Eagles Coordinators Discuss the Challenge Ahead Against the Minnesota Vikings
In the NFL, many describe it as a week-to-week league. The Eagles faced a Detroit offense that doesn't get a lot of praise for its skill players, but this week will see a Minnesota team that is loaded at the skill spots.
When Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon spoke to the media Tuesday, he was asked about his first impressions of the Vikings offense.
In the Vikings’ Week 1 win against the Green Bay Packers, wide receiver Justin Jefferson caught nine passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns, running back Dalvin Cook rushed 20 times for 90 yards, adding three catches for 18 yards and quarterback Kirk Cousins completed 23-of-32 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikings' 23-7, Week 1 win.
“Explosive. Explosive," Gannon said. "They have some explosive people over there. The quarterback is a really good player, knows where to go with the ball, comes out fast. Obviously, they have some wide outs and a back. I was with a couple of those guys and they're really good players, so we're going to have to be on it to give ourselves a chance to win a game on Monday.”
On the offensive side of the ball, the Eagles will see a Vikings defense that bottled up Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, who completed just 22-of-34 passes for 195 yards and an interception in the Packers' loss to the Vikings.
"Watching them on tape, they're flying around now. This is going to be a heck of a challenge. I say that every week, but looking at those guys, Za'Darius Smith, he was something else. He was a monster on Sunday against Green Bay. Then Eric Kendricks inside, he's been their leader there in the middle for a while. He's a good player."
Then on the back end they've got the Pro Bowler Harrison Smith. He's a rangy guy that can make a lot of plays. He got an interception, obviously, but he's strong in the box, too. He can come down and hit you. Then Patrick Peterson, a veteran corner out there, that just really understands route combinations, has really good vision. He's been playing for a long time.
It's going to be a heck of a challenge for us, but we're definitely looking forward to it."
As for attacking the Vikings defense, the Eagles could look to target wide receiver A.J. Brown, who had a huge day in his debut with the Eagles, catching 10 passes for 155 yards in the Eagles' Week 1 win over the Lions. On Tuesday, Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen was asked how how cognizant he is of the target distribution of each player?
"I'm thinking about that," Steichen assured. "I'm definitely thinking about that, but I'm also thinking about the flow of the game. That's the biggest thing. There are certain things I want to get called, and I'm like, ‘Hey, that might not be the right time for this,’ so that's a balancing act.
Obviously, DeVonta is a premier player in this league, and did I think in a million years he wouldn't have a catch? Absolutely not. I did not think it was going to go that way. But that's my job, I've got to get him the ball. Same with Dallas, same with Quez, Zach, all those guys. I think that's the great dilemma we have. We have a great offensive line and we run it well, and we have the ability to throw it, too. So you have to get all those guys touches, and that’s our job to get that done."
So will it be another big day from Brown or will Jalen Hurts spread the ball around in Week 2?
Find out on Monday night when the Eagles host the Vikings at Lincoln FInancial Field on 97.3 ESPN.