The Patriots match up with one of the toughest teams left on their schedule this weekend when the Minnesota Vikings come to town. Although their record might not reflect it, the Vikings are a talented team that has not played up to their potential this season. Hopefully, that trend will continue and allow the Pats to walk over them this Sunday.
The Vikings defense is a mean unit when they fire on all cylinders. With the way the Pats o-line looked against the Titans, they might have a lot of trouble with guys like Danielle Hunter and Sheldon Richardson.
If they can’t contain the pass rush, Brady will be looking over his shoulder all game, which doesn’t work well for anybody. This can be a big test for Sony Michel as well. Not only do they have two huge plugs in the middle of the line in Joseph and Richardson, but Eric Kendricks is one of the best linebackers in the league, and has the ability to fly sideline to sideline.
Harrison Smith is another player that could give the team fits. He makes tackles all over the field and can cover just about anyone. Someone like Xavier Rhodes might cause some trouble for Gronk, being a physical corner, and one of the best in the league. The receivers and James White will always find a way to get open, so if Brady has time to find his targets, the offense will be fine this weekend. It will also be interesting to see how Rex Burkhead fits back into this offense after making his huge return this week.
This offense is a hard one to stop when they actually have everything clicking. Theilen and Diggs are without question the best wide receiver duo in the league. If one isn’t open, the other one is. And just when you think they’re accounted for, their red zone target in Kyle Rudolph beats you.
This might be a team that the Pats have a hard time matching up within the secondary. The key to this game will be stopping the run and getting to Kirk Cousins. Dalvin Cook is mostly overrated, and the Patriots should be able to stop him and force the Vikings to throw more. If they can get the rush on Cousins then he is prone to making mistakes, and that is going to be the key to winning the game. Trey Flowers has been great all season, but this could be a game that he really makes you notice how dominating he really is.
The Pats only struggle has really been on the road this season, so this will be an important home field advantage game just like Kansas City. 34-24 Pats.
-Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)
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