D’Andre Swift put in a dominant performance as the Philadelphia Eagles punished an error-prone Minnesota Vikings on Thursday in 34-28 win.
In his first home game since joining the Eagles, the Philadelphia native ran for a career-high 175 rushing yards and a touchdown as the team’s rushing attack routinely dissected the Vikings defense.
Swift, who arrived from the Detroit Lions in the offseason, became the first Eagle with 175 yards and a touchdown on the ground since LeSean McCoy in 2013, per NFL Research.
“He just showed vision, explosiveness,” said Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni. “I thought the offensive line did a phenomenal job of pushing them off the ball. So, I was really pleased he protected the ball.
“That was a lot of touches, too. Not only pleased with how he saw it and how he hit it, but also thought he protected the ball. Especially, when they are coming after it in situations at the end of the game like that.”
It was another less-than-convincing performance from last year’s Super Bowl runners-up, with some moments of sloppiness creeping into an offense that was so dynamic in 2022, despite beginning its season with two wins.
However, between Swift and quarterback Jalen Hurts, the Eagles were able to find enough explosive plays to keep Minnesota at bay.
Hurts looked towards his wide receiver DeVonta Smith when he needed a big play, connecting with the third-year pass catcher on two 50-plus passes. It was a 63-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter that gave Philadelphia a 27-7 lead.
Costly Minnesota errors prevented a serious comeback, with the Vikings losing four fumbles and Philadelphia’s dominant defensive line making Kirk Cousins’ life difficult. The Vikings’ quarterback was hit 10 times, including two sacks.
The Vikings have lost their opening two games of the season and the team’s head coach Kevin O’Connell bemoaned the sloppy errors.
“You lose the turnover battle 4-1 … 7-1 in turnovers lost in two games, and we’ve lost by a combined nine points to two playoff teams from a year ago,” O’Connell said.
“So clearly, I’ve gotta coach it better from a standpoint of something we talk about every single day – ball security is a major, major focus in our football philosophy, but clearly I need to do a better job.
“And our staff, we need to go back and continue to find ways to re-emphasize how important it is when you have the football in your hands playing for the Minnesota Vikings.
“Because like I said, we’re really not giving ourselves clean opportunities to win these games, the way we’ve started.”
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A silver lining
Amid the gloom, there was a moment to celebrate for the Vikings with their superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson reaching a historic NFL milestone.
Jefferson became the fastest player to reach 5,000 career receiving yards in 52 games, surpassing the previous record set by Odell Beckham Jr. which was 54 games.
The 24-year-old finished the defeat against Eagles with 159 receiving yards, after racking up 150 yards in the Week 1 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In his first three seasons in the NFL, Jefferson has surpassed 1,400 receiving yards in each of them, finishing with a mammoth 1,809 yards last year.