The Vikings Can Prove They Are Contenders on Monday Night

Questions Answered: Cousins against PHI, Cine Ready, NFC Frontrunners
Oct 7, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports.

If you’re a Minnesota Vikings fan, you’re probably feeling pretty good right now leading up to the Week 2 matchup vs. the Philadelphia Eagles. The team looked sharp in their 23-7 season-opening win vs. Green Bay and put the league on notice. Although the fanbase is riding high, and rightfully so, there are some things I’d love to see on Monday. If these items are done well, this Vikings team can prove that they are contenders.

Containing the Dynamic Eagles Offense

The Eagles receiver room presents a much tougher matchup than the Packers did, and perhaps the biggest weakness on the Vikings roster is their secondary. I’m really intrigued to see how the Vikings will hold up against the likes of AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert. Jalen Hurts is certainly not in the same category as Aaron Rodgers, at least as a passer. However, dealing with top tier receivers is a much different beast than the young rookies the Packers threw out there last week.

Additionally, Hurts may not be the same caliber of passer as Rodgers, but his wheels make him a unique threat. You’ve heard the coaching staff preaching about containing the young QB because Hurts mobility makes you play 11-on-11. If the Vikings defense can handle a quarterback with that ability, it would be a huge confidence booster.

Can the Vikings Offense Pour it on Philly’s Defense?

Offensively, because of the challenges that the defense will face, it seems unlikely that another 23-point output will get the job done. It seemed like all things were clicking last week on offense with a lot of splash plays, but in reality, the offense only put up two touchdowns and three field goals.

Nothing wrong with that considering the way the game played out, but they’re almost certainly going to need more from the offense this week. I want to see them keep the foot on the gas and convert more of those field goals into touchdowns on Monday. Let’s see what Kevin O’Connell can cook up on the road in Philadelphia.

Stay Composed in Hostile Territory

Lastly, and perhaps the biggest challenge the team will face on Monday, is that Philadelphia crowd. With this being the first road game, and on the Monday Night Football stage, I expect a rowdy crowd in Philly. Let’s see how KOC handles that not just as a head coach and making tough decisions, but also as a play caller and making sure the communication between himself and Kirk Cousins and the offensive line is spot on.

I hope to see the Vikings execute well and keep those penalties low like they did last week. If this team is able to beat the Eagles in their home opener, look out, the bandwagon is about to fill up very quickly.