Are the Minnesota Vikings wasting Justin Jefferson’s talents?
Most would argue that Justin Jefferson is the best wideout in the NFL today, but Lorenzo Reyes breaks down whether or not that talent is being wasted in Minnesota.
Sports Seriously, USA TODAY
“Thursday Night Football” is officially back.
While the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs opened the 2023 NFL season last Thursday, tonight’s matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles marks the beginning of the league’s broadcast slate on Amazon Prime Video. And the showdown is a promising one, as it pits the defending NFC champion against another playoff team from last year. The Eagles are trying to straighten out their offense after Jalen Hurts and Co. posted just 251 yards – the team’s lowest total since 2021 – in a win over the New England Patriots, while Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson are looking to help the Vikings rediscover the magic that led to their breakout campaign in 2022.
Stay with USA TODAY Sports throughout the night for all the latest updates on the game:
The Eagles running back D’Andre Swift is taking full advantage of the start tonight. Swift scored on a 2-yard touchdown run with 4:13 left in the fourth quarter to make the score 34-21.
Swift’s totaled a career-high 170 rushing yards on 25 carries. — Tyler Dragon
The Vikings went on a nine play, 86-yard touchdown drive midway through the fourth quarter to make the score 27-21. Justin Jefferson had three catches during the series, but on the touchdown Kirk Cousins found K.J. Osborn wide open in the end zone to make it a one-score game.
The drive gave Cousins 284 passing yards and three touchdowns on the night. — Tyler Dragon
Olisaemeka Udoh required the assistance of the cart to leave the field after suffering an injury on a key Vikings’ third-down conversion. Udoh hit the ground hard and landed awkwardly while absorbing a bull rush.
He was filling in for starting left tackle Christian Darrisaw, and Udoh was replaced by David Quessenberry, a sixth-year player who played last season with the Buffalo Bills.
Udoh was ruled out of the game with a knee injury. — Chris Bumbaca
For the last 5:19 of the third quarter, the Eagles slowly pushed the ball back into Vikings territory. D’Andre Swift, making his homecoming debut in his native Philadelphia, is up to 107 rushing yards on 18 carries and has been the Eagles’ featured back with Kenny Gainwell out with an injury. All but 50 of Hurts’ passing yards (173) have gone to Smith.
Prime Video cameras showed A.J. Brown and Hurts having a heated conversation, with head coach Nick Sirianni involved. Brown entered the fourth quarter with three catches and 17 yards; the first play of the fourth quarter was a short pass to Brown that fell incomplete. Four plays later, Brown temporarily hauled in a 25-yard touchdown pass, but the play was negated by a holding penalty. — Chris Bumbaca
At their lowest, the Vikings and Kirk Cousins looked for the rookie to make a play. They were rewarded.
Facing a third-and-5 and down by 20, with all momentum slipping away, Cousins fired a ball downfield to Jordan Addison, the 23rd overall pick in the 2023 draft.
Addison slipped behind the defense and strutted into the end zone, an appropriate answer to DeVonta Smith’s long touchdown the prior series. The Vikings still trailed 27-14. — Chris Bumbaca
DeVonta Smith is having himself a night.
Smith ran right by Vikings cornerback Akayleb Evans and Jalen Hurts hit the wideout right in stride for a 63-yard touchdown.
Smith has caught two deep passes on the night. The Alabama product has three catches, 123 yards and a touchdown already in the third quarter. — Tyler Dragon
All the Vikings needed was another touchdown drive like the one they put together in the second quarter to retake the lead.
Instead, Josh Sweat sacked Cousins and clubbed the ball out with a big swing of his right arm. Fletcher Cox recovered and the Eagles were in business inside of the Minnesota 10-yard line. And Hurt scored his second rushing touchdown of the game from one yard out two plays later for a dramatic swing in the first 67 seconds of the second half. — Chris Bumbaca
Eagles kicker Jake Elliott hit a 61-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to push Philadelphia lead to 13-7.
The first half featured four turnovers (three for Minnesota and one for Philadelphia) in what was a sloppy 30 minutes of football.
The Eagles’ lone turnover didn’t hurt them much because they were able to make up for it by imposing their will on the ground. Philadelphia gashed the Vikings for 133 rushing yards on 26 attempts. Eleven of the Eagles’ runs resulted in first downs.
Philadelphia has 209 total yards. Minnesota has 142 rushing yards (nine rushing). — Tyler Dragon
The fumbling into the end zone touchback rule may play a factor in this game.
Justin Jefferson hauled in an out route from Kirk Cousins inside of the five yard line and reached for the end zone. The ball came loose as Eagles safety Terrell Edmunds hit the 2022 offensive player of the year. Officials initially ruled that the ball went out of bounds before the pylon and marked the Vikings inside the one-yard line. However, an official review — there was 33 seconds before halftime — determined the ball went over the pylon, therefore triggering the much-maligned rule that such a fumble results in a touchback.
