5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. New England Patriots – Week 12

(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) Za'Darius Smith
(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) Za'Darius Smith /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson /

Jefferson will be held under 100 yards

The pressure the Patriots should be able to generate on Kirk Cousins spells big issues for the passing game. While Cousins didn’t have much of a chance behind his offensive line, he didn’t do himself any favors, completing 4-of-11 passes for 40 yards and a 47.5 passer rating.

It’s fair to remember that no quarterback is likely to succeed with Parsons standing in the backfield on virtually every snap, but it’s also concerning, considering that Bill Belichick loves to take away a team’s most dangerous weapon.

When the Vikings last faced Belichick in 2018, the Patriots double-teamed Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen and dared someone else to step up. Laquon Treadwell wasn’t up for the challenge, and the Vikings lost 24-10 in Foxborough.

There’s a good chance we could see a similar tactic on Sunday. Jefferson has been incredible for the Vikings this season, but there aren’t many other pass catchers that have stepped up. Adam Thielen has taken a step back, K.J. Osborn has regressed, and even the addition of T.J. Hockenson – who dropped a touchdown in the early stages against the Cowboys – hasn’t truly opened up the offense.

With pressure imminent, Cousins will have to rely on his other targets, which could mean an uncharacteristic game for Jefferson.