NFL Week 5 odds, picks: Eagles expose Vikings 'D,' Texans outlast Cowboys, Steelers edge Falcons –

Heading into Week 5 of the 2017 season the Vikings were 2-2, fresh off a loss to the Lions, and Case Keenum, who replaced Sam Bradford after Week 1, was in the very early stages of an improbably successful four-month run. The Eagles were 3-1, their only loss to a high-powered Chiefs team (sounds familiar), and Carson Wentz (six touchdowns and two interceptions to that point) was easing into his NFL MVP campaign.

Through the first month of the 2018 season, these teams barely resemble the NFC Championship Game participants from eight months ago. The Eagles are 2-2 and have struggled to find consistency on offense; the Vikings are 1-2-1 and have the ignominious distinction of not only losing to the Bills, but doing it at home and in a rout, 27-6.

In Philly, there are signs for optimism; Wentz, who tore his ACL last December, finally returned to the lineup in Week 3. Not surprisingly, he’s looked rusty, though less so with each passing start. He currently ranks 23rd in value per play, according to Football Outsiders’ metrics, which isn’t great, but just behind Ben Roethlisberger and just head of Marcus Mariota.

And while Kirk Cousins has been good for the Vikings — he was signed in the offseason to three-year, all-guaranteed $84 million deal and he’s 11th in total value among all passers — the offensive line has not only struggled to protect him, but the running game is even worse shape; 2017 second-round pick Dalvin Cook, who tore his ACL last September, is averaging just 2.7 yards per carry this season.

And then there’s the defense. The second-best unit a year ago behind only the Jaguars, the 2018 version only resembles that group in that they wear similar uniforms. As it stands, the Vikings rank 25th

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