in general.

So what players should we be the most concerned about? Could the Vikings give the Eagles more trouble than we are thinking?

Here are 5 Vikings players who could hurt the Eagles on Thursday night:

  • Justin Jefferson

    This one is stating the obvious, but Jefferson is very good. Probably the best WR in the whole league. Last week he racked up 9 catches for 150 yards. Last season he finished the season with 1,809 yards and 8 TDs. Every single week, he is a guy you have to watch to put up big numbers.  

    With that said, Darius Slay did an amazing job covering him last season. He held Jefferson to just 6 catches and 48 yards. Does that mean he will shut him down again? We won’t know until they play Thursday night. But it was one of just 11 times Jefferson was held under 50 yards in his career. So Eagles’ can probably feel more comfortable than most teams that they can contain him at least a little bit.  But to do that, they are going to need to get way more pressure on Kirk Cousins than they did on Mac Jones. 

    JAKIB Sports on Twitter: "Darius Slay vs Justin Jefferson last season 🔒 18 cover snaps🔒 6 targets🔒 2 INTs🔒 1 catch🔒 7 yards🔒 0.0 passer rating allowed#FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/B9AHwbe4dJ / Twitter"

    Darius Slay vs Justin Jefferson last season 🔒 18 cover snaps🔒 6 targets🔒 2 INTs🔒 1 catch🔒 7 yards🔒 0.0 passer rating allowed#FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/B9AHwbe4dJ

  • Jordan Addison

    Jefferson is not the only show on the Vikings at WR anymore. Jordan Addison made a hell of a debut, with 4 catches for 61 yards, including a 39-yard TD. The first rd pick provides an upgrade over Adam Theilen, who was no longer the WR he used to be for the Vikings last season. And with Bradberry likely out with a concussion, it will fall on Josh Jobe to cover the speedy, yet undersized Addison.  

    NFL on Twitter: "Jordan Addison's first TD goes 39 yards!📺: #TBvsMIN on CBS📱: Stream on #NFLPlus https://t.co/G4uoYVOqQn pic.twitter.com/psoxEWmGX8 / Twitter"

    Jordan Addison's first TD goes 39 yards!📺: #TBvsMIN on CBS📱: Stream on #NFLPlus https://t.co/G4uoYVOqQn pic.twitter.com/psoxEWmGX8

  • Kirk Cousins

    I considered leaving Cousins off here. He is an enigma of a player. There is no doubt he is a talented QB. He is among the most consistent QBs in the league statistically. But there is something off about him that makes a lot of people mistrust him. Especially in Prime Time games where he is 12-20 in his career, and 7-9 since he joined the Vikings. On the road, it is even worse, with a 4-12 record in his career. And that is especially relevant here because they are playing Thursday night in Philly.  

    Still, he is talented enough that we can’t just look past his ability. Kirk can beat you if you don’t take him seriously. He has 30 passing TDs in 3 of his 5 seasons in Minnesota, and 4 seasons of 4000 passing yards. As already mentioned, he is throwing to two talented WRs and a talented TE who will will talk about next. The D-Line needs to make him uncomfortable, especially with James Bradberry not playing due to a concussion. 

    MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - JANUARY 15: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings throws a pass against the New York Giants during the second half in the NFC Wild Card playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium on January 15, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

  • T.J. Hockenson

    Hockenson had never quite lived up to his potential yet in his career. The Lions took him in the first round, and with them he was good, but never quite great. But he really came on last season once he was traded to the Vikings though. In 10 games he racked up 519 yards and 3 TDs. And in their playoff loss, he put up 129 yards and a TD on the Giants. We saw in week 1 how vulnerable the middle of the field is for the Eagle’s defense. And Hockenson is certainly the guy on this team who can exploit the poor linebacker play  

  • Danielle Hunter

    The Vikings defense is not exactly stacked with talent. One of their best defensive players last year was Patrick Peterson, and he is with the Steelers now. Harrison Smith is getting older but is reportedly rejuvenated this season in new Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores’ defense. And Za’Darius Smith is now with the Browns. But the one guy to watch out for who is still there is Danielle Hunter. He had 10.5 sacks last season. The Eagles O-Line was surprisingly leaky in week 1, and they will get tested again by Hunter, and by Brian Flores who loves to call up blitzes  

    Minnesota Vikings on Twitter: ".@DHunt94_TX picks up his first sack of the season! 📺: @NFLonCBS pic.twitter.com/bq7msMAbTE / Twitter"

    @DHunt94_TX picks up his first sack of the season! 📺: @NFLonCBS pic.twitter.com/bq7msMAbTE

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