Minnesota Vikings vs New England Patriots: 3 Keys To Victory


Week 2 of the NFL regular season is upon us.  The Minnesota Vikings completed all three of my ‘Keys to Victory” last week against the St. Louis Rams and won that game in a convincing fashion.

The next opponents for the Minnesota Vikings will be the New England Patriots.  This game will the home opener for the Vikings, even though it will be played at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium.   For the Vikings to walk out winners, there are a couple very important things that must happen.  Here are my 3 keys to victory:

Aug 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Matt Asiata (44) celebrates his touchdown against the Oakland Raiders in the first quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. Vikings win 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Establish a pass rush early and often.  The Miami Dolphins had a lot of success against the Patriots in week 1.  A lot of that had to do with them taking advantage of New England’s offensive line to disrupt and hurry Tom Brady.  In that game, the Dolphins sacked Tom Brady 4 times and added many more hurries and hits.  This Minnesota Vikings team is built to get a pass rush from almost anywhere on the field, and can have a healthy rotation of players to try to get consistent pressure.

  • Get a secure run game.  With superstar running back Adrian Peterson out inactivated this week, the run game will depend on Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon to keep things going.  The Patriots struggled during their week 1 loss to the Dolphins against the run, giving up 193 yards on the ground against them.  However, New England forced two fumbles in that game.  If the Vikings can hold on to the football and keep going with a power running game, they should have a key advantage over the Patriots.
  • Aug 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) against the Oakland Raiders at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Raiders 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

    Play tight on the defensive line of scrimmage.  It’s odd to think that playing close to the line of scrimmage would be a smart thing against a team led by Tom Brady, but that could be instrumental in getting a win.  The Dolphins allowed only 65 yards on the ground from the New England running backs and stopped the screens and short passes to make the Patriots a one-dimensional team.  Minnesota’s secondary flashed some greatness against the Rams, but they’ll have a huge task on their hands if Tom Brady is forced to go vertical.  It will be interesting to see if the Minnesota Vikings defense can be as impressive against the Patriots as they were against the Rams last week.

    If the Minnesota Vikings can accomplish these 3 things, they should get their first home win of the season.  But this is the NFL, and anything can happen on any given Sunday.  Vikings fans know that all too well.