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PHILADELPHIA — For all the times their Thursday night game against the Eagles felt perilously close to spiraling beyond their reach, the Vikings were lining up for an onside kick with 1:10 to go, still holding onto hope of completing a 20-point comeback against the defending NFC champions and stunning a cacophonous crowd of 69,879 at Lincoln Financial Field.

That they were in such desperate straits, once again, was largely their own fault.

They fumbled four times against the Eagles, ceding control of the game to a team that had the NFL's fifth-best rushing attack a year ago, and fell to 0-2 with a 34-28 loss.

"Coming to this place, NFC champions from a year ago in their home opener, and you lose the turnover battle four to one," coach Kevin O'Connell said. "Seven to one in turnovers lost in two games, and we've lost by a combined nine points to two playoff teams from a year ago. Very rarely can you lose the turnover battle four to one and have a chance at an onside kick with a chance to win the game. Clearly, as much as they battled defensively, we just put them on the field way too much. We've got to find a way to right the ship from a ball security standpoint, because that's a losing formula."

The Eagles ran for 259 yards, the most the Vikings had allowed since the Saints gained 264 during Alvin Kamara's six-touchdown game on Christmas Day 2020. They were successful on 33 of their 48 rushing attempts, and held the ball for more than 39 minutes.

D'Andre Swift carried 28 times for 175 yards in the game, including a 43-yard run that set up his 2-yard touchdown and effectively ended the Vikings' chances of a comeback. The Vikings attempted only nine runs for 28 yards, with Kirk Cousins throwing 44 passes. The quarterback completed 31 of them for 364 yards and four touchdowns, but his fumble was part of what's become the Vikings' most concerning subplot through two games.

They are the 18th team to start the season with a turnover margin of minus-6 or worse since the NFL expanded to 32 teams in 2002. Fourteen of those 18 teams started 0-2; just five of the first 17 made the playoffs.

On Sunday against Tampa Bay, the Vikings turned the ball over three times in the first half, including a crushing sequence where Christian Izien ripped a pass away from K.J. Osborn at the goal line for an interception just before halftime.

Their quartet of turnovers in the first 31 minutes of Thursday's game might have been more inexplicable. It certainly was more costly.

Justin Evans' strip of Brandon Powell, following a 19-yard punt return to the Eagles' 35, wiped out the Vikings' first chance to take the lead in the first quarter. The drive ended with Theo Jackson, playing in place of the injured Josh Metellus, dropping out of a blitz look to pick off Jalen Hurts over the middle at the Vikings' 35.

But on the Vikings' next offensive play, Avonte Maddox punched the ball away from Alexander Mattison as he went to the ground, and the Eagles recovered.

After the Vikings took a 7-3 lead on a Cousins-to-T.J. Hockenson score in the second quarter, the Eagles rapped away at the middle of the Vikings' defense on a 16-play touchdown drive, running 13 times against a series of light boxes with one defensive lineman on the field. Hurts' 1-yard score made it 10-7 with 2:46 left in the first half.

"They ran the same play," safety Josh Metellus said. "It was the same run play — gun near — just going straight uphill and not bouncing to the outside. For us, it's just a mentality we've got to have. We've got to find a way to get to our foundations and our roots, and find a way as a defense to stop them."

The Vikings were in place to take the lead just before halftime, forging a drive out of a sometimes-disjointed series where Cousins had to direct receivers to the correct spot on two plays and confusion forced them to use a timeout on one of them.

But for the second straight game, they lost the ball at the goal line in disastrous fashion.

Cousins lofted a pass to the Eagles' sideline for Justin Jefferson, who absorbed a shot from cornerback Mario Goodrich as he leaped for the ball. The receiver corralled it, and stretched for the end zone, but lost the ball on a hit from Terrell Edmonds.

"I'm putting it a lot on myself," Jefferson said. "Fumbling in the end zone like that when we need points and we're driving and having that momentum. I was telling my teammates that's on me and it won't happen again."

After a review, officials ruled Jefferson had fumbled out of the end zone, giving the Eagles the ball on a touchback. The Eagles ran for 37 more yards, setting up a 61-yard Jake Elliott field goal that made it 13-7 at halftime.

"Nobody's more torn up about that one than Justin," O'Connell said. "We try to emphasize only reaching the ball out on fourth down, but he's a competitor. He's playing a heck of a football game and making plays and trying to do whatever he can to win because that's ultimately what he cares about the most. But that was incredibly unfortunate at the time — very similar to last week, late in the first half, a chance to have the lead going into halftime, and before you know it, it got away from us."

The Eagles held the ball for 20:59 in the first half, to 9:01 of possession time for the Vikings. They outgained Minnesota 133-9 on the ground, with 20 successful runs among their 26 attempts.

Four minutes into the third quarter, they'd grown their lead to 20.

On the Vikings' second offensive play, Josh Sweat beat Oli Udoh — playing at left tackle for the injured Christian Darrisaw — around the edge for a strip sack of Cousins, and Fletcher Cox returned the ball to the Vikings' 7. Two plays later, Hurts scored from a yard out.

Then, after a Vikings three-and-out, the Eagles dialed up a deep shot. With Jordan Hicks hitting him as the leading edge of a six-man rush, Hurts uncorked a 63-yard throw for Devonta Smith, who'd beaten Akayleb Evans downfield while safety Harrison Smith defended an underneath zone.

The Vikings answered with a 62-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Jordan Addison, though, and after a pair of Danielle Hunter sacks took the Eagles out of field goal range, Cousins went 5 of 7 for 73 yards on a scoring drive that ended with him hitting a wide-open Osborn for a score that made it 27-21.

But on the ensuing drive, A.J. Brown got free of D.J. Wonnum in pass coverage on a third-and-5, and Hurts hit him for 12 yards. On the next play, Swift burst through a big home between Harrison Phillips and Dean Lowry for the 43-yard gain that set up his decisive score with 4:13 left.