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Setting The Table For New England

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 27, 2010 – 7:47 am

Time to put the loss to Green Bay in a box and turn the focus to this weekend’s game against the New England Patriots, as the Vikings prepare for their 2nd consecutive road game and their 3rd game away from home in the last 4 weeks. The Vikings last traveled to New England in 2002 and the last time these teams played it was the Patriots who came away with a resounding 31-7 win.

So the Vikings have some demons to exercise as they battled the Patriots on Halloween. They’re off to a disappointing 2-4 start, have an injured starting QB, had a game taken away from them last weekend in Green Bay and face a team that dominated them last time. Sounds like a good time for a win.

It won’t be easy, though, as New England boasts a 5-1 record – tied for the best mark in the NFL – and is also in the midst of a 4-game winning streak. The Patriots have logged consecutive 23-20 wins over the Baltimore Ravens and San Diego Chargers and they’ll be looking for a 5th straight victory before they hit the road for consecutive road games at Cleveland and at Pittsburgh.

The strength of New England’s team is their head coach – Bill Belichick – and QB – Tom Brady. Belichick has won 71% of his games and 3 Super Bowls since signing on as head coach in 2000 and Brady has been the man guiding the offense nearly the whole time. Brady has a career passer rating of 93.5, but this year he’s got that number up to 96.0 thanks to a 66.2% completion rate and a pristine 11-4 TD/INT ratio.

New England’s offense is operating a bit differently than in years past, though, and that’s because of the trade that sent WR Randy Moss to Minnesota just a few weeks ago. The trade leaves Wes Welker as the only WR left from the record-setting 2007 offense, but Welker is certainly nothing to scoff at. He’s coming off seasons in which he’s had 112, 111 and 123 receptions and he’s also coming off an ACL injury from last year. So far this year, Welker has 37 receptions and 3 TDs and he’s the one to keep an eye on out of that WR corps.

Defensively, the Patriots no longer have those familiar names such as Teddy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison or Ty Law. Instead, they have some young up-and-comers such as LB Jerod Mayo, CB Devin McCourty and S Brandon Meriweather. To this point New England has had less than ideal results with these young players. The Patriots are ranked 28th in overall defense and 22nd in scoring defense. But don’t doubt Belichick and his system. This group of players and New England’s scheme has the capability to shut down any offense.

Special teams-wise, the Patriots feature a nice kicker in Stephen Gostkowski, a solid punting game and an outstanding return game that features WR Brandon Tate (31.7-yard kickoff return average with 2 TDs) and WR Julian Edelman (13.2-yard punt return average). In reality, the Vikings special teams versus the Patriots special teams might be the best matchup of the game. I know that’s not a lot of fun for fans to read or watch, but that might be the case.

There are the basics for this week’s matchup with New England. It should be fun to break it down in more detail throughout the week. Be sure to stay tuned here for more updates and analysis. And also stay tuned here to watch Brad Childress and Brett Favre press conferences later in the morning.


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 25 Comments »


25 Responses to “Setting The Table For New England”

  1. By Rick James on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    The key to beating New England is to pressure Tom Brady and tackle well. I believe the Vikes are more than capable of the ladder but we need a pass rush!! Chad Clifton should not shut down Jared Alled! Offense should be able to score on New England this sunday! Lets get it done boys! 3-4 after that rough4 game patch doesnt seem too bad, it gets easier after that. SKOL!!!!

  2. By purplehaze on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    GOOD CALL MR. JAMES, OUR BOYS NEED TO DIG DEEP, STEP IT UP BIG-TIME ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL, PARTICULARLY AT THE LINE, TO HAVE A CHANCE.

    NO MATTER WHO THE QB IS, THEY’RE GOING TO HAVE TO HAVE NEAR FLAWLESS PROTECTION…

  3. By Jared on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    IF Favre sits out Sunday, I think the Vikes need to at least give Joe Webb a shot. Maybe not start him, but try him on a wildcat play or something. Look at his preseason record. He had 100+ passing yards in 2 games and was the leading rusher in both of those games. Have him in shotgun and AP in the backfield and they could look like Auburn out there! Skol Vikes!!!

  4. By Mike B on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    I think that with fractured ankle Farve consecutive starts is done. The key is to keep NE offense off the field and ours on the field. Brady will tear apart our banged up secondary, so more ball control more Adrian Peterson this weekend. TJack will get his throws too, but I think there will be more clock management keeping NE offense off the field. Just my two cents.

  5. By purplehaze on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    RIGHT ON, THIS IS ABOUT AS MUCH OF A MUST-WIN GAME AS IT CAN GET. WE’RE NOT IN DALLAS COWBOY COUNTRY YET, BUT WE’D BE RIGHT THERE WITH THEM IF WE CAN’T GET IT DONE THIS SUNDAY.

  6. By Gary D on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    As a Patriots fan in New Hamphire I and most of Pats nation are looking forward to the Favre-Moss duo. The Moss return will greatly appreciated by the NE fans. I do not see how a Minnesota team in shambles beat the Pats at home. Not knowing who to play as QB and a head coach that speaks before he thinks. Granted a young defensive team that shows improvement every week. Sorry Vikings wait till next year. Maybe. Pats 24 Vikings 14

  7. By purplehaze on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    GOOD POINT, THE RATIO OF RUN VS. PASS IS ALREADY HEAVILY IN FAVOR OF THE RUN SO FAR THIS YEAR. I’D LOOK TO RUN THE WHEELS OFF OF AP THIS WEEK.

