5 things to know about the Vikings and Buccaneers for Week 14

(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Adam Thielen – Minnesota Vikings /

What are some stats to know about the Minnesota Vikings matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 14?

The Minnesota Vikings are a .500 football club (6-6). This is an extremely fair indicator as to how the team has “felt” in 2020. The first six weeks were mired by follies, turnovers, ineptitude, and misfortune. The Vikings had two games that had no silver linings — at Indianapolis and versus Atlanta — while the other contests before the bye offered glimpses of hope. Particularly, the Vikings probably “should have” beat the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans. Quarterback Kirk Cousins orchestrated fourth-quarter, lead-changing touchdowns in those games, but the usually-sturdy defense ruined the fun.

After the team’s bye in Week 7, a different team debuted at Lambeau Field. Dalvin Cook imposed his will on the Packers, and the defense started to rev the engine. Indeed, Minnesota’s schedule lightened up in the second half of the season. In large part because of that, the Vikings have won five out of their last six games. The team went from the No. 2 slot in the 2021 NFL Draft to the seventh-seed in the NFC playoff hunt.

For Week 14, the purple and gold return to a docket of tough competition. The Buccaneers will host the Vikings on Sunday, a Bruce Arians-led team that owns a 7-5 record fresh off a bye week. It will be the Vikings most difficult matchup since Week 8 in Green Bay.

Let’s have a look at a few things to know about this matchup between the Vikings and Buccaneers matchup.