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Thursday Night Football preview: Philadelphia Eagles host Minnesota Vikings to kick off NFL Week 2

The Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings clash in Week 2's Thursday night game, and both teams will want better performances compared to Week 1.

The Eagles squeezed past the New England Patriots, winning 25-20, while the Vikings were upset by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a 20-17 loss.

WhoMinnesota Vikings @ Philadelphia Eagles
WhereLincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
When8:15 PM ET, Thursday, September 14
How to watchAmazon Prime
OddsEagles -6, O/U 49.0, Vikings +215 money line

Cleaner quarterback play needed

Neither Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts nor Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins played to the best of their abilities in Week 1.

Hurts completed 22/33 passes for 170 yards and one touchdown, but he fumbled in the fourth quarter when the Patriots were down five points. He must count himself lucky that his defense forced New England to turn the ball over on downs on the two drives after the fumble to end the game.

Hurts is -110 to score a touchdown anytime on Thursday and he is -130 to throw over 1.5 touchdowns.

Cousins completed 33/44 passes for 344 yards and two touchdowns against Tampa Bay. But, he turned the ball over three times with an interception and two lost fumbles - one on a botched snap and the other on a strip-sack.

Cousins is -115 to throw over 1.5 touchdowns and he is +500 to take the ball into the end zone anytime. But with starting center Garrett Bradbury out with a back injury and starting left tackle Christian Darrishaw questionable with an ankle injury, it could be a big night for the Eagles' defensive line.

Philly has one of the most formidable pass rush units in the league. Haason Reddick, Brandon Graham, and rookie Jalen Carter will look to make life miserable for Cousins and the Vikings offensive line.

Carter is +180 to record a sack against the Vikings. Reddick is -130, and Josh Sweat is +100.

Jefferson vs. Eagles' depleted defense

The middle of the Eagles' defense was a weakness going into Week 1, and it's even more of a weakness heading into Week 2 after starting safety Reed Blankenship and starting linebacker Nakobe Dean picked up injuries.

As a result, it's likely that the Vikings will send reigning Offensive Player of the Year Justin Jefferson over the middle frequently.

Jefferson caught nine passes for 150 yards in Week 1, and he is +110 for a touchdown anytime against the Eagles.

The Eagles have a top-tier cornerback in Darius Slay who is likely to shadow Jefferson all game. But if new defensive coordinator Sean Desai decides to double-team Jefferson, that could create opportunities for other Vikings skill position players.

Running back Alexander Mattison caught a touchdown pass in Week 1 and is +105 to score anytime against Philly, while fellow touchdown scorer, wide receiver Jordan Addison, is +210 to find the end zone anytime.

Eagles to miss Gainwell

Eagles running back Kenneth Gainwell was one of three Philly players to pick up a rib injury in Week 1, along with defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and safety Reed Blankenship, and at least Gainwell and Blankenship will miss Thursday's showdown.

Gainwell saw the most action out of any Eagles running back against the Patriots as he picking up 54 yards on 14 carries.

Thursday could be a big opportunity for running back Rashaad Penny, who was a healthy scratch against the Patriots. 

Penny's career average of 5.7 yards per carry is one of the best in league history, but he needs to stay healthy because the only time he played more than 10 games in a season was in his rookie year. He is +220 to find the end zone anytime on Thursday.

Fellow running backs D'Andre Swift and Boston Scott each picked up three yards on one carry against New England, and they are +137 and +250 to score a touchdown anytime, respectively.

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