2018- Week 5 Eagles vs. Vikings Preview

LORI M. NICHOLS/NJ.COM

LORI M. NICHOLS/NJ.COM

Matt Finocchio - Head Writer

Will this be the week that the Birds get back on track? Let’s look at a few things to watch for in Sunday’s match-up against Minnesota.

The Eagles Secondary: This unit will be facing a very tough match-up against Vikings wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. After a historically poor performance last week against the Titans, I’ll be looking to see if the secondary can get back on track. Specifically, I’ll be observing the performance of Cornerback Jalen Mills and Safety Corey Graham. Mills could be on a short lease if he keeps getting beat in coverage, and Graham might lose some snaps to rookie Avonte Maddox. I don’t think it will take long for Vikings QB Kirk Cousins to test the Birds deep. If he is successful, it could be a long day for Birds fans.

The Birds’ Offensive Line: The normally stout offensive line failed to protect Carson Wentz last week; he was sacked four times and took 11 hits. This is clearly too many hits on the quarterback, especially one who is only nine months removed from ACL surgery. I’ll be watching the O-line intently in hopes of seeing a much-improved performance from last week.

The Eagles defense at home: It’s no surprise that the Eagles defense plays better at home, in front of a loud, raucous crowd at the Linc. However, the disparity in play between home and away games this year feels very wide. Thankfully, the Birds are at home this week, so I expect a good defensive performance. We will need to wait until they play the Giants in the Meadowlands next Thursday before we can truly confirm the drop-off in play when on the road.

Prediction: I think the offense will run smoothly, as Wentz should feel fully comfortable by now with it being his third game back. If the defense (specifically the secondary) can keep the Vikings receivers in check, I think the Birds come away with the W.

Final Score: Eagles 24, Vikings 17

Go Birds!