Kirk Cousins is the worst primetime quarterback in the history of the #NFL. That’s the narrative anyways as Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings visit the Philadelphia Eagles to kick off Week 2 tonight in a matchup of 2022 NFC division champions. Philly was as high as -7.5 but is down to -6 because it will be without four starters. The #FlyEaglesFly are still taking north of a 60% spread lean. The total is 49 with a slight over lean. Weather won’t be a factor.
Dating to his days with Washington, Cousins is just 11-18 against the spread in his primetime career (7-8-1 ATS with #SKOL). Straight up against teams with a winning record in primetime games, Cousins is only 2-16 (the Eagles are 1-0). That includes a 24-7 primetime loss (Monday) in Week 2 in the City of Brotherly Love last year. Cousins completed only 27 of 46 for 221 yard with three picks against Philly’s stellar pass defense.
That said, Cousins has won three straight games played on Thursdays, but that comes with an asterisk because it includes Thanksgiving. Including last year’s loss, Cousins is 6-4 all-time vs. Philadelphia. He is 38-24-1 all-time as a Vikings starter.
Minnesota was arguably the “luckiest” team in NFL history in 2022 with an 11-0 record in one-score games during the regular season. That was an NFL mark for one-score wins. But now the team has lost its past two, both at home and both as solid favorites: The wild-card game last January vs. the Giants and then Week 1 vs. the Bucs, who were 20-17 upset winners despite totaling only 242 yards. Cousins threw for 344 yards and two TDs but a terrible interception.
Reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year Justin Jefferson had nine catches for 150 yards. It was his 25th career 100-yard game, the most by any player in his first four seasons, and Jefferson obviously will add several more. He’s set at 94.5 yards tonight after behind held to only 48 last year against Philly. Jefferson needs 25 yards to become the fastest to 5,000 receiving career.
The Vikings are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games as underdogs. They are without starting center Garrett Bradbury.
Home favorites are 13-26 ATS in Thursday games over the past five seasons and the Eagles are without starting linebacker Nakobe Dean, 2022 All-Pro cornerback James Bradberry, safety Reed Blankenship and running back Kenneth Gainwell.
In a modest surprise, Gainwell was the No. 1 back in the Week 1 win in New England despite the fact he was projected as the No. 3 option behind offseason additions Rashaad Penny (inactive Week 1 but should play tonight) and D’Andre Swift. Gainwell had 18 of the 22 touches by Eagles RBs in the opener.
Philadelphia QB Jalen Hurts is 18-1 in his last 19 regular-season starts and would join Patrick Mahomes, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Joe Montana and Jim McMahon as the only QBs to have a 19-1 run in the regular season. Manning did it three times and Brady twice.
The Eagles were 4-1 SU in night games last season, averaging 28.0 PPG. Hurts started his career 0-3 in primetime games with a combined passer rating of 62.5 but is 5-1 in his past six with a rating of 108.3.