Two months removed from his brief stint in the City of Brotherly Love, quarterback Sam Bradford will square off against Carson Wentz, the rookie that made the Philadelphia Eagles comfortably trading him, when the Minnesota Vikings hit the road for Week 7’s Sunday afternoon clash at Lincoln Financial Field.
Before the season began, Bradford was projected to be the Eagles starter while the No. 2 overall pick Wentz would watch from the bench. Instead, Wentz exceeded expectations during training camp, and Philadelphia took back a first and fourth-round draft pick for Bradford after Minnesota lost quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to a season-ending knee injury.
Thus far, both the Vikings and Eagles can call the moves successful.
Bradford is finally healthy and playing well for the Vikings, who are the only undefeated team in the NFL. The 28-year-old and former No. 1 pick has completed 70.4 percent of his passes for 990 yards and six touchdowns with no interceptions and a 109.8 passer rating, the second-best in the NFL.
The 28-year-old’s composure and efficiency in the pocket, even with All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson sidelined with a knee surgery, has helped Minnesota keep hopes of a Super Bowl run alive.
But leading up to the critical NFC matchup, Bradford will be reminded of his so-so one-year run with Philadelphia, which including a 7-7 record as a starter with 19 touchdown passes to 14 interceptions. Philadelphia was supposed to rejuvenate Bradford’s stock after four injury-riddled years with the St. Louis Rams, but he became expendable after the Eagles drafted Wentz.
The rookie quickly became one of the biggest stories in the NFL after leading the Eagles to three straight victories to start the year. Wentz has racked up 1,186 yards and seven touchdowns to one interception for a 99.9 passer rating and Philadelphia owns the league's seventh highest-scoring offense (26.6 points per game).
Wentz’s early success has also been buoyed by the NFL’s eighth-best rushing attack (113.6 yards per game), and a defense that’s greatly overachieved. The Eagles have a stable of running backs in Ryan Mathews, veteran Darren Sproles, and Wendell Smallwood, combining to average 4.1 yards per carry.
The Eagles defense is first against the pass, tied for 10th in sacks, and has allowed the second-fewest third-down conversions in the NFL.
But the unit is coming off a disappointing 27-20 division loss to Washington in Week 6. Philadelphia surrendered 231 rushing yards and 493 total offensive yards to Washington, after previously allowing only 266.8 yards and 12.6 points in their first four games.
Minnesota’s defense has proven far more consistent. The Vikings are first in points and second in yards allowed, while forcing the third-most interceptions and ranking fourth against the run.
Game Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
Betting Odds: Minnesota -3
Over/Under: 40.5 points
Prediction: Philadelphia over Minnesota, 19-17