The Philadelphia Eagles got off to a solid start in their 2022 season by knocking off the Lions 38-35. While there were some notable concerns with the amount of rushing yards and the inability to take control of the game entirely, the end result was the victory. The Eagles will have a more difficult task this week as they will face off with the Vikings. Minnesota is coming off an impressive Week One win where they handled the Packers with relative ease. As the two teams prepare for the Monday night matchup, here are four Eagles Week 2 predictions for what is expected to be a thrilling matchup.
4. DeVonta Smith has 5+ catches
There were a number of eyes on AJ Brown in Week 1 as he made his Eagles debut. He did not disappoint and tallied 10 receptions for 155 yards which trail only Justin Jefferson for most receiving yards so far this year. As great as the production of Brown was, there was a disappointing lack of action for DeVonta Smith on the other side of the field. After nearly 1000 yards receiving as a rookie, Smith was held without a catch in Week 1.
Expect the Eagles to look to get the Alabama product more involved in the passing game in Week 2. While it is clear AJ Brown is ahead of him in the pecking order, Smith is still an extremely talented receiver who can do some damage to opposing defenses. Look for Philly to make it a point to get him involved and for Smith to tally five or more receptions in the first home game of the season.
3. Eagles allow 100+ rushing yards to Dalvin Cook
The biggest concern for the Eagles in this matchup will be shutting down the run game. Philly allowed 181 rushing yards in Week 1 which was the fifth-worst in the NFL. While DeAndre Swift is an impressive talent, Dalvin Cook is an even more feared running back. Cook ran for 90 yards in Week 1 and will be hungry to capitalize on the space the Eagles’ defense provided.
This will be at the top of the adjustment list for Philadelphia so it will be interesting to see how much of a change is made. Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon was under much criticism for his scheme in Week 1 which left the team vulnerable on the ground. One adjustment Eagles fans will be hoping for is more snaps for first-round pick Jordan Davis. In the snaps Davis was on the field the Eagles allowed just 2.9 yards per carry versus 10.0 yards per carry when he was off the field. While this leaves reason for optimism for the team to improve, expect Gannon to take some time to adjust and for Cook to punish the Eagles with a 100+ yard game.
2. Miles Sanders runs for 100+ yards
While the number of rushing yards allowed was discouraging, the impact the Eagles made rushing the ball themselves was a positive takeaway from the opening week. In total, the Eagles tallied 216 yards on the ground as a team in Week 1. This number is somewhat inflated as the Lions made an effort to blitz often and caused Jalen Hurts to escape the pocket where he picked up some notable yards with his legs. The Eagles’ QB led the team in rush attempts with 17 and tallied 90 yards and a touchdown with these attempts.
However, it was Miles Sanders who made the biggest impression with his rushing impact in week one. The Penn State product looked to be a focal point of the Eagles’ offense for many years to come when he first came into the league but has struggled the past two seasons. He began to change this narrative in Week 1 by taking his 13 carries for 96 yards and a touchdown. The biggest sign of progress was the downhill nature he ran with. This was a pleasant change from what has been seen and what is necessary behind the Eagles’ bruising offensive line. Look for Sanders to build off the performance after proving his ability as the lead back and for him to eclipse 100 yards on the ground in Week 2.
1. Eagles suffer a loss in home opener
There was a lot to like from the Eagles in their Week 1 matchup. However, there were even more positive takeaways from the Vikings’ opening week performance. Expect Minnesota to continue proving why they should be considered legitimate postseason threats by picking up a victory over the Eagles in front of their home crowd.
The complete offensive attack the Vikings possess is set to challenge the Eagles in a way that was not the case in Week 1. There have been some notable improvements to the defense and this will be a true measuring stick matchup for Philadelphia. Both of these teams should be expected to be in the playoff race toward the end of the season, but expect the Vikings to come out on top in Week 2.