Remember the Vikings defense? It was magnificent last year, but the back seven has been a crapshoot this season.
Remember the Eagles offensive line? It was sensational last year, but has been awful to start out the year.
Something has to give.
Entering tomorrow’s matchup at Philadelphia, the Eagles have allowed the second most quarterback hits in the league with 35 of them. The only team ahead of them is the Texans who have given up 45 hits on the quarterback. Now, coverage sacks and bad discipline on the quarterback’s part can make these worse or better than they seem, but it’s clear that Philadelphia’s offensive line is nowhere near the same quality of play it was at last year.
A couple of factors weigh into the unit’s struggles. Left tackle Jason Peters isn’t healthy right now and is also 36. Left guard Steve Wisniewski is also struggling and it’s been reported that 2016 third round pick Isaac Seumalo may start over him. Also, going up against guys like Jurrell Casey, Grady Jarrett, Takk McKinley, Harold Landry, Gerald McCoy and Jason Pierre-Paul doesn’t help either, but it’s surprising that a unit that was so good last year is struggling this quickly.
That’s exactly what the Vikings need. The offense has allowed 25 quarterback hits, while the defense has produced the exact same number. In comparison, the Eagles’ defense has produced the most quarterback hits with 33 as of this writing.
Everson Griffen continues to miss time, but Linval Joseph, Sheldon Richardson and Danielle Hunter should still be able to rack up pressures against one of the worst offensive lines to start the year. For the Vikings to win this one, the battle starts up front on defense. It goes without saying that the secondary has to wake up fast, but getting pressure on Carson Wentz early would be huge.
All things considered, this is an Eagles offensive line at its most vulnerable, and the Vikings have a great opportunity to capitalize and get back on the winning track.