The Eagles are slow, and the Vikings fumble as Philly holds on to win.

The Eagles are slow, and the Vikings fumble as Philly holds on to win.

The Philadelphia Eagles came alive in the second half of their “Thursday Night Football” clash against the Minnesota Vikings, winning 34-28. They were led by running back D’Andre Swift and wide receiver DeVonta Smith.

In the first half, neither team seemed to be totally coherent. The Eagles’ defence forced turnovers and their offence pounded the ground with run plays to dominate total time of possession, while the Vikings lost four fumbles. What you need know about each team’s performance is as follows:

Eagles of Philadelphia

The Eagles’ running attack was the one stability in an otherwise tumultuous contest between the Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings.

The Eagles ran for more over 250 yards and two scores from Jalen Hurts, balancing a shaky passing effort for the second week in a row. D’Andre Swift’s career-high 175-yard rushing effort was one of the more positive trends. It was the most running yards by an Eagle since LeSean McCoy had 217 in 2013. With Kenneth Gainwell (ribs) out, he carried the weight.

The most spectacular drive was in the first half, when Philadelphia crafted a 16-play, 75-yard drive that included 13 runs. Hurts now has 28 career running touchdowns, which ties him with Cam Newton for the most by a quarterback in his first 50 career games.

The Eagles are undefeated, but it hasn’t always been nice. This is especially true of the passing game, which has stalled for long periods. However, the defence produced three interceptions, and when it counted, Philadelphia was able to rely back on the run – a luxury that will come in useful in the future.

Buy a breakthrough performance: DeVonta Smith had four receptions for 131 yards and a score, including two 50-yard grabs. Cornerback Darius Slay believes Smith will soon be regarded as the finest receiver in the NFL. While it’s too early to place Smith in that category, all indications point to a great year.

Hurts has scored seven more running touchdowns on QB sneaks than any other quarterback since the start of last season, including the playoffs. The “tush push” has been crucial: Hurts has now converted 34 of 36 sneaks when being pushed by teammates over the previous two seasons, including playoffs. In that period, no other quarterback has more than ten push sneaks.

With the Eagles leading 13-7 in the third quarter, defensive end Josh Sweat came off the edge and knocked the ball away from Kirk Cousins. Fletcher Cox recovered and rumbled to the Minnesota 7-yard line, setting up Hurts’ touchdown run. That was the beginning of Minnesota’s demise. — Timothy McManus

Next game: Sept. 25 vs Buccaneers (7:15 p.m. ET).

Vikings of Minnesota

The Vikings were defeated by the Eagles. They failed to give themselves a chance to win for the second time in as many games this season.

The Vikings fumbled three times in the first half, including one by receiver Justin Jefferson as he tried to stretch the ball into the end zone, and completed the game with four. With their sloppy performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1, the Vikings became the first NFL team since 2003 to lose six fumbles in the first two games of the season.

Who knows how this game, or last week’s game, might have turned out if the Vikings had been able to keep the ball. Even with the giveaways, they were able to convert a 27-7 deficit into a one-score game twice in the fourth quarter. In any case, they’re 0-2 with games coming up against two of the NFL’s top quarterbacks, Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes, as well as one of the league’s finest overall teams, the San Francisco 49ers. The Vikings will need to find solutions soon before the season runs out.

The Vikings haven’t had anything like a rushing game in either game this season, which is a troubling trend. To be honest, they haven’t even tried, and it’s only fair to remember their choice in June to split ways with former starter Dalvin Cook and replace him with longstanding backup Alexander Mattison.

Mattison gained just 28 yards on eight attempts Thursday night, after getting 34 yards on 11 carries the previous week. Mattison was also responsible for one of the Vikings’ fumbles on Thursday night.

The biggest flaw in the game plan: The Vikings, on the other hand, were unable to halt the Eagles’ rushing attack. Swift ended with 175 yards as a replacement starter, and the Eagles ran for 259 yards total by taking advantage of an odd and ultimately failed defensive posture.

The Vikings’ main defence is a three-safety look, and they spent most of the first three quarters with defensive fronts that comprised two, one, or no defensive linemen. The Eagles had a tremendous physical advantage up front, which they exploited.

Jefferson matched the NFL record for the fewest number of games required to earn 5,000 career receiving yards (52). He also became the first NFL player since 2011 to have 150 receiving yards or more in each of his first two games. But it was a play he couldn’t make that appeared to tip the scales Thursday night. Jefferson lost control while attempting to cross the goal line following a 30-yard catch in the second quarter. A replay revealed that the ball had flown over the pylon, resulting in a touchback and a turnover.

A touchdown would have given the Vikings a 14-10 lead, but the Eagles seized control and scored on the last play of the half, a 61-yard field goal from Jake Elliott, to take a 13-7 lead into the locker room. Kevin Seifert’s

Next game: Sept. 24 (1 p.m. ET) vs. Chargers

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