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Vikings To Earn Revenge For Championship Defeat

October 5, 2018

Week five presents a rematch of the 2017 NFC Championship Game as the Minnesota Vikings return to Lincoln Financial Field to take on the reigning Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia hammered the Vikings in the contest, allowing them to advance to reach Super Bowl LII where they defeated the New England Patriots in Minnesota’s stadium.

Revenge will be firmly on the minds of Mike Zimmer’s men, although their form at the start of the campaign has not suggested that is on the cards. They were taken apart last week by Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams, with their talented defense being exposed on the national stage. Kirk Cousins attempted to score-for-score with Goff and company, but the Rams were able to close out the victory, condemning Minnesota to back-to-back defeats.

The Eagles are not in great form either after dropping to 2-2 in their campaign. Carson Wentz found the endzone twice in his second game back from a torn ACL. However, the defense failed to hold the Tennessee Titans at bay, allowing Marcus Mariota to connect with Corey Davis for a game-winning score in overtime at Nissan Stadium.

It’s an important game for both teams to keep themselves on course for the playoffs. This contest could have vital ramifications in terms of seeding in the post-season in the NFC Conference.

Can Cousins lead a Vikings' revival?

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles’ campaign has yet to spark into life, suffering their second defeat of the season at the hands of the Titans last time out. Doug Pederson’s men have not found the form that allowed them to clinch the Super Bowl for the first time. Wentz has been up and down in the two matches since his return from a torn ACL, although he did display a semblance of his best play in his side’s defeat to the Titans. The 25-year-old threw for over 350 yards along with two touchdowns, completing 68% of his passes in the process. It’s a good sign for the Eagles that he has been able to find a rhythm so quickly since his return.

Wentz’s movement in the pocket and ability to scramble for first downs has been affected by his injury, although the more time he spends on the field the more confident he will become. Philadelphia need him at his best and the return of fellow injury victim Alshon Jeffery will further boost the offense. Dallas Goedert notched his first touchdowns of his career last week. Incorporating him along with Jeffery alongside Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor and Jay Ajayi should see the Eagles return to their free-scoring form of last season soon enough.

Pederson’s men have been suspect defensively to good offenses to start the season. They were exposed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Titans, while only their redzone defense saved them against the Atlanta Falcons, who moved the ball at will at times in the opener. Fletcher Cox and Derek Barnett have been impressive on the defensive line, but the unit has not been the dominant one expected after the addition of Michael Bennett. The secondary has struggled to contain elite wide receivers, which is a massive problem facing Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen this week. Philadelphia’s defense has to step up to avoid putting their side in a shootout with the Vikings.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings are 1-2-1 in their season heading to Philadelphia, with the club in dire need of a victory to get back on track. Their early-term momentum was halted by an embarrassing loss to the Buffalo Bills on home soil. The Bills arguably have the worst roster in the NFL, but hammered Zimmer’s men. Minnesota had breakdowns on both sides of the ball in a terrible outing. They needed a response last week, only to run into a freight train in the form of the Rams. Cousins and his offense kept pace with Los Angeles for the majority of the contest as both teams went up and down the field with ease. However, the pressure exerted by the Rams’ defensive line told eventually, allowing Sean McVay’s side to edge their way to a seven-point win.

Cousins has impressive in three of his opening four matches. He’s a definite upgrade over Case Keenum and this match will prove by how much as the last time the Vikings took the field as Lincoln Financial Field, their former quarterback failed to rise to the occasion in the NFC Championship Game. Cousins has formed an immediate rapport with Thielen and Diggs in the passing game. Thielen is averaging 10 receptions a game through the opening month of the term, while Diggs leads the team in touchdowns with three to his name. The Vikings have to lean on their offense to carry the rest of the side, while the defense attempt to resolve their issues.

Minnesota boasted the best defense in the NFL last season. However, this year they’ve been porous to say the least. The absence of Everson Griffen has limited their pass-rush, despite the talent of Danielle Hunter. Anthony Barr was victimised by the Rams in coverage, conceding three touchdowns at the Coliseum. The secondary could not hold up against the pressure applied by Goff and the Los Angeles’ passing attack, leading to the club’s defeat on the road. They need to bounce back against Wentz in company otherwise the Vikings could be in trouble in the NFC North.

Betting Options

The Eagles are not quite themselves, while the Vikings are also out of sorts. Both of these teams are far cry from the dominant outfits that charged into the NFC Championship Game last season. In that match Nick Foles and the Eagles’ offense crushed Minnesota as Keenum could not fire back. On this occasion the two teams have competent quarterbacks and due to the form of both defenses, we could well see a shootout in Philadelphia.

Given the desperation of the Vikings and their quest for revenge, Zimmer’s men may just be able to edge the contest at odds of +155  with TopBet. For the best value take the Vikings on +2.5 spread to secure the victory on the road by a field goal at odds of 6/4  with 888Sport. Expect points to be score at Lincoln Financial Field so take the over on the points’ line of 46 at -110  with Bovada.

Jeffery did not miss a beat on his first game back, notching 108 yards and a touchdown. Back him to score anytime at odds of 29/20  and to have over 63 receiving yards at 17/20  with 888Sport. Thielen has been a stud for the Vikings over the past two seasons. Back him to find the endzone anytime at odds of 6/4  and to record over 91 receiving yards at 4/5  with 888Sport.

It’s going to be a big day for the quarterbacks. Wentz passed for over 300 yards last week as did Cousins. Take Wentz to have over 271 passing yards at 4/5  and Cousins to record over 283 passing yards at 17/20  with 888Sport.

Tips Summary

Minnesota Vikings To Beat Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday 7th October 2018 16:25 ET (21:25 BST)
Odds: +155

Minnesota Vikings +2.5 Spread
Sunday 7th October 2018 16:25 ET (21:25 BST)
Odds: 6/4

Over 46 Points To Be Scored
Sunday 7th October 2018 16:25 ET (21:25 BST)
Odds: -110

Alshon Jeffery To Record Over 63 Receiving Yards
Sunday 7th October 2018 16:25 ET (21:25 BST)
Odds: 17/20

Alshon Jeffery To Score Touchdown Anytime
Sunday 7th October 2018 16:25 ET (21:25 BST)
Odds: 29/20

Adam Thielen To Record Over 91 Receiving Yards
Sunday 7th October 2018 16:25 ET (21:25 BST)
Odds: 4/5

Adam Thielen To Score Touchdown Anytime
Sunday 7th October 2018 16:25 ET (21:25 BST)
Odds: 6/4

Carson Wentz To Record Over 271 Passing Yards
Sunday 7th October 2018 16:25 ET (21:25 BST)
Odds: 4/5

Kirk Cousins To Record Over 283 Passing Yards
Sunday 7th October 2018 16:25 ET (21:25 BST)
Odds: 17/20

  • Carson Wentz
  • Kirk Cousins
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • NFL
  • Philadelphia Eagles

    About the author

    Simon Sinclair
    Simon Sinclair

    Sports Writer

    Simon is a freelance sports writer from the UK. He passionately writes about all kinds of sports, sharing his predictions on everything from the latest cricket matches and golf tournaments to major horse racing events and popular American sports.