In their upcoming game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Minnesota Vikings will be looking to replicate some of the defensive adjustments made by the New England Patriots, who slowed down the Eagles’ offense in Week 1. According to Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown, the Patriots relied on their cornerbacks on the outside while clogging up the middle with defenders in match-up zones. This created difficulties for the Eagles’ offense in adjusting to the changes.
To counter this, the Vikings can expect defensive coordinator Brian Flores to attempt similar match-up zone strategies and late disguises to confuse the Eagles’ offense. Additionally, the Vikings may also opt to blitz more frequently, as the Eagles had difficulty handling blitzes in their first game.
However, it’s important to note that the Patriots’ success also stemmed from rainy weather and execution issues from the Eagles’ offense. Dallas Goedert, in particular, was underutilized despite being open for potential catches. The Eagles’ offensive play-calling also came under scrutiny, with questionable decisions such as running a draw play on third-and-long instead of attempting a pass beyond the sticks. While the Vikings may try to replicate the Patriots’ successful tactics, the Eagles are likely to have corrected these issues, leading to a more productive offensive performance.
In terms of defensive strategies, the Eagles may have cornerback Darius Slay shadow Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, as Slay had success in limiting his production in their previous matchup. However, with a new defensive coordinator in Sean Desai, the Eagles’ defensive approach may differ from last year’s. It remains to be seen how Desai will handle the assignment of covering Jefferson.
The departure of both offensive and defensive coordinators from the Eagles’ Super Bowl team has resulted in noticeable differences in offensive play-calling and defensive formations. Offensive coordinator Brian Johnson faced criticism for the Eagles’ lackluster performance in Week 1, with the team only scoring a single touchdown. The increased usage of 11 personnel despite previous success with 12 personnel was also questioned. Defensively, under the guidance of Sean Desai, the Eagles have shown more creativity, opting for four-man fronts compared to their previous five-man formations. While these changes may present short-term issues, they could contribute to long-term success.
As for under-the-radar players who could impact the game, Rashaad Penny on offense and Milton Williams on defense have the potential to make a difference for the Eagles. Penny, who was a healthy scratch in Week 1, could see increased playing time due to injuries and has a history of being efficient when given the opportunity. On defense, Williams recorded impressive pressures and stops in Week 1 and may see an increased role if Fletcher Cox is unable to play.
In conclusion, the Vikings will need to make defensive adjustments similar to those employed by the Patriots to slow down the Eagles’ offense. Offensively, the Eagles have addressed their execution and play-calling issues from Week 1, making them a more formidable opponent. The outcome of the game could be influenced by the performances of under-the-radar players such as Rashaad Penny and Milton Williams.
– The Inquirer