New England Patriots vs. Minnesota Vikings: Five Players To Watch

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Sep 7, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback

Ryan Tannehill

(17) is sacked by New England Patriots outside linebacker

Jerod Mayo

(51) during the second half at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins won 33-20. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

2. Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo

After getting ripped apart by the Dolphins last week, look for Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, and the rest of the Patriots run defense to bounce back against Adrian Peterson and company. Wilfork and Mayo both struggled mightily against Miami, missing critical tackles all game long, and being prideful veterans, I doubt that will happen two weeks in a row.

I realize stopping Peterson and even wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson in the running game is no easy task, but New England has the talent, and now they have the motivation. Getting gashed by their division rival is embarrassing, and I have a feeling this group is going to come out with a fire we haven’t seen in quite some time. Not only to atone for last week’s mess, but to find a way to win this football game.

If the Pats allow Peterson and the Vikings’ running attack to get going, this is going to be a tough game. I love me some Matt Cassel, but if he has no running game, there is no way he can win this game alone, especially against this new and improved Patriots secondary.