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Game Preview: Patriots at Minnesota Vikings

Game Details

  • Match-up: New England Patriots (0-1), Minnesota Vikings (1-0)
  • Location: TCF Stadium, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Date: Sunday, 14 September 2014
  • Time: 12:00pm CDT
  • TV: CBS

The Minnesota Vikings have played the New England Patriots 11 times overall, with New England holding a 7-4 edge.  The Vikings are 2-2 when hosting New England.

Key Match-ups

Tom Brady vs Minnesota’s pass rush.  As we saw in Miami, once a defensive line starts getting to Tom Brady he unravels very quickly, losing poise and confidence.  Pass rush is therefore key to defeating this New England team. If Minnesota can successfully put pressure on Tom Brady with just their defensive line it will make for a favorable outcome for Minnesota. However, if Minnesota brings an extra man on the blitz it has to hit home or Tom Brady will pick the defense apart.

Players to Watch

Everson Griffen and Linval Joseph.  Everson Griffen had 2 sacks last Sunday versus the Ram’s and is going to be up against an over-matched offensive line. If he can get pressure like he was in St. Louis he will have a successful game. Likewise Anthony Barr quietly put in a monster game last week tallying 6 tackles 2 for a loss and 2 quarterback hurries. His presence needs to be felt on Sunday for Minnesota to get Tom Brady off his spot and make him uncomfortable.

Tom Brady.  New England lead by Tom Brady is 15-3 after a loss the week before, a sign that they are good at coming back and being methodical and near perfect in executing their game plan the following week. If Tom Brady is allowed to get comfortable in the pocket and make the reads he wants he will tear the Minnesota defense apart. Minnesota’s defensive back field is still not quiet strong enough to over come a lack of pressure from their Defensive line.

Prediction

As I stated above New England is 15-3 the week after a loss, the only thing the Minnesota Vikings have going for them is its a home game, Minnesota 23 – New England 27