Justin Jefferson’s costly fumble over goal line has Vikings trailing Eagles in third quarter



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The Minnesota Vikings were poised to take a lead Thursday night on the Philadelphia Eagles with just under a minute to play in the first half, but Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson lost control of the ball as he reached for the pylon. The fumble went out of bounds in the end zone resulting in a touchback, and the Eagles turned the turnover into a 61-yard field goal and a 13-7 halftime lead. Here’s what you need to know:

The Athletic’s instant analysis:

Eagles getting it done on the ground

The Eagles cashed that late-second quarter takeaway for a 61-yard Elliott field goal to lead 13-7 at halftime. It’ll be interesting to see what adjustments the Eagles make at halftime. Can they get their passing game back on track, or will they continue to take advantage of Brian Florres’ blitz-happy defensive front and rack up rushing yards? — Jones

Turnovers hurting Minnesota

The Vikings lost three fumbles in the first half against the Eagles, including one Jefferson fumble at the 1-yard-line. Turnovers ruined their chances at winning last Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and again are playing a role. Running back Alexander Mattison fumbled on one run, and punt returner Brandon Powell fumbled in the first quarter. The Vikings did intercept Hurts but they remain -2 in the turnover margin. Last year, 38 times a team lost the turnover margin by three or more, and only one of those times did the team win the football game.

For all of the narrative surrounding Kirk Cousins’s struggles in primetime, he has been money Thursday night. He’s 13-for-17 for 140 yards and a touchdown. Simultaneously, due to a banged-up offensive line, he has not had much time to throw. Overall, he has distributed the ball the way the Vikings are going to need him to in the second have to have a chance. — Lewis

Required reading

(Photo: Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images)





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