The Eagles took over at the 20-yard line in a huge momentum swing, as the Vikings could have taken the lead or at least tied it before half. — Chris Bumbaca
The Eagles answered Minnesota’s touchdown drive with a touchdown of their own. Philadelphia went on a run-oriented 16-play drive and fittingly scored on a quarterback sneak from Jalen Hurts.
The touchdown put the Eagles up, 10-7.
At the end of the drive, the Eagles had produced a total of 96 rushing yards to just four by the Vikings. — Tyler Dragon
As the Eagles took the lead 10-7, they are navigating two key injuries.
Avonte Maddox (shoulder) is questionable to return. On the other side of the ball, the Eagles might not have receiver Quez Watkins due to a hamstring injury that also limited him during training camp. — Chris Bumbaca
After Eagles kicker Jake Elliott missed a 55-yard field goal wide right, the Vikings went on a nine play, 55-yard touchdown drive that was capped off by a five-yard touchdown catch by tight end T.J. Hockenson.
Hockenson had a few nice catches during the series, including a 24-yard catch on third down.
The Vikings tight end has three catches, 33 yards and a touchdown early in the second quarter. — Tyler Dragon
The third turnover in a matter of minutes in a classically sloppy Thursday night game. And the boo birds are out in Philly.
Philadelphia was actually the team on the receiving side of this giveaway, with Alexander Mattison fumbling and Justin Evans recovering. When the first play of the drive, another unsuccessful designed quarterback run for Hurts, the crowd unleashed a round of boos.
The boos were even louder when the Eagles went three-and-out. Kicker Jake Elliott’s 55-yard field goal was wide right. — Chris Bumbaca
The Eagles didn’t capitalize off the Vikings fumble. A few plays after Brandon Powell lost a fumble on a punt return, Hurts threw a pass that was picked off by Vikings safety Theo Jackson.
Two teams traded turnovers on back-to-back possessions. — Tyler Dragon
Brandon Powell wasted a nice punt returned when he fumbled that football as he was tackled to the ground in Philadelphia territory. The loose football was recovered by Eagles LB Nicholas Morrow at the 27-yard line.
Powell knew he had made a mistake. He put his head down before running to the sideline. — Tyler Dragon
The Vikings were going to have a difficult time against the Eagles with a healthy roster. And their challenge Thursday became tougher with left tackle Christian Darrisaw unavailable to start the game.
Olisaemeka Udoh, a 2019 sixth-round pick from Elon, is filling in for Darrisaw.
He saw action in seven games over his first two seasons before starting 16 games in 2021. Last season, he transitioned to a backup role with one start, but played in all 17 games.
Darrisaw was working during warmups but was clearly limited. On the Vikings’ first offensive drive, the Eagles hit Cousins twice. — Chris Bumbaca
DeVonta Smith climbed the ladder over Vikings safety Theo Jackson to haul in a 54-yard reception on the Eagles’ opening drive.
Smith’s catch set up an Eagles field goal that open up the scoring for the night. — Tyler Dragon
A bald eagle flew around the stadium during the closing notes of the national anthem (and safely made its way back to its carrier). The Vikings won the toss and deferred, so the Eagles will start with the ball.
During pregame introductions, running back D’Andre Swift was announced with the starting offense, with the public address announcer noting his hometown of Philadelphia.
Famed ring announcer Michael Buffer unleashed a patented “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” as the chorus of “Gonna Fly Now” rang throughout the stadium. — Chris Bumbaca
Thursday night’s matchup between Minnesota and Philadelphia is set to kick off at 8:15 p.m. ET.
Amazon Prime Video will broadcast Vikings vs. Eagles nationally.
Kevin Hart got a helping hand from Andrew Whitworth, literally.
Hart stopped by Prime Video’s pregame broadcast to talk about the comedian’s beloved Philadelphia Eagles ahead of their “Thursday Night Football” matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. He also recounted a recent injury he suffered while attempting a 40-yard dash. Hart temporarily used a wheelchair last month after he tore his abdomen while trying to outrun former NFL running back Stevan Ridley in a race.
Whitworth, a “TNF” analyst who stands at 6 feet, 7 inches, then picked up Hart, who is 5 feet, 2 inches, and carried him off the set.
“If you drop me Whit, I swear Whit!” Hart said. — Cydney Henderson
- RB Kenneth Gainwell
- QB Tanner McKee (QB3)
- CB James Bradberry
- S Reed Blankenship
- G/T Tyler Steen
- DT Moro Ojomo
- TE Albert Okwuegbunam
- QB Jaren Hall (QB3)
- TE Nick Muse
- OLB Andre Carter
- C Gerrett Bradbury
- DL Jaquelin Roy
About three hours before kickoff, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell strolled the grass of Lincoln Financial Film, filming something with Michael Vick. Goodell also spent portions of the pregame talking with Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni and members of the Prime Video broadcasting team.
