The first Thursday Night Football game of the season saw an upset as the Detroit Lions went into Arrowhead Stadium and knocked off the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City didn’t have Travis Kelce or Chris Jones, and Kadarius Toney dropped three passes (one of which was returned for a pick-six), but the Chiefs still only lost by a single point. Now, the Minnesota Vikings will look to capture some of that same magic as they take on the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2.
Minnesota will attempt to avoid dropping to 0-2 when the Vikings go on the road to face the Philadelphia Eagles. This game will take place at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Thursday, September 14, 2023, on Amazon Prime.
NFL Week 2 Betting Odds at Caesars Sportsbook
Almost every pundit called for the Minnesota Vikings to take a major step back in 2023. The Vikings went 11-0 in one score games last season, and that type of luck usually evens out over the course of time. However, not many experts called for the Vikes to lose outright to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a four-point favorite by the NFL betting odds in Week 1. Kirk Cousins threw for 344 yards, and Justin Jefferson had a big game, but the Vikes turned the ball over three times and lost 20-17.
Minnesota was dismantled by Philadelphia in Week 2 of Sunday Night Football last season. The Vikings were completely corralled on offense as Kirk Cousins threw three interceptions in a 24-7 blowout that was far more dominant than the final score indicated. However, this Philadelphia defense doesn’t seem to be as good as last year’s edition, and the Eagles might not have three starters on that side of the ball. Fletcher Cox, Nakobe Dean, and James Bradberry are all listed as questionable for Thursday night, so don’t be surprised if Minnesota looks better on offense.
Cousins catches a lot of flak, but the truth is that he is simply an average to an above average quarterback. The veteran signal caller is much better than many of the first- and second-year starters that teams are relying on this season, and he has arguably the best receiver in the league on the outside in Jefferson.
The Vikes no longer have an elite running back, but the offensive line could be one of the 10 best units in the NFL with Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill on the edges and Garrett Bradbury in the middle. They only averaged 2.4 YPC against Tampa Bay in Week 1, but it may be easier for the Vikings to run on the Eagles if Cox is out.
Meanwhile, Jalen Hurts is receiving some real MVP buzz. Hurts was under 10-1 by the NFL futures odds to be named the NFL MVP before Week 1, and he was one of the most popular bets on the board at that price. However, he failed to acquit himself well on the stat sheet in Philly’s season opener.
Hurts had some key runs to keep the chains moving against New England, but he finished with just nine carries for 37 yards and completed 22 of 33 passes for 170 yards with one touchdown. Those aren’t MVP caliber numbers, and that gives Minnesota’s defense some hope that it can hold on given the short rest both sides have coming into TNF.
Minnesota’s defense held Tampa Bay to a scant 3.6 yards per play in Week 1. Danielle Hunter was locked in and had a fantastic performance, and the Buccaneers ran for a grand total of 73 yards on 33 carries. Tampa Bay didn’t have a carry longer of more than six yards the entire afternoon, as the Bucs finished with a grand total of 242 yards.
Many will look to fade the Vikings as Minnesota was one of the more disappointing teams in Week 1. However, there were some warning signs with the Eagles last week, and it’s a little worrisome to see the football betting odds favor the hosts by more than a touchdown. That has me ready to roll with Minnesota.