New England Patriots: A Look Ahead To The Minnesota Vikings

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Sep 7, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver

Cordarrelle Patterson

(84) is tackled by St. Louis Rams cornerback

Janoris Jenkins

(21) during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

OK, that first game sucked. Let’s move on. I don’t want to dwell on what was one of the worst halves of football in the Bill Belichick-era. So, onto the Vikings.

Three Things To Know-Offense

1. All about Peterson

You can talk all you want about the emergence of Cordarrelle Patterson (and I will touch on that shortly), but this offense is all about the best running back in the NFL, Adrian Peterson. If he can get it going, then Minnesota’s entire offense opens up, and believe it or not, they can be a scary bunch. The Patriots had a lot of trouble stopping the run last week against Miami, but I am confident Bill Belichick will fix that up for this game. Maybe they will go back to a strict 4-3 defense, or just switch their personnel around a bit. No matter how they do it, the Pats must contain number 28.

2. Explosive Patterson

As I just mentioned, this second year wideout out of Tennessee is one hell of a player. He is not on Peterson’s offensive level, but New England better pay attention to him come Sunday. Patterson gets it done in a variety of ways, as he is explosive in the kicking game, he obviously is great in the passing game, and he can make a few big plays on the ground. In fact, he led the Vikings in rushing last week, amassing 102 yards on three carries in their blowout win over the Rams. I think the Patriots should stick Darrelle Revis on Patterson for the majority of the game, which should erase him from the passing offense. But they have to also be disciplined in special teams, and stay in their rush lanes to keep him from busting a big play in those areas.

3. Solid offensive line

The Patriots’ pass rush didn’t get off to a great start last week, as they only managed to sack Ryan Tanehill once, and their job won’t get any easier this weekend, as the Vikings’ group up front is stacking up to be one of the best in the league. They only allowed one sack against the terrifying Rams front last Sunday, and plowed their way to 185 rushing yards, which was the fifth most in the league. I am not saying they are an impenetrable front, but if the Pats want to get after Matt Cassell, and contain Peterson, they will have to bring their ‘A’ game to Minnesota.