Scouting report Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday, 3:25 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field (Ch. 9, 100.3-FM)
About The Eagles
• The Eagles (2-2) blew a 17-3 lead in Nashville last Sunday, losing 26-23 in overtime to the Titans. Philadelphia’s defense surrendered three fourth-down conversions on the Titans’ game-winning touchdown drive in extra minutes.
• The reigning Super Bowl champions so far field a sputtering offense, which has yet to produce more than 23 points in a game, but has returned quarterback Carson Wentz and receiver Alshon Jeffery to the lineup in recent weeks.
• The Eagles defense dealt with the loss of two key contributors this offseason — DE Vinny Curry and CB Patrick Robinson — and is still one of the league’s best. Through four games, Philadelphia has the NFL’s No. 1 run defense (63.8 yards per game) and the second-best defense on third downs (28.3 percent).
• Jeffery, who underwent shoulder surgery this offseason, looked like the same receiver who dominated the Vikings for the Bears. He caught eight passes for 105 yards and a touchdown in his season debut last week.
Player To Watch | QB Carson Wentz
• The 25-year-old Wentz returned for the Sept. 23 victory against Indianapolis, more than nine months after a torn ACL last winter ended his standout second NFL season.
• In two starts, Wentz has completed about two-thirds of his passes for 603 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He’s rushed five times for 18 yards on his surgically-repaired knee.
• Wentz was deep into what could have been an MVP season last year before tearing an ACL in Week 14. At that point, he had been sacked only 28 times in 13 games. A problem for the Eagles this season is allowing Wentz to be sacked nine times in two starts.
• Eagles coach Doug Pederson on Wentz’s return: “I’ve seen improvement from his Week 1 in the Colts game, there’s definite improvement. I think there’s still a little bit of the rust that can come off. Just playing, just being out there, just seeing defenses, the speed of the game — all those things.”
Coach Speak | Doug Pederson
• Pederson, 50, is in his third season as Eagles head coach with a 22-14 regular season record and 3-0 in the playoffs after leading Philadelphia to its first Super Bowl championship. He lost two coaches this spring when offensive coordinator Frank Reich took the Colts head coaching job and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo was hired as Vikings offensive coordinator.
• Since Pederson became Chiefs coordinator in 2013 and Eagles coach in 2016, his offenses have been ranked in the top 10 in three of five seasons. So far this year, the Eagles rank 26th in scoring and have a handling issue. Philadelphia leads the NFL with 11 fumbles (five lost) and receiver Nelson Agholor dropped three passes last week.
• Pederson on if the two-loss Eagles and Vikings are limping into Week 5: “That might be the perception on the outside world, but I guarantee you both teams are looking forward to this opportunity. These are two really good football teams.”