Every once in a while you'll hear the lament that Thursday night games are lower-scoring. Rest assured that all you need to do is get a pair of teams that don't do a great job in terms of things like coverage to get a high-scoring slugfest.
This game was just 3-0 five minutes into the second quarter, but it picked up. Some of the key takeaways:
I've seen a little bit of early carping about Jalen Hurts, who's been a little off so far. Through two games he's yet to pass for 200 yards in a contest, he's taken 7 sacks, and even some of his big plays (like one long completion early last night) was badly underthrown on what should have been a long touchdown. It's been a little more 2021 Hurts than 2022. If anyone wants to ship him off in fantasy leagues, let me know. Hurts has completed 71 percent of his passes and rushed for 35-37 yards and 2 TDs. He's fine, and has a lot more good games coming up. Especially considering his defense, while still perfectly fine in fantasy leagues for key things like sacks and takeaways, seems poised to give up a lot of yards and points.
Kirk Cousins needs to clean some things up; the whole team does. But two games of throwing for 344-plus, with 6 touchdowns, doesn't look like a fluke. The team can't run the ball and looks simply awful defensively. Next week they play the Chargers, who got torched by Tua last week, followed by Carolina, Kansas City and Chicago (who they get to play twice, of course). You like that?
I've seen it mentioned on this page that we should have been much higher on D'Andre Swift this week. Duly noted. Not by people who were gung-ho on Swift before Week 1 and started him, much to their dismay after he totaled 3 yards as Kenneth Gainwell's backup, of course, but he has his fans. And he got a monster workload last night and delivered. Talented guy who will clearly be very good for as long as he stays healthy, and as long as Nick Sirianni doesn't stick him behind Gainwell again once he returns from a rib injury. Certainly, those of us with Gainwell regret not having him available to face a Vikings defense that looks utterly inept. Eagles at Tampa Bay next week, and Swift will probably be ranked nice and favorably, especially if Gainwell misses more time.
Rashaad Penny was a healthy scratch in Week 1 and when he finally got on the field last night his most noteworthy play was a holding penalty to wipe out an A.J. Brown touchdown. He's clearly the No. 4, behind Boston Scott, who also would have had a huge game last night with more chances (Scott carried 5 times for 40 yards). Penny can be dropped.
Alexander Mattison hasn't gotten much love from Fantasy Index, and I think last night pretty much showed why. He's not very good. It's not all on him and I'm not sure Ty Chandler would be any better, but at some point the Vikings probably will give a youngster a look. Not that they seem much interested in running the ball to this point.
A.J. Brown was a lot more coveted in drafts than DeVonta Smith, and so far that's aging poorly. They're both really good, and Brown was unlucky last night -- had a touchdown erased by a holding penalty, and interfered with on another potential score (not flagged). But Smith sure looks like he's going to be on the other end of a lot of big plays this season. Just a couple of games, but I have a feeling there will be more like what we've seen. The Eagles thus far haven't even had to look at another wide receiver really -- Quez Watkins has just 2 targets in two games.
Any regrets about those who took Justin Jefferson No. 1 overall? We'd all like more touchdowns, but they'll come. Lost one last night on a goal-line fumble, bad luck really. If you thought his 184 targets last year were a lot, he's currently on pace for over 212.
Jordan Addison started last night, scoring for the second week in a row with a 62-yard touchdown. Played less than K.J. Osborn, who has just 1 fewer reception through two games, but it's clear which one is the fantasy option. The Vikings are using two tight ends at times, but hard to complain about Addison's usage in the offense. Those who had faith in the rookie are being rewarded thus far.
Not much needs to be said about T.J. Hockenson. The Lions seem to have found a good one in Sam LaPorta, but I wonder why they lost interest in keeping Hockenson around, maybe a Lions fan can weigh in on that. Flattened a would-be tackler on one of last night's touchdowns. Things can change, Mark Andrews hasn't even taken the field yet, but I think if we're redrafting right now, Hockenson gets selected before Andrews in fantasy leagues.
The Eagles made an effort to get the ball to Dallas Goedert early and often in this one. Results were uneven, especially for those like me who were starting him in a standard league, ugh: 2.2 points. But he saw a team-high 7 targets and caught 6 passes, highlighting the dramatic difference between standard and PPR leagues (and TE-premium, where I also have him in a league). Anyway, the usage was encouraging, even if the actual results weren't for some. He's the 3rd target in the offense.
The Eagles defense remains a strong option in fantasy leagues. Through two games it has 6 takeaways and a defensive touchdown, with 4 sacks. Next two games are Baker Mayfield and Sam Howell, that should go pretty well. But definitely some coverage issues; letting Mac Jones and Kirk Cousins both throw for 316-plus yards with 7 touchdown passes is not a recipe for a deep playoff run.
But it's going to make for some nice numbers for the offense each week.