Nov 23, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) passes against the Green Bay Packers in the fourth quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. The Green Bay Packers win 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Last Week: 21 Points Allowed, 2 sacks, 1 Turnovers (1 INT); 4 fantasy points
After two games of high-end production, we saw a step back in that department by the defense. There were plenty of factors playing into it beyond just what Minnesota did (namely: injuries, road game), so I wouldn’t worry too much on that.
What I do worry about is who they are matched up with this week, and that would be the case whether they played better or worse against the Vikings. These Patriots are right up there with Green Bay in scoring ability — if not higher — and can attack in at least as many ways as Green Bay does.
The strength of these guys starts at TE, where Rob Gronkowski is an uncoverable monster. They also have good WRs such as Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell who can make plays against single coverage. And their run game…man they have a good group that just got better last week.
Shane Vereen is great as a receiving back to kill coverages underneath, and Legarrette Blount is the recently reacquired power-back. They’ve also got a guy named Cyrus Gray that just ran for 201 yards a couple weeks ago that can’t see the field (though that’s partially his fault for not waking to his alarm). And I didn’t even mention the QB; one Mr. Tom Brady.
Needless to say, they are at least half of the reason a vast majority of fans and analysts expect this to be a shootout. The defense, even if every important player is back from injury, can’t really be expected to stop them; hoping to slow them down is as good as it gets.
Prediction: 34 Points Allowed, 1 sacks, 1 Turnovers (1 INT); 2 fantasy points
Verdict: Bench/Do Not Start