The Minnesota Vikings hit the road with their eyes set on a win against the New York Jets. The Kirk Cousins era has been up and down in Minnesota, with some good wins, bad losses, and a tie mixed in there. It’s awfully tough in Week 7 to get a complete grasp on where this team is heading under Cousins, but there haven’t been indications that they have improved. Is a 3-2-1 start really what Vikings’ fans want to see from their expensive quarterback? In any event, it’s early and anything could happen at this point.
Perhaps the lowest point of the Vikings’ season was a 27-6 loss to the Buffalo Bills at home. The Vikings were massive favorites in that one at 16.5. That’s the largest spread of the year, with the underdog covering by a large margin. This was the same weekend that Everson Griffen went off the deep end at a hotel. Griffen has been away from the team as he hopes to address mental health issues.
This will be the fifth-straight game that Griffen will miss. He’s an important cog on a defense that is missing him right now. They’ve settled down the last couple of weeks, though, scoring wins against the Eagles, 23-21, and Cardinals, 27-17. The Cards have looked awful this season, so I don’t know if we can call it a good win at home. Going on the road and defeating the Eagles is pretty impressive, though they are having a hangover after their Super Bowl win last season.
The Jets on the other hand are feeling comfortable about their rookie signal-caller, Sam Darnold. Darnold has shown flashes of his potential and the franchise quarterback that he could develop into. They are coming off two wins in a row as well, a 34-16 win over the Broncos and 42-34 over the Colts.
The most impressive was his 3 touchdowns against a solid Broncos’ defense. Isaiah Crowell went wild for 219 yards on the ground as well. The Jets showed they can get into shootouts and win, too. The Jets put up 42 points last week to add to a total of 76 points scored the previous two weeks. We’ll see if they can keep it up for three weeks in a row. Head below for our free Vikings vs. Jets pick.
Minnesota Vikings vs. N.Y. Jets NFL Week 7 Betting Odds:
Vikings -3.5 (-110)
vs. Jets +3.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Sportsbetting.ag
Vikings vs. Jets Pick:
The verdict is still out on Darnold, but it’s looking like thus far that the Jets made the right choice drafting him. Baker Mayfield might be the media darling, though in the long run Darnold is likely going to be the better quarterback. Darnold has thrown 9 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, which doesn’t look like anything special, but he continues to get better.
He’s passed for 6 touchdowns and 2 interceptions with 645 yards the last three weeks. Darnold completed 80 percent of his passes last week against the Colts. He’s been aided by a strong running game in his rookie campaign. The Jets are averaging 130.3 yards rushing per game for 7th in the NFL.
Conversely, Cousins has struggled to get help from his ground game. It helps none that Dalvin Cook will be out for this matchup. Cousins will also be down a starting left tackle, Riley Reiff. The Vikings’ offensive line has struggled enough, and Reiff out of the equation hurts a little more. The Vikes are averaging only 87.3 yards per game on the ground for 28th in the NFL. Note that Cousins has been hit 41 times for 24th. Likewise, he’s been sacked on 18 occasions for 21st.
The Vikings haven’t looked great on the road in 2018. A tie, a 7-point loss, and 2-point win is what they have to show for it. Along with Reiff and Cook, the Vikings will be without safety Andrew Sendejo on Sunday. The Vikings’ defense has been absolutely nothing special this season. They are surrendering 6 yards per play and quarterbacks have excelled with a 103.1 QB rating against their secondary. It should be enough to allow the Jets to hang around in this game and possibly pull off the upset. Getting a field goal and the hook with the home team looks like the correct decision on Sunday.