Goodell was in attendance for the season’s kickoff last Thursday when the Detroit Lions upset the Kansas City Chiefs, the defending Super Bowl champions. — Chris Bumbaca
The Eagles and Vikings also played one another Week 2 last season, also in prime time, also in Philadelphia. That game, a 24-7 Eagles rout, was on “Monday Night Football.” Hurts was 26 of 31 with 333 passing yards, three total touchdowns (two rushing) and one interception. The 26 completions were tied for his second-most in a game during his MVP runner-up campaign.
Highlighting Thursday Night Football odds, the Philadelphia Eagles are among the best bets for NFL Week 2 in their opening game against the visiting Minnesota Vikings. The defending NFC champions are favored by 6.5 points, according to the BetMGM NFL odds. Looking to wager? Check out the best mobile sports betting apps offering NFL betting promos in 2023.
According to the top NFL betting apps, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts has some of the best NFL MVP betting odds after winning the award last season. The Eagles also boast some of the best early Super Bowl betting odds.
The Vikings, meanwhile, are one of the most popular NFL future bets to repeat as NFC North champions. Can Kirk Cousins and Co. win another division title?
If you’re new to sports betting, don’t worry. We have tips for beginners on how to place bet online. And USA TODAY readers can claim exclusive promos and bonus codes with the online sportsbooks and sports betting sites.
It’s unanimous from our panel of experts, with all eight rolling with the Eagles in USA TODAY Sports’ NFL Week 2 picks.
Lorenzo Reyes: Eagles 24, Vikings 20
Early-season rust is common, but Philadelphia was facing a very potent Patriots defense in the opener and the Vikings are not quite on that level. Still, many of Minnesota’s issues against Tampa Bay were self-inflicted with center-snap exchange problems and turnovers. The Vikings should clean that up, but I don’t see them taking Philly’s home opener.
Tyler Dragon: Eagles 30, Vikings 20
The Eagles underwhelmed by their standards in a Week 1 win but expect “fly Eagles fly” chants in the team’s home opener. The Eagles will be the more talented team on the field. Philadelphia held Vikings WR Justin Jefferson to six catches for 48 yards in their meeting last season. Jefferson had nine receptions for 150 yards in Week 1.
Victoria Hernandez: Eagles 27, Vikings 20
The Eagles are playing at home and showed last week they still have the juju for a strong season. I hate the idea of Kirko Cousins (not a typo) and Justin “Jets” Jefferson being 0-2, but that doesn’t mean they can’t piece some things together after this.
Jordan Mendoza: Eagles 28, Vikings 19
Both teams looked rusty offensively Week 1, but I’ll give Philadelphia the benefit of the doubt in dealing with the weather in Foxborough. The Eagles will be back at home, and the Linc will be rocking to create havoc for the Minnesota offense. Eagles get back on track, while the Vikings are quickly descending.
Following devastating season-ending injuries to Aaron Rodgers and J.K. Dobbins, fantasy managers will hope for better things as Week 1 seemed to provide more disappointments than triumphs. Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen will be among several key players looking to show they’re much better than they were in their openers.
These position-by-position fantasy football rankings for Week 2 are based on the point-per-reception (PPR) scoring used in most seasonal and daily fantasy football formats.
The NFL is back, and with that, so are the announcing teams that will be the soundtrack of the games.
Keeping track of who is behind the microphone for which game on what network can be difficult to keep track of. We’re here to help and break down the main broadcast players for the 2023 NFL season inside the booth. — Chris Bumbaca
The NFL’s top 15 players in average annual salary are all quarterbacks, according to OverTheCap.com. As Joe Burrow proved in his new deal with the Cincinnati Bengals, teams place a huge priority on having a top-flight QB under center. Burrow’s five-year, $275 million contract extension made him the league’s highest paid player at a staggering average annual value of $55 million. San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa is the highest-paid non-quarterback in the league after signing a five-year, $170 million extension.
We have a complete list at every position:
The average price of a 2023 NFL ticket is $377, according to TicketSmarter data. It’s a major jump from last season, when the average price was $235. Leading the NFL in ticket costs is the Las Vegas Raiders, which has an average cost of $582 per ticket. Behind the Raiders are the Super Bowl 57 contestants: the Kansas City Chiefs at $578 and Philadelphia Eagles at $559. Here are the five highest ticket averages:
- Las Vegas Raiders: $582
- Kansas City Chiefs: $578
- Philadelphia Eagles: $559
- Dallas Cowboys: $545
- New England Patriots: $534
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Atlanta Falcons have the cheapest average price at $225. They are followed by the Houston Texans ($236) and Arizona Cardinals ($250). Here are the lowest five ticket averages:
- Atlanta Falcons: $225
- Houston Texans: $236
- Arizona Cardinals: $250
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $263
- Tennessee Titans: $265
— Jordan Mendoza
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