4 keys to victory for the Minnesota Vikings at Bucs in Week 14

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Tom Brady /

Sunday, Dec 13. 7-5. Buccaneers -7. 6-6. 60. FOX. 48. 12 PM CT

Here are the keys to victory for the Minnesota Vikings vs. the Bucs.

The Minnesota Vikings face another playoff hopeful in Week 14 when they travel to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This could have huge ramifications on whether Mike Zimmer’s men attain an unlikely postseason berth after opening the campaign with a 1-5 record and if they can topple quarterback Tom Brady at Raymond James Stadium, it would be another huge step in the right direction.

According to the oddsmakers, the Minnesota Vikings don’t stand much of a chance. But if there is one thing we’ve learned about this group during the 2020 season, it’s to never write them off.

Their task will not be aided by the absence of Eric Kendricks. The All-Pro linebacker has been ruled out of the contest and his presence was sorely missed at the second level last weekend against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Here are some keys to victory for the Vikings as they go in search of a winning record for the first time this season.

Key to Victory No. 1

Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins /

Protect Kirk Cousins

The Buccaneers have struggled on defense at times during the season. But that should not detract from what an imposing defensive front they possess despite Vita Vea heading to IR earlier in the campaign.

Shaquil Barrett and Ndamukong Suh are both more than capable of wreaking havoc on any given down, completing shifting momentum in the process. So the Vikings need to protect Kirk Cousins efficiently if they want to cause an upset.

That might be easier said than done, particularly on the interior. Minnesota does have two solid bookend tackles in Brian O’Neill and Riley Reiff and they must take on plenty of responsibility to give Cousins enough time to go through his progressions.