Some guy named Randy Moss played for the Patriots for three seasons and caught like 50 TD passes and then got traded a few weeks back to unite with Brett Favre. And he returns on Halloween in Massachussets. Oh, and Favre’s Iron Man streak could be over. Otherwise, just your average out-of-conference football game. The (2-4) Minnesota Vikings travel to Foxborough this Sunday seeking a win against the always strong (5-1) New England Patriots, kickoff slated for 4:15 PM EST.
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As it is with every game involving Brett Favre, most of the storylines for this one focus on ol’ No. 4. After learning earlier this week that he has two fractures in his left ankle, Favre spent most of the week walking around in a protective boot and deflecting questions about his playing status for Sunday. That said, it is expected that Favre will play against New England — regardless of the pain or limited mobility caused by the ankle — and that has to be good news for Vikings WR Randy Moss. No one knows where the Minnesota Vikings would be today had they never sold themselves down the river for Brett Favre last year. Where they would stand if they had not turned the franchise over to an aging egomaniac who got to pick and choose if and when he would even show up for training camp while his teammate were sweating through two-a-days. But the Vikes made their deal with the devil, and now it has cost the team its soul. Brad Childress is ticked at Favre after the Packers game for not following what purportedly was the game plan – turn and hand off to Adrian Peterson, then dink and dunk when it was absolutely necessary to throw the ball. Randy Moss would drag the dafeties down, opening up the middle for Percy Harvin.
The Patriots narrowly walked away from the west coast with a victory as they had to rely on a missed field goal to seal their win. Both sides off the ball did not look overly impressive and there were glaring miscues all over the field last week for this group. 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 whom Tom Brady will be throwing that deep ball to. Speaking of the passing game, keep an eye on the Pats and the guy brought in to replace Moss — Deion Branch. He’s been a key contributor in his first two games with the team, immediately finding old chemistry with QB Tom Brady. Over the last two weeks, Branch has caught 13 passes for 137 yards and a TD and has been instrumental in both Patriot victories.
Vikings vs Patriots Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Minnesota Vikings +6
@ New England Patriots -6
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Vikings vs Patriots Prediction for Week 8:
Spread Prediction (TOP PLAY) – The Patriots record does not fully paint the entire picture of their season to date. New England has not looked good offensively and are very porous on the defensive front. The Patriots are about middle in the league with points given up per game at 22.7 and are allowing a staggering 282 yards through the air. New England is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games at home and are 4-8 ATS when coming off of a win against an AFC West opponent since 2000. I believe the Vikings have the potential to be one of the most potent teams in the league and I see this group as an underachieving bunch. The Vikings will look to give RB Adrian Peterson a heavy dose of the ball and he should be able to pick his spots against a banged up and porous Patriots defense. We will consider taking the points with the road team in this Halloween afternoon ‘treat’ of a game.
Game Total Prediction – With Brett Favre still uncertain for Sundays contest the betting public is still very weary about this line. I believe that no matter if Favre rides the bench or plays with two bad ankles, the smart money is on the UNDER. The Vikings may need to punt more often if Favre can’t play. Backup QB Tarvaris Jackson has yet to fulfill the promise that made him a second-round draft pick in 2006, compiling a 10-9 record and throwing 18 TD passes with 17 interceptions over 19 career starts. New England hasn’t lit up the scoreboard since trading Moss, but has extended its win streak to four and moved into a tie with the Jets for the AFC East lead, beating Baltimore and San Diego by identical 23-20 margins. The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Minnesota’s last 5 games when playing New England. I believe we see a game that is very hard fought, filled with runs and screen plays. I recommend taking a look at the UNDER. Cheers!
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