3 keys for Eagles defense vs. Vikings offense in Week 2

After successfully opening up the 2023 season with a win in New England, the Eagles return to Lincoln Financial Field for their one national appearance on Amazon Prime.

In a rematch of a Week 2 Monday night beatdown in 2022, Philadelphia will host the 0-1 Vikings in the 8:15 PM kickoff.

Minnesota will be without center Garrett Bradbury, while the Eagles will be without linebacker Nakobe Dean (on Injured Reserve, foot), cornerback James Bradberry (concussion), safety Reed Blankenship (ribs), and running back Kenneth Gainwell.

With kickoff fast approaching, here are three keys for the Philadelphia defense.

Justin Jefferson

Darius Slay was named the conference’s defensive player of the week after two interceptions and a lockdown performance against Justin Jefferson in 2022.

Jefferson discussed “tension” building from that performance and the anticipated rematch.

“It’s always going to be a great battle with the top corners in the league,” Jefferson said, via Judd Zulgad of “I’m always excited to have those type of matchups. But definitely we have some things we’ve got to get back [at] them on. Having the loss last year, not having those plays we wanted last year. There’s definitely some tension going into the game.”

Jefferson had seven catches for 138 yards in the first half against Tampa, but he only had two catches for 12 yards in the second half of a Week 1 loss.

In 2022, Jefferson spent much of the night being shadowed by Slay and ended the game with six catches for 48 yards while Slay had a pair of interceptions.

Philly goes as Slay goes against Jefferson.

Kirk Cousins

In the 2022 matchup, Cousins was picked off three times in the loss. The talented veteran is 8-10 with Minnesota in prime-time and he’ll need a massive showing against an elite Philadelphia pass rush to get the win.

Bottle up Alexander Mattison

Alexander Mattison had 11 carries for 34-yards in the season opening loss to the Buccaneers, and he’ll face an Eagles defense missing three starters, including middle linebacker Nakobe Dean.

If Philadelphia can bottle Mattison up, they’ll make Kirk Cousins and the Vikings offense one-dimensional.

Story originally appeared on Eagles Wire