  8. By Robins on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    It might be the refs who decide the game again. Who do they like better? It is rediculous! They need to start fining them for being so bad and stop fining the coaches that say what we all say! The officiating was awful! Good luck Vikings! I hope the refs like you!

  9. By purplehaze on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    GARY D THE ONLY WAS I SEE A VIKE WIN IS TO KEEP MR. BRADY OFF THE FIELD BY RUNNING AP & CO. TO THE MAX WITH A WHOLE LOT OF FIRST DOWNS VIA THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS AND EXCELLENT CLOCK MANAGEMENT BY COACH “THROW-YOU-UNDER-THE-BUS” CHILI DOG…

    IF THE OFFENSIVE LINE CAN’T HOLD BACK THE RUSH, WHOEVER IS VIKE-QB IS IN FOR A WILD RIDE

  10. By Tim Bishop on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    I know you are employed by the team but how do you stand having to pretend like they have a chance? New England is going to roll over them. It doesn’t matter if it’s Favre or Jackson- neither of them are elite quarterbacks this year- Jackson never will be. Twenty million dollars down the drain- how does Ziggy stomach that?

  11. By Rick James on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    I am going to agree to an extent. The secondary on NE is inexperienced and Philip Rivers picked them apart. If it wasnt for a few key turnovers by inexperienced Charger wr’s the Chargers win the game. NE’s pass rush is nothing to be scared of. This could be a bit of a shootout if Favre plays. If the Vikes D plays solid, can rush Brady, and tackle Welker on the short routes I see us getting a big much needed win. That said special teams is going to have to win the field position battle and have a good day.

  12. By Loren on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    I think the offense needs to be more aggresive not conservative,where has the run got us this year.Throw it up to Moss.If they intercept in the end zone its as good as a punt.Teams need to fear him.Int”s arent so bad if they dont turn into points.The biggest problem is the game plan.Looked better last week but they seemed to get away from it late..

  13. By Cor-XLVikings ! on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    Brett– DO NOT LET THE PACKERS BE THE TEAM TO KNOCK YOU OUT OF THE STREAK ! THIS WEEK IS THE FIRST WIN FOR A LOT MORE ! GO VIKINGS !!!!

  14. By Loren on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    Moss had 3 1000+ yard seasons with NewEngland.Whats he got with the Vikes so far?Just goes to show they have no clue how to use what they have.Turn Favre and Moss loose.Or wait till we have nothin to lose and Ponder what could have been.Give Harvin more plays out of the backfield.Put Camarillo in the slot.

  15. By Patagonia on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    Nice Blog, keep up the good work
    i will visit this blog more often
    RIGHT ON, THIS IS ABOUT AS MUCH OF A MUST-WIN GAME AS IT CAN GET.
    cheers

  16. By Super Bowl Dreamin on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    Without Brett Favre the Vikes are doomed to lose. He is the only QB who can read a defense and know whats coming. TJ still can’t seem to get that. Webb would run more because of his inexperience. I will take a 42 year old Brett over the really inexperienced young QBs. Next year Brett probably wont be here and we should be thinking now of shopping for a QB. I dont know of any teams that have come back from 1 and 6. Also what was up with the play calling against Packers. Seem we could have done better.

  17. By Justin on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    Is history going to repeat itself? 7 – 31 sounds like it’s going to happen again if the Viking DON’T SHAPE UP!

  18. By Rick James on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    Loren you are on to something. The Vikes paid the prices to get Brett and Randy in here so lets us them the way they should be used! Percy in the backfield was money in the bank sunday night and they ran it what like 2-3 times, c’mon man! And i dont understand what is going on with Camarillo. They traded Bennie Sapp(which we could use) for Camarillo, and he shows glimpses of what he is (security blanket, much like Chester Taylor was last year)and we dont use him hardly ever. The guy has sure hands and can work the underneath. What happened to putting him, Bernard, and Greg Lewis on one side in bunch formation, Percy in the backfield, and Randy on the other side of the field in single coverage or a safety over the top. That formation = yards all day long!!!

  19. By to all bags of rocks on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    The coach said something because he was upset at all the int’s. I am glad he did, now maybe BF will perform like he is suppose to. Now, I called the Browns- Saints upset, and I am calling this one: Vikings win.

  20. By to all bags of rocks on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    It is kinda entertaining tho to read what you fools think is smart. I say you just type whatever comes out, like turettes.

  21. By Pablo on Oct 28, 2010 | Reply

    I’m a 9th grade football player…i’ve been playing for 4 years, the key to winning is not to forget the basics. We have potential and i think we need to use it. get farve to make big plays in the 1st and 2nd quarter, get the momentum going for the Dl, later in the game give jackson the chance to hold the lead, we have Moss and Shaincoe who can make good plays, plus AP. On Defence we need to get pumped, get low and make the tackles. its simple

  22. By rocksalt on Oct 28, 2010 | Reply

    Tom Brady against our D?
    Belichick against Childress?
    Our O line against their ever-changing D lineup?
    The only areas we are better is our Running game, and special teams.

  23. By coach on Oct 30, 2010 | Reply

    Coach should refuse to kick a FG like he did at the start of the Dolphins game, so they lose..or refuse to challenge a TD like he did against the Packers, so they lose, or get off to a slow start game calling against the Jets and Saints so the team is 2-4 and not 6-0.

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