Eagles vs. Vikings set for Monday night showdown on KAPP-KVEW

Eagles vs. Vikings set for Monday night showdown on KAPP-KVEW
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson runs the ball in for a touchdown off a pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins in the first quarter of an NFL season opener game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, in Minneapolis. (Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via AP)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Featuring two of the biggest receivers in football, a clash of the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles takes place on KAPP-KVEW for Monday Night Football at 5:30 p.m. PST.

EAGLES PLAYER TO WATCH: WR A.J. Brown caught 10 passes for 155 yards, tying his career high, in his Eagles debut on Sunday and quickly has become QB Jalen Hurts’ go-to option on the outside. Brown and Hurts have been friends ever since Hurts hosted Brown on a recruiting visit while at Alabama and their friendship likely only got tighter when Hurts targeted Brown 13 times in the opener.

The Eagles traded the No. 18 overall pick and a third-rounder to the Tennessee Titans on draft day for Brown, who then signed a four-year deal with $57 million guaranteed. Brown, a 2020 Pro Bowl selection in his fourth season, picked up right where he left off against Detroit following an impressive training camp.

Also keep an eye on WR Devonta Smith. The speedy second-year receiver set a club rookie record last season with 916 receiving yards, but went without a catch against the Lions while being targeted just four times. It’s likely that Hurts will look to get Smith more involved against Minnesota.

VIKINGS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Justin Jefferson made nine catches for a career-high 184 yards and two TDs in Sunday’s win over Green Bay. The 2020 first-round pick (No. 22 overall) surpassed 200 career receptions in the opener in his 34th game, and only three NFL receivers ever have reached as many catches in fewer games.

Also keep an eye on WR Jalen Reagor. Reagor went one pick ahead of Jefferson in the 2020 draft, but was traded to Minnesota last month after two disappointing seasons with the Eagles. He’ll return to Philadelphia as the Vikings’ primary punt returner. He made two fair catches and returned one punt for 7 yards against the Packers.

KEY MATCHUP: Minnesota’s defense vs. Hurts.

The Eagles QB amassed 333 yards of offense against the Lions in a dazzling display of athletic play. Hurts threw for 243 yards and ran for 90 yards and a touchdown on 17 attempts — many of which came after scrambles out of the pocket. Hurts was sacked just once by Detroit and converted a game-clinching quarterback sneak on fourth-and-1 from the Lions 40 with 1:06 remaining.

The second-round pick is in his third season and second year as the full-time starter. He has made 20 career starts. Last season, Hurts had a team-best 784 yards on the ground, including a team-high 10 rushing TDs, for an Eagles team that led the NFL in rushing yards (2,715) and rushing TDs (25). The Lions tried to bring pressure against Hurts, but he had an answer every time.