The Vikings’ are coming off an eye-opening loss and will have a lot of adjustments to make. Kirk Cousins was sacked seven times against the Cowboys. The Patriots beat the Jets without scoring an offensive touchdown. Mac Jones was sacked six times last week and was under pressure all game long. The story of this game comes down the offensive lines.
If you haven’t already checked it out, we have Rostership Data for FREE, which can be found in the link below!
Vegas Line: Vikings -3
Over Under: 42.5
Patriots: OUT: OT Isaiah Wynn QUESTIONABLE: C David Andrews, OT Yodny Cajustem DB Marcus Jones, WR DeVante Parker.
Vikings: OUT: CB Andrew Booth, OT Christian Darrisaw, CB Akayleb Evans QUESTIONABLE: DL Dalvin Tomilson.
Data to Know Provided by TruMedia
Patriots Offense vs. Vikings Defense
- Jones averages 7.1 yards per attempt, 7.7 air yards per attempt and a 2.1% pass touchdown rate.
- Jones has been sacked on 9.1% of dropbacks.
- Minnesota gives up 8.1 yards per attempt, 7.8 air yards per attempt and a 3.9% pass touchdown rate.
- The Vikings get a sack on 6.4% of dropbacks and blitz at one of the lowest rates in the league.
- More than 85% of plays are zone coverage for this Vikings defense.
- Jones, against zone coverage, averages 6.4 yards per attempt, 6.4 air yards per attempt and has yet to throw a touchdown against it.
- Jones has also been sacked on 10.4% of his dropbacks against zone coverage.
- The top two targets against zone coverage are Rhamondre Stevenson and Jakobi Meyers.
- Stevenson has a 20.9% target share, and Meyers has a 17.7% target share.
- Tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith have the same number of targets against zone coverage, but Henry has run more routes.
- Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, DeVante Parker and Tyquan Thornton are the other wide receivers to see routes.
- Against zone coverage, Parker and Agholor are much more effective than Bourne and Thornton.
- Meyers is the only wide receiver with more than a 10% target share against zone coverage.
- The Vikings gave up more than 100 yards receiving to Tony Pollard last weekend, and Stevenson is the main receiving back.
- Minnesota has been one of the worst teams in the NFL at defending out-wide receivers. Agholor is the primary out-wide receiver.
- The Vikings have had one of the best run defenses in the NFL and haven’t allowed an RB to eclipse 90 yards rushing.
- Damien Harris has yet to play over 50% of the snaps this season, and Stevenson has been the better running back.
Vikings Offense vs. Patriots Defense
- Cousins averages 6.5 yards per attempt, 6.9 air yards per attempt and a 3.7% pass touchdown rate.
- Cousins gets sacked on 6.6% of his dropbacks, and if Darrisaw is out, that number will increase.
- The Patriots give up 6.6 yards per attempt, 9.1 air yards per attempt and a 3.7% pass touchdown rate.
- These numbers are inflated because of their schedule, and this is the best passing attack they have faced since Week 3.
- The Patriots play man coverage at one of the highest rates in the NFL and have not blitzed much since early in the season.
- Against man coverage, Cousins averages 6.4 yards per attempt, 9.0 air yards per attempt and a 5.9% pass touchdown rate.
- Cousins has played the Patriots twice and hasn’t scored more than 10 points or thrown for more than 220 yards. He lost by multiple touchdowns in both games and attempted more than 40 passes.
- Against man coverage, Justin Jefferson is the only wide receiver that has been productive.
- Adam Thielen averages under a yard per route run against man coverage.
- T.J. Hockenson has had nine or more targets in each game since coming to the Vikings.
- KJ Osborn is the other option in the receiving game, and he has been more effective against man coverage than Thielen.
- The Patriots are elite against each positional alignment, but teams have attempted to attack the slot against them the most.
- All four of these players will find snaps in the slot.
- Dalvin Cook averages 5.1 yards per carry this season, and it’s been primarily on the big runs.
- The Patriots give up less than four yards per carry on the season.
- Packers RBs Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon were the only running backs to run for over 70 yards against the Patriots.
This game will be won by the offensive lines, and the news on Christian Darrisaw is the most important one on the slate. Without Darrisaw, the Vikings will be a bottom-tier offensive line, and the Patriots will get after Cousins. The Patriots’ primary focus will be Jefferson, who has been slowed down in a few games this season.
The problem is the Patriots play a ton of man coverage, and they don’t have a corner that can man up on Jefferson. The Patriots haven’t played many teams with the talent of the Vikings, so don’t be afraid of their season-long numbers. It would not surprise me to see Stevenson lead the Patriots in receiving yards, with Meyers and Henry being next. This one shouldn’t have a lot of scoring, so I am only looking at flex players for the top plays.
- WR Justin Jefferson
- RB Dalvin Cook
- RB Rhamondre Stevenson
- WR Jakobi Meyers
- TE T.J. Hockenson
- TE Hunter Henry
- QB Kirk Cousins
- QB Mac Jones
- RB Damien Harris
- WR DeVante Parker
- DST Vikings
- DST Patriots
- K Nick Folk
- K Greg Joseph
- WR Nelson Agholor
- TE Jonnu Smith
- TE Hunter Henry
WATCH MORE: Patriots’ Defense Is a Challenge