Vikings scouting report: Keep an eye on the Eagles tight ends


Sunday: Noon at U.S. Bank Stadium (Ch. 9, 100.3-FM, 1130-AM)

ABOUT THE EAGLES

• Philadelphia (3-2) dismantled the hapless Jets, jumping out to a 24-0 lead by the third quarter of last Sunday’s 31-6 victory. The Eagles defense came away with 10 sacks on Jets backup quarterbacks Luke Falk and David Fales.

• DE Brandon Graham had a breakout performance against the Jets with three sacks. The Eagles had only three sacks in their first four games.

• QB Carson Wentz has thrown for 10 touchdowns and two interceptions. He hasn’t had a pass intercepted since a Week 2 loss against the Falcons. Wentz has been without deep threat DeSean Jackson, sidelined for three weeks because of an abdominal injury.

• The Eagles offense leans heavily on its tight ends in Zach Ertz, the Pro Bowler leading the Eagles in catches, targets and receiving yards; and Dallas Goedert — a South Dakota State product — who is among the NFL’s most effective run blockers.

PLAYER SPEAK | Jordan Howard

• The ex-Bears running back has more rushing yards (545) against the Vikings than any other opponent in his NFL career. Howard has topped 100 rushing yards in three of six meetings with the Vikings, including last year’s season finale.

• Howard leads the Eagles in rushing yards (248) and rushing touchdowns (four) despite splitting backfield duties with rookie Miles Sanders.

• Eagles coach Doug Pederson on his backfield duo: “It’s a good duo to have, because you never know how the game is going to unfold as far as the run goes. It could be an inside-the-tackles run game, and that’s where Jordan excels, or it can be an outside-zone game and that’s where Miles excels.”

• Vikings coach Mike Zimmer on Howard: “He’s very physical. He’s got really good feet. He runs with his pads forward, so you make contact at second-and-8, and it ends up being second-and-4. We’re going to have to do a great job tackling.”

COACH SPEAK | Doug Pederson

• Pederson is in his fourth season as Eagles coach with a 36-22 record, including 4-1 in the playoffs and a Super Bowl championship during the 2017 season.

• Philadelphia is averaging 28.2 points per game while topping 30 points in each of its three wins.

• On what he can learn from ex-Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo: “He knows the [Vikings] personnel, he knows Coach Zim and has a relationship there. From that standpoint, it might be beneficial, but at the end of the day, he’s still learning our defense and trying to get ready to play himself.”

• On returning to U.S. Bank Stadium, where the Eagles won the Super Bowl: “It’s definitely going to be different. Obviously we have fond memories of that game and winning that game, but it’s going to be different. The environment and obviously the fans won’t be in our favor.”

Andrew Krammer

 

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