The Minnesota Vikings are in Foxborough this weekend for a clash with the ever so dangerous New England Patriots. Like clockwork, the perception of the public is that Tom Brady is done, their dynasty is caput. Unlike most of the public, I tend to look at things objectively, so my opinion of the Pats is different. The last time I checked Bill Belichick is still the head coach of this season. And the last I checked, the Patriots are an 8-3 football team.
There are good teams in the AFC, and it’s not going to be easy for them to reach the Super Bowl, but they are far from dead. They’ve had their moments this season where they look like they’re sleeping. Just watch their games against the Lions and Titans. There wasn’t any energy there for the Pats. However, then you watch some other games and there is evidence of the typical Patriots.
The Patriots are coming off a 27-13 win over the Jets in Week 12. Rob Gronkowski busted out of the shell to finally score a touchdown. It was his first major since Week 1 against the Texans. Gronkowski is on a performance-based contract, so that bonus money is likely gone unless he does something unbelievable in December. The Patriots were smart with that, as they were aware that Gronk has trouble staying on the field and healthy. He’s played the majority of his career injured in some way or another.
The key for the Pats is going to be a healthy Sony Michel. Michel has proven valuable in the backfield when he’s on the field. He galloped for 133 yards last week for the biggest game of his career. His average per carry is at an impressive 4.6 yards. Michel will be suiting up on Sunday to give the Pats a boost on the ground. Gronk is back in the injury report, but all signs point to him going against the Vikings on Sunday. The Vikings had a big win over the Packers, 24-17, on Sunday Night Football. They needed the win to stay two games behind the Bears. Get our free Vikings vs. Patriots pick in NFL Week 13 below.
Minnesota Vikings vs. New England Patriots NFL Week 13 Betting Odds:
vs. Patriots -4.5(-113)
Betting odds provided by Sportsbetting.ag
Vikings vs. Patriots Pick:
It’s December now, so we’ll start to see what the Pats are made of. This is usually the time of the year when they buckle down and started taking things a little more serious. There isn’t time to have hiccups like they had against the Lions and Titans. It’s crazy to think that their three losses this season came against the Lions, Jaguars, and Titans. At the time, the Jags game wasn’t seen as a bad loss.
In fact, more than a few people expected the Pats and Jags to meet again in the postseason. That’s of course not going to be the case. The Texans have basically taken the place of the Jags. Houston just found a defense and have Deshaun Watson on the field this season. Jacksonville has Blake Bortles and a defense that hasn’t been as effective.
All three teams the Patriots have lost to currently have a record below .500. After losing to the Jaguars and Lions, the Patriots won six games in a row before falling to the Titans. They scored an average of 31.25 points per game, while allowing 21.5 points per game. For a team that has lost only one game in eight outings, you’d think they went 3-5 judging by the sky is falling in New England perception.
Their losses this season have been on the road. In Foxborough, the Patriots are 5-0 with an average of 40.8 points scored per game. Conversely, the Vikes have gone 2-2-1 on the road with wins over the Eagles and Jets. The Pats are going to pose a bigger threat than them at home. It may be even more difficult with a banged up Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs.
Both were limited in practice this week and Diggs is questionable to play against the Pats. Cornerback Xavier Rhodes also goes into this one with a questionable tag placed on him. Give me Belichick and Brady at Gillette Stadium under a touchdown over the flaky Kirk Cousins, where they’ve been nearly unbeatable in their careers.