After a another stellar performance against the New York Jets rushing offense, the Eagles defense is now the number one run defense in the NFL. Of course this shouldn't come as a surprise, given the fact that they have only given up three rushing touchdowns to date. That isn't through luck either, as the Eagles have faced some great rushers in Kerryon Johnson and Aaron Jones. Both of those men have accounted for two of those three touchdowns, but it doesn't change the fact that they have ran for much more against other teams (they averages a combined 28.5 yards against the Eagles, while averaging a combined 70.8 yards/game versus other teams).
This week though the Eagles might be facing their toughest challenge yet with the second ranked rusher in the league, Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook. Cook has only been held under 100 yards once this season and that was by the league's number one defense -- the Chicago Bears.
So the negative side of things is that Cook is a beast and the Vikings offense line are excellent run blockers, so the rushing attack is going to be very hard to stop. There is always a positive to every negative though. The positive is Kirk Cousins, despite a decent performance in Week 5, has been pretty lackluster for this season. This works for the Eagles because if they can keep Cook from running all over them, it will force the not so great Cousins to beat them.
It is going to be a battle up front that I believe the Eagles have every chance to win, and if they win that battle they will have the best chance to win the game. This isn’t a rivalry, but these are both NFC teams that still could emerge as contenders in the conference. So not only could this game be important for one of these teams to earn a hard-fought NFC game in the standings, but there is also a chance these teams could meet in the postseason. That’s why it is best for the Eagles to make a statement defensively now.