Kissing Cousins for a change…Eagles 24, Vikings 7

NFL: NFC Championship-Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles
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QB Kirk Cousins has a history of destroying the Eagles. It didn’t happen on Monday night in Philly for a change.  Maybe because the Eagles played with a loaded offense and a defense which found its stride. Cousins was picked off three times, two by Darius Slay and one by Avonte Maddox. The D got pressure on Cousins and had good spacing all around to limit the Vikings’ best playmakers.  It was an astoundingly consistent effort by the Birds.

Jalen Hurts had 301 total yards in the first half in the breakout game of his young career, finishing with three total touchdowns as he led the Philadelphia Eagles to a 24-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night.  Trying to prove he is the franchise QB for the Eagles in his second year, Hurts looked unstoppable from the opening drive.  Hurts hit five receivers on 5-for-5 passing — highlighted by a 19-yard strike to A.J. Brown — and finished the drive himself with a 3-yard scoring run.

The TD was just the liftoff for the 24-year-old Hurts throwing, running, imposing his will with all his available tools against a Vikings defense that could not solve him in his 21st career start. He finished with 333 yards passing and a touchdown, and 57 yards and two scores on the ground. And get this—he was reading the Vikings’ defense!

On the first play of the second quarter, Hurts connected on a wide-open Quez Watkins for a 53-yard TD and the 14-0 lead.

Slay, who picked off a hapless pass by Kirk Cousins in the third quarter, had called each of the Eagles’ own trio of talented receivers Batman.  There was, Brown, the “swole” Batman who had five catches for 69 yards; DeVonta Smith was the “skinny” Batman who had seven for 80 yards; and Watkins was the “fast” Batman who had the burners on for the easy score (and 69 total yards receiving).

Hurts had one more play for the highlight reel with just under two minutes left in the first half. Hurts rolled to his right and scampered toward the end zone. He dragged two defenders with him, lowered his head and muscled his way in for a 26-yard touchdown that sent the crowd into a frenzy.

Cousins and wide receiver Justin Jefferson — famously passed over by the Eagles in the 2020 draft — never got anything going of substance against the Eagles and maligned defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. Slay had his second interception of the game in the fourth quarter as the scoreboard soon flashed “Big Play Slay.”

Hurts had 50 yards rushing and 251 yards passing in the first half. Cousins finished the game 27 for 46 for 221 yards and three interceptions. Jefferson had six catches for 48 yards a week after he had 184 receiving yards and two TDs in a win against Green Bay.

No injuries of note for the Eagles; Vikings safety Harrison Smith was evaluated for a concussion.

Scoring Summary

first Quarter MIN PHI
TD
9:09
Jalen Hurts 3 Yd Run (Jake Elliott Kick)
11 plays, 82 yards, 5:51
0 7
second Quarter MIN PHI
TD
14:52
Quez Watkins 53 Yd pass from Jalen Hurts (Jake Elliott Kick)
7 plays, 82 yards, 3:27
0 14
TD
9:39
Irv Smith Jr. 2 Yd pass from Kirk Cousins (Greg Joseph Kick)
9 plays, 75 yards, 5:13
7 14
TD
1:58
Jalen Hurts 26 Yd Run (Jake Elliott Kick)
7 plays, 85 yards, 3:02
7 21
FG
0:00
Jake Elliott 38 Yd Field Goal
8 plays, 75 yards, 1:21
7 24
Matchup Kissing Cousins for a change...Eagles 24, Vikings 7 Kissing Cousins for a change...Eagles 24, Vikings 7
1st Downs 20 25
Passing 1st downs 16 13
Rushing 1st downs 3 10
1st downs from penalties 1 2
3rd down efficiency 4-12 7-13
4th down efficiency 0-0 0-0
Total Plays 59 68
Total Yards 264 486
Total Drives 10 10
Yards per Play 4.5 7.1
Passing 202 323
Comp-Att 27-46 26-31
Yards per pass 4.2 9.5
Interceptions thrown 3 1
Sacks-Yards Lost 2-19 3-10
Rushing 62 163
Rushing Attempts 11 34
Yards per rush 5.6 4.8
Red Zone (Made-Att) 1-4 1-2
Penalties 5-25 8-60
Turnovers 3 1
Fumbles lost 0 0
Interceptions thrown 3 1
Defensive / Special Teams TDs 0 0
Possession 23:46 36:14
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