The Eagles home opener is officially here as they get ready to face the Minnesota Vikings inside Lincoln Financial Field. This article will compare both teams at every position and see which one has the advantage in this matchup.
Kirk Cousins is obviously a better passer than Jalen Hurts at this point in their careers, but Hurts does have the advantage of using his legs (though can be a disadvantage when he gives up on passing plays early). Cousins has been a sneaky Eagles killer, going 6-3 in 9 starts against the Birds while compiling 21 touchdowns to just six interceptions. The Eagles picked a good time to face him since there is a well-known fact that Cousins underperforms on Monday Night Football (16 touchdowns, nine interceptions). He started out with a 0-9 record on MNF before winning his two previous MNF starts. With all of that in mind, there is no clear consensus on the better QB in this game.
RB: Advantage Eagles
Dalvin Cook is a better running back than Miles Sanders, but as a whole unit, the Eagles running backs are better than the Vikings. The Birds started out the year with 4 rushing touchdowns from four different rushers and they'll likely look to have a similar output in this game and throughout the season.
A.J. Brown dominated in Week 1, but as a result DeVonta Smith ended up with zero catches in a game for the first time since Pop Warner football (probably). Yes, Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson are one of the top receiver tandems in football, but Brown and Smith are definitely in the same neighborhood as them.
TE: Advantage Eagles
Goedert had a solid output in Week 1, gaining 60 yards on just three receptions. Goedert and company are much better than Irv Smith and company, although Smith does seem ready to start climbing into top-10 considerations at the position.
OL: Advantage Eagles
The Lions d-line gave the Eagles o-line fits in Week 1 but Hurts ended up being sacked just once. The Lions followed up their performance with five sacks on Carson Wentz and the Commanders o-line so it appears that group will be fierce this year. The Eagles o-line is still set to be one of the best lines in the league this year.
Pash Rushers (DE/OLB): Advantage Vikings
The Birds pass rush was a big disappointment last year and it continued into last week with just one sack on Jared Goff and a depleted Lions o-line. The Vikings sacked Aaron Rodgers four times in Week 1, so the Eagles o-line will definitely have their hands full.
LBs: Advantage Vikings
Kyzir White and T.J. Edwards had pretty decent games in Week 1, but it's clear Jonathan Gannon needs to figure out his game plan on how to use his defense properly. Jordan Hicks and Eric Kendricks have both been forces in recent years and are already off to a solid start this season.
DBs: Advantage Eagles
James Bradberry impressed in his Eagles debut, he allowed just one catch for 13 yards on six targets his way. He also grabbed his first career pick-six which proved key to the Eagles Week 1 victory. The Birds definitely have the talent advantage, but that doesn't matter if Jonathan Gannon continues to not make needed adjustments to his gameplan.
STs: Advantage Eagles
The Vikings have Jalen Reagor returning punts, so the Eagles already have an advantage based on that. The special teams was reliable in Week 1 and came up big on a surprise onside kick where Zech McPhearson stayed calm and grabbed the ball with ease.
It should be a tight matchup on the field as far as talent goes, so the game could come down to coaching. If Jonathan Gannon's defense cleans up by getting pressure on Kirk Cousins and keeping Justin Jefferson/Adam Theilen in check, the Birds should come out with a victory.