Vol.13: The Life & Times Of R. Moss

NFC Game Of The Week

Minnesota Vikings at New England Patriots

Vikings: Sunday night was a huge win for them against the Green Bay Packers and it gave them more of a clear path in the NFC playoff picture and at the moment, the Minnesota Vikings are sitting at the five seed in the NFC. That was an all-around victory for them against Green Bay and they performed well in every phase of the game. They held Aaron Rodgers under 200 yards passing and sacked him four times, kept Adams under 100 yards receiving and offensively, they made sure they got Dalvin Cook involved early on and Kirk Cousins had a big game and coming into this one, the question was could he have a big game under the lights on a primetime stage because after all, this is why the organization paid him all that money, right? He stepped up and got the win in week 12. I like the way this team is built because they can run the ball and they have two solid backs who are more than capable of providing balance offensively, they have an athletic duo of receivers that can take the game over and the defense does so much by mixing it up whether they’re getting pressure with the four on the defensive line or Zimmer is throwing exotic looks with those linebackers dropping back or rushing the passer and the secondary can even come in on a blitz. If everything is going as smoothly as possible, this is a team that can make things really interesting in the playoffs if they make it. Their tough stretch of games continues on Sunday with a road game in Foxborough against the Patriots.

Patriots: They got back in the winning column after their bye week but before that week off, they were absolutely embarrassed at the hands of the Tennessee Titans and they really made Tom look his age because he just looked old and out of sync. Let’s also remember that Gronkowski didn’t play in that game and when he’s not on the field, the Patriots offense just seems to look completely different. Trust me, I understand they were able to win a Super Bowl without him, but his presence on that field speaks volumes because he commands so much attention which opens up lanes for the other receivers because he’s seeing so many double and triple teams. Sunday against the Jets was the healthiest their offense has been in quite some time. Sony Michel was back after dealing with a knee injury, Gronk returned and the offense got back to its potent ways. This was a great team win for them and they looked like the team that was on a roll prior to their losing streak coming to an end and the defense played well. At 8-3, they’re closing in on another winning season, another AFC East division title and they have eight wins through 11 games for the ninth straight season which is absolutely incredible. With the Steelers losing on Sunday, the Patriots have now leaped up into the two seed in the AFC. They’ll look for another win on Sunday against the Vikings on Sunday.

Vikings Player To Watch: Dalvin Cook– He’s the Vikings most important offensive player if you ask me because he can run it and he’s an important factor in the passing game as far as screen passes are concerned. When he gets his looks, he’s a threat to make a big play each time he touches the football.

Patriots Player To Watch: Jason McCourty– This will be the most talented group of receivers the Patriots will face since the Kansas City game in October. Jason will be seeing a lot of Stefon Diggs on Sunday afternoon. This entire Patriots secondary must come ready to play.

Final Analysis: This is a nice interconference battle to begin the final month of the season. This won’t be a cakewalk for the Patriots because this Vikings defense will be prepared to face them. When New England runs the ball, it helps their passing game so making sure they feed Michel the ball early on will allow Brady to use his play-action. For Minnesota, Kirk Cousins just needs to play his game and not worry about trying to match pass for pass with Brady.

Prediction: Patriots 31 Vikings 24