The Eagles rushed for more than 250 yards with a pair of Jalen Hurts touchdowns, offsetting a passing attack that was uneven for a second straight week. One of the more promising developments was the performance of D’Andre Swift, who rushed for a career-high 175 yards. It was the most rushing yards by an Eagle since LeSean McCoy in 2013 (217 rush yards). He carried the load with Kenneth Gainwell (ribs) sidelined.
The most impressive sequence came in the first half when Philadelphia orchestrated a 16-play, 75-yard drive featuring 13 rushes. Hurts now has 28 career rushing touchdowns, tied with Cam Newton for the most through a QB’s first 50 career games.
The Eagles are 2-0, but it hasn’t always looked pretty. That’s particularly true of the passing game, which has sputtered for extended stretches. But the defense generated three takeaways and when it mattered, Philadelphia was able to lean back on the run — a luxury that will come in handy moving forward.
Buy a breakout performance: DeVonta Smith erupted for four catches for 131 yards and a touchdown, including a pair of grabs of 50-plus yards. Corner Darius Slay predicted it won’t be long until Smith is considered the best receiver in the league. While it’s too early to put him in that conversation, all the signs suggest Smith is in store for a career year.
Eye-popping stat: Including playoffs, Hurts has 10 rushing touchdowns on QB sneaks since the start of last season, seven more than any other signal-caller. The “tush push” has been key: Hurts has now converted 34 of 36 sneaks when pushed by teammates the last two seasons including playoffs. No other QB has more than 10 push sneaks in that time.
Pivotal play: With the Eagles nursing a 13-7 third-quarter lead, defensive end Josh Sweat came off the edge and knocked the ball loose from Kirk Cousins. Fletcher Cox recovered and rumbled to Minnesota’s 7-yard line, setting up a Hurts TD plunge. That was the beginning of the end for Minnesota.
Biggest hole in the game plan: On the other hand, the Vikings could not stop the Eagles’ running game. Replacement starter Swift finished with 175 yards, and the Eagles rushed for 259 overall by taking advantage of an unusual and ultimately unsuccessful defensive alignment.
The Vikings have adopted a three-safety look as their base defense, and they spent much of the first three quarters using defensive fronts that included either two, one or occasionally no defensive linemen. The Eagles had an extraordinary physical edge upfront, and they took advantage of it.
A career-high 175 rushing yards and a touchdown from D’Andre Swift gave the Eagles a high-scoring 38-24 victory in the 2023 home opener over the Minnesota Vikings to improve to 2-0 with a long break before their Week 3 game on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“Obviously, we didn’t play our cleanest game,” said Head Coach Nick Sirianni. “I think the first week was a cleaner game for the defense and not as clean for the offense and vice versa with tonight. We are 2-0. A lot of teams would like to be sitting 2-0.
The Eagles forced a third turnover of the game in the wildest way. Justin Jefferson was headed to the front corner of the left side of the end zone when Terrell Edmunds forced the ball loose. The ball went over the pylon and out of the end zone for a touchback. The Birds caught a break right before the end of the half. This was Edmunds’ first forced fumble in his six-year career.
“I was hoping it went out of bounds,” Edmunds said. “It was a huge moment. It is a long game, so you never know what can happen. That was a key part to get our offense back on the field and stop them from taking the lead.”
“The range was definitely not that far going that way,” Elliott said. “Hit a bit of a stinger, if you will, but it got there. I hit it higher on the ball and sometimes it’s hard to keep those kicks straight but luckily it pushed right through and got there.
PHILADELPHIA — Even on a night the home team controlled the game, the Philadelphia Eagles could not shield themselves from the home fans’ inaugural boos of the 2023 season. In all likelihood, they won’t be the last. But as has been the case since Jalen Hurts and Co. have turned Philadelphia back into a winning machine, there hasn’t been much reason for negativity in the City of Brotherly Love.
As the Eagles outlasted the Minnesota Vikings, 34-28, on the first “Thursday Night Football” game of the season, the offense at times looked sluggish, more of the same from last week’s performance in the season opener against the New England Patriots, a 25-20 win. Nonetheless, the Vikings had no answer for the Eagles’ defensive front, with Minnesota’s starting center Garrett Bradbury (lower back) and left tackle Christian Darrisaw (ankle) unavailable on the short week.
PHILADELPHIA — For all the times their Thursday night game against the Eagles felt perilously close to spiraling beyond their reach, the Vikings were lining up for an onside kick with 1:10 to go, still holding onto hope of completing a 20-point comeback against the defending NFC champions and stunning a cacophonous crowd of 69,879 at Lincoln Financial Field.