Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings meet at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday in a rematch of the NFC Championship Game with two different quarterbacks under center. After watching Nick Foles and Case Keenum lead their respective teams into January’s high-stakes match, Carson Wentz and Kirk Cousins will get the call this time around as the clubs look to regain their winning form.Philadelphia fell for the first time this season with Wentz at the helm, although the 25-year-old showed no signs of the ACL and LCL tears he sustained in December by throwing for 348 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday’s 26-23 overtime setback to Tennessee. “We’re 2-2 right now. We’d love to be 4-0, but this is just where we’re at,” Wentz said. “We’re a month in still trying to figure out 100 percent who we are. But at the same time, we know the guys we have and we know what we’re capable of doing.” Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer isn’t taking a gloom-and-doom approach after seeing his team extend its winless skid to three games following last Thursday’s 38-31 setback to the high-octane Los Angeles Rams. “This isn’t a time for ‘woe is me,'” Zimmer said. “If people remember, we were 2-2 this time last year. We finished 13-3. We were 5-0 the year before and we finished 8-8. We were 2-2 the year before that and we finished 11-5, so all the predictors, this isn’t a good time to predict.”
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Eagles -3. O/U: 46
ABOUT THE VIKINGS (1-2-1): Cousins passed for 422 yards with three touchdowns versus the Rams and has tossed 12 scoring strikes against three interceptions in four career meetings at Philadelphia. The 30-year-old Cousins will look to exploit the Eagles’ 19th-ranked pass defense with the capable duo of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, who have combined for 67 receptions and five touchdowns this season. Thielen, who had eight catches for 135 yards and a score versus the Rams, joined Isaac Bruce and Randy Moss as the lone wideouts since 1970 to reach triple digits in yards in each of the team’s first four games. Diggs reeled in 11 receptions for 123 yards against Los Angeles and had eight catches for 70 yards in the 38-7 setback versus Philadelphia in the NFC Championship Game.
ABOUT THE EAGLES (2-2): Alshon Jeffery made a triumphant return from an extended absence following shoulder surgery to make eight catches for 105 yards and a touchdown against the Titans last week. “It was great to have Alshon back out there. A guy that can make contested catches, can make plays for you, can give the offense a spark,” Wentz said of Jeffery, who eviscerated the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game in January with a pair of scoring receptions. Tight end Zach Ertz recorded his second double-digit reception performance in three games with 10 catches for a season-high 112 yards versus Tennessee. Despite those gaudy numbers, the Eagles rank 26th in points per game (20.5), third in penalty yards (343) and saw their offensive line surrender four sacks to the Titans last week.
1. Minnesota’s offensive coordinator John DeFilippo was Philadelphia’s quarterbacks coach last season.
2. Wentz has won each of his past nine home starts for the Eagles, who are 17-3 at Lincoln Financial Field (playoffs included) with coach Doug Pederson on the sideline.
3. RB Dalvin Cook did not practice on Thursday for the Vikings, whose league’s worst rushing attack (63.0 yards per game) faces Philadelphia’s top-ranked unit (63.8).