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We've got a good one in Minnesota on Sunday as the Vikings host the Philadelphia Eagles. Both teams come in with records of 3-2. The Vikings beat the Eagles 23-21 last year, revenge for beating the loss they suffered in the NFC Title game two years ago. It's a pivotal early season game and features one of the top offenses, the Eagles, against one of the best defenses, the Vikings. The Vikings are a three-point favorite in the early lines. Kickoff is 1:00 p.m. ET at US bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
The Philadelphia Eagles really started to look like the team that everyone thought they would be two weeks ago when they went to Green Bay and beat the then undefeated Packers. They followed that up with a resounding win against the Jets last week to improve to 3-2. They are now in a tie for first with the Cowboys in the NFC East, but they have a real tough match up Sunday against a good Vikings team in Minnesota.
You'd think the Minnesota Vikings were 0-5, by the way, some of the players -- that means you Adam Thielen and Stefan Diggs -- are carrying on. They are 3-2, have one of the best defenses in the league, and will certainly be in the hunt for a playoff spot. They are coming off an impressive 28-10 win over the upstart Giants. That top Vikings defense will be tasked to slow down Carson Wentz and the high-flying Eagles.
Eagles win easily against JetsThe Philadelphia Eagles looked great last week in pounding the hapless Jets. It was an easy opponent and the Eagles made it look easy, winning 31-6. Carson Wentz and the offense didn't need to do much as the Eagles defense only gave up 128 total yards, including 61 yards passing and 67 yards rushing. They also forced three turnovers, including a pick-six by linebacker Nathan Gerry. It was essentially a bye week for the Eagles as they get ready for this week's game against the Vikings. It should be a playoff-like atmosphere in Minnesota.
“We’ve had a lot of meaningful games with these guys in the last few years and their fans certainly seemed to dislike the Eagles fans the last time they came into the Linc,” Eagles center Jason Kelce said, reported the Eagles web site. “They’ll probably have the ‘SKOL’ chant geared up and it will be a fun environment to play football in.”
The Eagles offense has started to click. They average 28 points per game, which is 13th in the NFL. They gain an average of 334 total yards per game, which is 10th. That includes 235 ypg in the air, which is 23rd, and 111 ypg on the ground, which is 18th in the NFL. Defensively, the Eagles give up 22 points per game, which ranks 17th. They allow 364 yards per game, which is 19th in the NFL. That includes 271 ypg in the air, which is 27th, and just 63 ypg on the ground, which is 1st in the league.
Vikings offense breaks outThere's been a lot of grumbling in Minnesota about the lack of offense the team has displayed this season. After the Vikings lost to the Bears two weeks ago 16-6, wide receiver Adam Thielen was upset about the reliance on the run game and Stefan Diggs was a no-show after the game and had been flirting with the Patriots in a series of tweets. Let's not forget they had just lost to probably the best defense in the NFL, the Bears. They bounced back last week with a 28-10 win over the Giants and all was well again as Kirk Cousins was 22 for 27 for 306 yards and 2 touchdowns and Thielen was fed for 7 catches for 130 yards and 2 touchdowns. Also, Darvin Cook continued his stellar play, rushing 21 times for 132 yards. Cousins has a lot of mouths to feed.
''We played well from the jump,'' said Cousins, reported SI. ''I thought it was a very balanced attack today through the pass game and the run game. The screen game added variety to the offense. I thought Dalvin showed why he's such a special player.''
The Vikings offense has been a bit stagnant. They average 22 points per game, which is 16th in the NFL. They gain an average of 374 total yards per game, which is 18th. That includes 208 ypg in the air, which is 29th, and 166 ypg on the ground, which is 3rd in the NFL. Defensively, the Vikings are one of the best in the NFL. They give up 14 points per game, which ranks 5th. They allow 92 yards per game, which is 4th in the NFL. That includes 204 ypg in the air, which is 6th, and 88 ypg on the ground, which is 9th in the league.
- Vikings are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games in October.
- Vikings are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games after accumulating more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Vikings are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Vikings are 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Vikings are 37-14-1 ATS in their last 52 games on fieldturf.
- Vikings are 38-16-1 ATS in their last 55 home games.
- Vikings are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games after allowing less than 150 yards passing in their previous game.
- Eagles are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 150 yards passing in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Take the Vikings giving up the points. You'd think the Vikings were 0-5 by the grumbling we've seen from that team. They are 3-2 and they have one of the best defenses in the NFL. Plus, they are home. Their offense, while it has struggled to score points, has a lot of talent. Once the receivers accept that this is a ground and pound ball control team, the Vikings will be better off. They have one of the best and most versatile running backs in the NFL in Cook and one of the best defenses. They are going to win a lot of low-scoring games. This will be one of them. The Eagles offense is pretty good, but they won't put up the type of numbers they usually do against this defense. I like Minnesota here to win by a touchdown.
Prediction: Minnesota -3
Full-Game Total Pick
Take the under. Good defense usually beats a good offense. And that is even truer when the good defense is at home. The Vikings are home and I think the Eagles will have trouble getting the ball in the end zone. You'll see a lot of field goals where the Eagles might get touchdowns at home. The Vikings should be able to score enough here to win but go with the under. The under is 4-1 in the Eagles last 5 road games and 5-2 in their last 7 games following a straight-up win of more than 14 points. Also, the under is 6-1 in the Vikings last 7 games overall.