The Minnesota Vikings will travel to the Foxborough, Massachusetts to take on the Patriots. This week 13 matchup will kick off at 4:25 PM. ET.
The Vikings are coming off a huge victory over the Packers on week 12. Minnesota (6-4-1) is currently the fifth seed in the NFC playoffs. The NFC wild card race is heating up and several teams are jockeying for postion. With such a crowded field, it’s imperative that the Vikings continue to win. There’s still and outside chance that Minnesota can the catch the Bears (8-3), but that’s not really within their control. With two games remaining against divisional foes, one of those being a week 17 showdown with Chicago, all Minnesota can do is continue to win and maintain their playoff position.
The Patriots are coming off a solid win over the New York Jets. Granted this is the Jets, and they’re not good. They’re the Jets. Still, the Patriots took care of business. This week will be a much greater challenge for the Patriots on both sides of the ball. New Englands’ defense has struggled to play at a championship level throughout most of the season. Two weeks ago, the Patriots as a team got embarrassed by the Tennesse Titans. That was a wakeup call for the Patriots.
The following week, the Patriots bounced back and found their running game against the Jets. Brady threw for two touchdowns, and Rob Gronkowski scored his first touchdown since the first drive of the season. The Patriots looked better this week but will need to continue to improve if they plan on making a deep playoff run this season. Facing a much better Minnesota Vikings squad that’s fighting for a playoff spot, the Patriots will have a much tougher task this week than last.
After beating Green Bay, Minnesota now has their eyes set on a week 17 matchup with Chicago.
The Viking’s are second in the NFC North behind the Bears. Depending on how the rest of the season plays out for both the Vikings and the Bears, week 17 could decide the division. For that to happen, the Vikings would first need to keep pace with the Bears and hope that Chicago loses a few games along the way. The Vikings, on the other hand, cannot afford to lose.
On the season, the Vikings rank 14th in yards per game and 16th in point per game. While that’s not terrible, it’s certainly disappointing. When the Vikings acquired Kirk Cousins, it was believed that the offense would be even better than it was in 2017. To be fair, Cousins has been everything the Vikings could have asked for. Cousins has thrown 22 touchdowns to 7 interceptions and is completing over 70 percent of his passes.
A bigger issue for the Vikings’ offense is their rushing attack. The Vikings’ rank 30th in rushing yards per game. They’ve managed to score a meager 6 rushing touchdowns on the year. Against a Patriots’ rushing defense that 14th in the NFL, expect the Vikings’ offense to continue to struggle to move the ball on the ground and at times through the air.
Are the Patriots Rounding into form?
New England generally plays better in the second half of the season. The Patriots haven’t looked as strong as they have in years past, though. All that start with Brady. On the season, Brady has struggled with his consistency. Brady is not having his worst season ever, but it’s not his best either. If we’re being fair, it’s somewhere in the middle, but closer to the bottom half. All this could change by the end of the season, though.
The Patriots’’ offense will have their work cut out for them against Minnesota’s defense. The Viking’s defense ranks 3rd in the NFL according to NFL Stats. The Patriots’ passing attack looked better against the Jets, but New York has that effect on teams. The Patriots look like they’re regaining their form now that Edelman, Gronkowski, and Gordon are all on the field together. With a few weeks left in the season, expect Brady’s chemistry and timing with these receivers to continue to improve.
Vikings Vs Patriots Betting Lines
The Patriots are the home team and they are always a tough team to beat at Gillette. Brady and the offense look like they’re getting better and if the Patriots’ rookie running back, Sony Michele, can continue to run the ball with the same effectiveness, New England will be hard to beat. Minnesota will prove a challenging opponent but expect the Patriots’ defense to take away Adam Thielen and force Cousins to check down to his other receivers. Go with the Patriots at home in this one.
Play: Patriots -4 @ BetOnline.ag