Minnesota (5-0) at Philadelphia (3-2)
When: Sunday, October 23rd 2016
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Time: 1:00 ET | TV: FOX
Sam Bradford returns to Philadelphia in a Week 7 battle as the undefeated Minnesota Vikings visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon. Bradford was traded from Philly to the Vikings just a week before the regular season started as Minnesota needed a replacement for the injured Teddy Bridgewater. Bradford has helped guide the Vikings to a 5-0 start and are the only undefeated team in the league. Minnesota’s defense is setting the tone and making the offense feel they don’t have to do everything. The Vikings are ranked No. 1 in points allowed (12.6), sacks per game (3.8), and turnover margin (+11). Running back Jerick McKinnon is averaging only 3.1 yards per carry behind a mediocre offensive line, but busted out for 85 yards versus the New York Giants on October 3rd and faces an Eagles defense that allowed 230 on the ground to the Redskins last week. Fellow running back Matt Asiata had 101 yards from scrimmage (55 rushing, 46 receiving) and a touchdown in a 31-13 victory over Houston on October 9th and had three TDs in a 48-30 victory over Philadelphia in December of 2013. Adam Thielen had a career-high seven receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown versus the Texans, but leading receiver Stefon Diggs (groin) was limited in practice this week.
The Eagles got off to a flying start behind their top draft pick Carson Wentz, but have since dropped two straight including last week’s loss at Washington. The final score in that game was 27-20, but the Eagles were thoroughly outplayed as two of their touchdowns were non-offensive (kick return, pick 6). Wentz was sacked five times and hit on 11 occasions in the loss to the Redskins and the Eagles have allowed 21 first half points in each of the last two games which is resulting in Wentz dropping back to pass more. Ryan Matthews leads the rushing attack with 206 yards and a 3.9 average while scoring three times as a runner and two more as a receiver. Protecting Wentz became a much harder task after veteran tackle Lane Johnson began serving his 10-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs last week. Rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who is replacing Johnson, allowed two first-half sacks to Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. The Eagles have committed 27 penalties for 225 yards in their last two games.
Minnesota is going to struggle to get the offense going in this one as Philadelphia has a very underrated defense. On the other hand, the Eagles will also have some troubles, but will find a way to move the ball down the field and upset this Vikings squad. The Eagles are 2-0 at home and have outscored their opponents 63-13 including the Steelers 34-3.
Pick: Eagles +3