Vikings Could Be a Rude Awakening for Patriots

November 6, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots defensive tackle Davon Godchaux. Mandatory credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports.

The New England Patriots, who have the NFL’s top-ranked defense via EPA/Play, travel to Minneapolis for Thanksgiving with the Minnesota Vikings.

The Patriots took care of business over the New York Jets in Week 11, 10-3, while the Vikings were abused at home by the vengeful Dallas Cowboys. The loss to the Vikings was the first time the franchise had not scored in a game in six years.

Nothing went according to plan for Minnesota, and the Cowboys defense crushed quarterback Kirk Cousins ​​for a career-high 7 sacks. With that in mind, Minnesota hosts New England no Arguably just what the doctor ordered as the Patriots defense and pass rush better More than Dallas.

November 20, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Mandatory credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports.

And while the Patriots’ defense is the best in the world in terms of points expected — and Bill Belichick’s not afraid of anyone — the Vikings offer a change of pace for New England, whose latest opponents and quarterbacks are scratching their heads a bit.

  • Week 11: New York Jets + Zach Wilson
  • Week 10: BYE
  • Week 9: Indianapolis Colts + Sam Ehlinger
  • Week 8: New York Jets + Zach Wilson
  • Week 7: Chicago Bears + Justin Fields
  • Week 6: Cleveland Browns + Jacoby Brissett
  • Week 5: Detroit Lions + Jared Goff
  • Week 4: Green Bay Packers + [meh] Aaron Rogers

Throughout that stretch, New England’s defense has come on strong, turning heads like a true blue vintage Belichickian defense.

So it’s fair to ask — were the Patriots’ NFL-first defense overpowered by a haphazard offense and quarterback?

Maybe.

Of course, many would argue that Kirk Cousins ​​is no better than most of the Patriots. But let’s be honest. While Rodgers isn’t having a bad season, Cousins ​​is noticeably more productive and experienced. all from that list.

October 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) celebrates with Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

Add in Cousins’ weapons — Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, TJ Hockenson — and the arsenal is the best New England has faced in months. To put it bluntly, New England hasn’t played a well-rounded offense since Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens. If you don’t like the Ravens offense, before that it was Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins, as Week 2 was another game against Mitchell Trubisky’s Pittsburgh Steelers.

Can’t be classified as a Vikings offense finely tuned yet — he has his moments — but the range of talent represents more than Belichick has faced since September.

In this meaning, Vikings It poses a real test for the Patriots – “How will the Vikings handle the Patriots’ defense?” New England has carved its top defensive status on the backs of the men named Sam Ehlinger and Zach Wilson.

If the Vikings don’t make an impression reminiscent of the loss in Dallas, the Patriots should be in for a rude awakening.


Dustin Baker He is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday Raun Sawh and Sal seasoning. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Guilty pleasures listed: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos’ and The Doors (band).