PHILADELPHIA — The first Thursday Night Football game of the season resulted in an NFC North team upsetting a team from last year's Super Bowl, when the Detroit Lions took down the Kansas City Chiefs. Could history repeat itself in Week 2, when the Minnesota Vikings take on the Philadelphia Eagles?
Locked on Vikings host Luke Braun and Locked on Eagles host Geno Cammilleri joined together for a crossover episode to discuss Thursday's matchup and the ramifications for each team heading into Week 2.
"I think both these teams are in a spot where it's almost a must win," Cammilleri said. "The Eagles are banged up coming off a win they almost let slip away, and Minnesota...they gotta come into this game and perform."
Braun knows Philadelphia's talent is tough to compete with, but believes a few things going right could be enough for this team to avoid going 0-2 while sending the defending NFC champs into Week 3 with a loss.
1. Offensive line play
"I'm not looking for them to go dominate, I'm just looking for them to survive."
Philadelphia's front line got a boost from rookie Jalen Carter, who registered his first career sack in Week 1 against New England. Carter joins Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, and Josh Sweat in a dynamic defensive line and how Minnesota protects Kirk Cousins and establishes the run will be key in any upset bid from this team.
2. Generate pressure up front on defense
Outside linebacker Marcus Davenport was unable to go in Week 1 and remains questionable heading into Thursday' battle. If he is able to go it makes Minnesota's pass rush much more dynamic, taking pressure off Danielle Hunter and the rest of the Vikings frontline which includes Harrison Phillips and Jonathan Bullard.
Flushing Hurts out of the pocket and not allowing him to get the ball downfield is critical for Minnesota's upset hopes.
3. Secondary can't lose A.J Brown and Devonta Smith
Brown and Smith were targeted 20 times total by Hurts in Week 1, hauling in 14 receptions for 126 yards with Smith securing a touchdown.
Minnesota will need to figure out how to line up against Brown, a big wide receiver who can punish smaller corners. Will Byron Murphy draw the assignment? Could Akayleb Evans get some one-on-one reps?
Strong safety Harrison Smith is a weapon in the secondary, but individual matchups on the outside will need to be won by Minnesota's corners for them to avoid giving up big plays which will likely sink their chances of coming out of Philly with a win.