The biggest question about this matchup isn’t about who is going to win the game, but whether or not Brett Favre is going to start for his 292nd straight game. With 2 fractures in his left ankle, the biggest topic in the NFL all week has been whether or not Favre will be able to go. Based on what head coach Brad Childress has said is that he is leaning towards starting backup QB Tavarus Jackson. I personally think the Vikings will have a better chance this week if they do go with Jackson.
Aside from that, The Patriots are going to have to play much better than they did last week if they want to beat this Vikings squad. That being said, regardless of who starts at QB for the Vikings, The Patriots will need to blitz early and often to force the QB to make bad decisions. They don’t want either Tavarus or Brett to find that rhythm. If the defense can get to them early, that will hopefully help. Also this week, the Patriots defense faces one of the toughest RBs in football being Adrian Peterson. Even though the Pats defense has been good against the run lately, Peterson sets the tone for how well the defense will do against him; not the other way around. The Patriots will also have to figure out how to defend one of their own being Randy Moss. If Tavarus starts, look for the Vikings to go deep very often. Jackson has a cannon and can sling the ball with ease.
As for the Patriots offense, things need to get better everywhere. Tom Brady looked awful against the Chargers and so did Benjarvus Green-Ellis. It’s a real big question as to how the Patriots got any points on the board last week. The running game will suffer this week against a very tough run defense and Benjarvus will probably be held to under 30 yards for the 3rd consecutive week. Tom Brady is going to have to beat this team through the air and where the Vikings are most vulnerable is the deep ball. Unfortunately without Randy Moss, were still not really sure who Tom Brady will be throwing that deep ball to.
The Patriots looked pretty sluggish last week and magically escaped with a win. I don’t see that being the case this week. I think the Vikings will come away victorious regardless of who starts at QB. I see the final being Vikings 24 Patriots 17.
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Written by David Reid