SCOUTING THE MATCHUPS
When the Patriots run – Edge: Vikings
The Vikings run defense has been mostly regular all year: 18th in yards authorized for every game (121.6) and 14th per enjoy (4.39). The Patriots hurrying assault has been largely normal all season lengthy as properly: 17th in yards acquired for every recreation (117.2) and 26th for every play (4.05). But provided the condition of the Patriots offensive line, which may well be without the need of the two David Andrews (thigh) and Isaiah Wynn (foot), Minnesota will get the edge. Nose tackle Harrison Phillips is challenging inside and can help linebackers Eric Kendricks and Jordan Hicks make plays. The Patriots promising begin to the season on the floor has all but disappeared in modern months. Considering the fact that a breakout vocation functionality towards Detroit, Rhamondre Stevenson has been held in verify. He was confined to 26 yards on 15 carries towards the Jets on Sunday. Damien Harris did offer a elevate with eight carries for 65 yards, which include runs of 30 and 22 yards. But even with those two explosive plays the Patriots managed just 99 yards on 26 carries for a pedestrian 3.8-yard regular. With Andrews and Wynn out of the lineup, the Vikings must be capable to have what has grow to be an regular functioning activity.
When the Patriots move – Edge: Patriots
The Vikings secondary has been awful all time. Minnesota ranks 31st in both passing yards allowed for every recreation (267.3) and per perform (7.59). Corners Patrick Peterson, Andrew Booth and Chandon Sullivan be a part of safeties Harrison Smith and Camryn Bynum but the group has struggled. As significantly as they have struggled, Smith (4) and Peterson (3) have put together for seven picks, so preserving the football will be paramount the moment once again. The a person spot of concern for the Patriots, again supplied the banged-up mother nature of the offensive line, will be pass security. Minnesota has a pair of successful move rushers in Za’Darius Smith (9.5) and Danielle Hunter (six), who have put together for 15.5 of the Vikings 26 sacks. Mac Jones has struggled dealing with tension just lately possessing been sacked 16 instances around his past 3 starts off such as six in just about every of the outings from the Jets. If Jones can get at ease he need to be capable to use Jakobi Meyers and his limited ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith proficiently. Whilst it was not consistent, Jones was able to use the latter two at periods against the Jets. Offered the problems the Vikings had with Dallas’ Tony Pollard as a receiver, glimpse for Stevenson to after again be showcased in the passing sport. This could be a activity that Jones is in a position to clearly show some development soon after many months of struggles.
When the Vikings operate – Edge: Patriots
On paper the Vikings have the items for a dynamic operating sport. Dalvin Cook is just one of the most explosive backs in the league, and he averages 5.1 yards per have for the season and has 799 yards and six touchdowns. But as a group the Vikings have struggled to establish the operate, even with Prepare dinner in the lineup. Minnesota ranks 24th in the league, averaging 103.6 dashing yards per activity. The position enhances to 16th in common for every carry at 4.5, but aside from the large-perform potential of Cook, Minnesota struggles to operate it constantly. Alexander Mattison spells Prepare dinner but has not been as productive, averaging 3.5 yards for every have on 42 attempts. It will not likely be any less difficult without the need of remaining tackle Christian Darrisaw, who was compelled out of the Cowboys loss with a concussion and will not likely enjoy on Thanksgiving. Going in opposition to a all of a sudden stout Patriots front would not be simple, possibly. Just after a pair of shaky outings against Baltimore, Environmentally friendly Bay and Chicago, the Patriots front seven has stiffened noticeably. New England shut down the Jets floor activity and at the moment ranks 13th, permitting 114.5 yards for every sport and 17th in regular yards for every carry (4.47). Presented the current perform of Lawrence Person, Davon Godchaux, Deatrich Clever and linebackers Ja’Whaun Bentley and Jahlani Tavai, the Patriots ought to be equipped to comprise Prepare dinner & Co.
When the Vikings move – Edge: Patriots
At this point the Patriots defense is on a heater, and specified Kirk Cousins’ struggles in large spots hope the strong play to go on. Cousins is the triggerman for a Vikings passing assault that ranks 10th in the league, averaging 234.9 yards for every match. That full gets less extraordinary when analyzing a little bit closer, nevertheless. The Vikings regular just 6.07 yards for every pass try, which ranks 26th in the league. That said, the items for an explosive offense exist if Cousins gets scorching. He’s been instead pedestrian all year, finishing 63.4 % of his passes for 2,461 yards and 14 touchdowns with 8 interceptions. He’s also been sacked 27 moments, including seven in Minnesota’s 40-3 decline to the Cowboys. Cousins has 1 of the game’s best wideouts in Justin Jefferson (72 receptions, 1,093 yards, 4 touchdowns), and Adam Thielen (45-492-2) is a reliable No. 2. But the Vikings have not been equipped to consistently produce offensively, even with the addition of tight conclude T.J. Hockenson. Hockenson previously confronted the Patriots this period as a member of the Lions, but since coming to Minnesota via trade he is been effective. The restricted finish has 21 catches in a few online games in Minnesota and has emerged as Cousins’ stability outlet. The Patriots go protection has been remarkable, rating fourth in the league in both yards allowed per activity (188.3) and per enjoy (5.83). And with Matthew Judon (13 sacks) terrorizing opposing quarterbacks assume that strong participate in to keep on.
Exclusive Teams – Edge: Patriots
Rookie Marcus Jones has flashed explosiveness as a punt returner considering that getting above the job in early October. That flash turned into a blaze with his 84-yard walk-off landing to beat the Jets with the game’s only landing. That lifted the Patriots into a third-position tie with the Jets and supplied a substantial elevate for the workforce heading into Thanksgiving. Nick Folk lastly proved human as he skipped a pair of area ambitions into the wind towards New York, but he stays a big moreover for the Patriots. Minnesota counters with Greg Joseph, who’s linked on 14 of 19 field goals and just 21 of 25 PATs on the year. Michael Palardy changed the having difficulties Jake Bailey and experienced a sturdy activity, averaging 41.1 net yards on his 7 punts. Minnesota’s Ryan Wright is having fun with a strong season with 23 of his 48 punts downed inside of the 20 with no touchbacks. He is averaging a stable 43.3 net yards on the year. Jones gives the Patriots an edge in the return video game towards Minnesota’s Jalen Reagor, who averages just 6.8 yards for every punt return. Kene Nwangwu is much more successful on kickoffs, averaging 23.9 yards with a extensive of 39. Both equally teams have been effective from a coverage standpoint, but Jones give the Patriots the advantage.