Philadelphia native D’Andre Swift bounced back from his one-run, three-yard Week 1 performance with a huge game in the Philadelphia Eagles' Week 2 win.
With Kenneth Gainwell, the Eagles' lead back in Week 1, out with a rib injury, fans wondered whether Swift, Rashaad Penny, or Boston Scott would get most of the carries.
Enter Swift, a University of Georgia product who came over from the Detroit Lions in an offseason trade.
He ran 28 times for a career-high 175 yards and a touchdown as the Eagles improved to 2-0, beating the Vikings 34-28.
The Eagles were mostly stifled offensively in the season-opening win over New England, scoring just one touchdown, a pass from Jalen Hurts to DeVonta Smith.
Swift and Smith helped ignite the Eagles’ offense on Thursday with a strong assist from Jalen Hurts. Hurts went 18-for-23 passing for 193 yards and added two touchdowns rushing on a pair of goal-line sneaks.
Smith caught four passes for 131 yards, and recorded his second touchdown catch in as many weeks when he outjumped his defender to get the ball and ran it into the end zone.
His 63-yard touchdown catch from Hurst with just over nine minutes remaining in the third quarter gave Philadelphia a commanding 27-7 lead which they held onto at the end.
Including last season’s Wild Card playoff upset loss to the New York Giants, the Vikings have lost three straight after starting the Kevin O’Connell era with a 13-4 regular season in 2022/23.
Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins threw for 344 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s 20-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and he followed that up with a 364-yard, four-touchdown night against the Eagles, again in a losing effort.
Cousins' one interception and two lost fumbles last week hurt the Vikings last week, while the issue this week was Cousins and three of his teammates each losing a fumble.
The yards and even all the touchdowns feel like empty calories when the Vikings cannot muster meaningful wins.
For standout Minnesota wide receiver Justin Jefferson, it was another great night, with one glaring exception. His stats from Week 1 to Week 2 are eerily similar.
Against the Buccaneers, Jefferson had nine catches for 150 yards. Thursday night against the Eagles, Jefferson went for 11 catches for 159 yards.
The most important number for Jefferson fans, though, is 0. That’s how many touchdowns the 2022-2023 NFL Offensive Player of the Year has through two weeks.
Cousins has been finding Jefferson’s teammates however, as rookie receiver Jordan Addison had his second touchdown in as many weeks and tight end T.J. Hockenson had seven catches for 66 yards and two touchdowns.
Jefferson, meanwhile, was one of four Vikings to lose a fumble during the game in Philly.
Aside from fumbling, the biggest concern for the Vikings has to be their running game. They only accumulated 28 rushing yards in the loss to the Eagles, the second straight week they have failed to surpass 50 yards on the ground.
The 2023/24 NFL season is quickly becoming known for the big individual single-game sack numbers. Danielle Hunter, the 8th-year defensive end out of LSU, added his name to the list Thursday night for the Vikings.
Hunter recorded three sacks in the losing effort, giving him a league-leading four sacks early in Week 2.
Hunter is already the fourth different player to record three sacks in a game. Josh Allen had three sacks for Jacksonville in the Jaguars’ 31-21 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Drake Jackson had three sacks for San Francisco and T.J. Watt had three sacks for Pittsburgh, both in the 49ers’ 30-7 win over the Steelers.
Eagles fans may worry that their offensive line - usually among the best in the league - has not protected Hurts as well as expected through two games. Hurts, for his part, has taken a long time to throw the ball on multiple occasions this season.