Week 13 vs. Minnesota

RedOctober3829

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I'm excited for this game. Minnesota brings the 6th ranked defense by DVOA into Foxboro to go against the 7th ranked offense. This should be a true test of how good the Patriots can run the ball when fully healthy because Minnesota's rush defense is 4th in the league in rush yards allowed per game. I think they can be thrown on though. Xavier Rhodes injured his hamstring on Sunday night and his status is in doubt while Trae Waynes just isn't that good on the other side. If Rhodes is out, that would figure to have Mackenzie Alexander start in his place. Up front, they are very good with a front four of Hunter-Richardson-Joseph-Griffen figuring to give the OL fits against the pass. Hunter is 2nd in the league in sacks with 11.5. Harrison Smith is one of the best safeties in the league and I wonder if they will use him and Anthony Barr on Gronk. One of the Patriots' deficiencies on offense this year has been 3rd/4th and short conversions and that won't get much better this week. Minnesota has stopped opponents 45% of the time in 3rd/4th and 2 or shorter situations.

Brady is probably going to be under pressure most of the day. Their defense is ranked 2nd in the NFL in passer rating against while blitzing at 68.9 while pressuring the QB 30.4% of the time(7th highest percentage in NFL). The Patriots should also pass more on 1st down against this defense as the Vikings are allowing less than 4 yards per carry on 1st down which is top 10 in the league.

Offensively for the Vikings, the tandem of Adam Theilen and Stefon Diggs is going to be very difficult to deal with. I would think Gilmore would get one of them and they will bracket the other when they are in man coverage. Kyle Rudolph and Dalvin Cook are difficult matchups for the Pats D that John DeFillipo will likely see what other teams have done and scheme ways to get them singled up on LBs and safeties. Latavius Murray had some good games in Cook's absence highlighted by a 155 yard effort against Arizona. Kirk Cousins is having a good year and is coming off a great performance against the Packers where he went 28-for-39 for 342 yards and 3 TDs/0 INTs. He's also been very good while blitzed which is what the Patriots have been doing a lot of this year. The Pats' blitz percentage is 8th highest in the league while Cousins' passer rating is 6th best in the league against the blitz at 83.0.

Weather looks iffy but warm. Highs in the 50's but rain is in the forecast.
 

pokey_reese

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After a few quiet weeks, I would be surprised if White doesn't see a lot more of the ball this game, given how much Brady relied on him for quick reads against pressure early in the season.
 

pokey_reese

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Makes the defense's job a hell of a lot easier if Diggs is out, because you can probably put Gilmore on Theilen and provide a little help if need be, since you don't need to bracket Diggs.
 

normstalls

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Makes the defense's job a hell of a lot easier if Diggs is out, because you can probably put Gilmore on Theilen and provide a little help if need be, since you don't need to bracket Diggs.
According to PFT - Diggs says he is playing Sunday.

edit: Also, D Allen back - perfect attendance for practice today for Pats
 

tims4wins

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According to PFT - Diggs says he is playing Sunday.

edit: Also, D Allen back - perfect attendance for practice today for Pats

BUT

While that’s an optimistic view, Diggs hasn’t always been on the money when it comes to medical predictions. He said early this month that he would play in Week Nine against the Lions despite a chest injury, but he wound up on the inactive list on gameday.
- PFT

Also, apparently Zimmer said the Rhodes hamstring injury is "very, very mild". So it is possible both or neither play on Sunday it seems.
 

E5 Yaz

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Super Nomario

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The bigger news there to me is Diggs and Rhodes DNP again. Wednesday DNP doesn't mean a lot for many teams, but Thursday DNP might mean they actually won't play (or will be limited if they do).
 

joe dokes

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Just something funny I noticed on SI.com today. Breer has a story that talks to rival execs about what they see in the Patriots.

On the SI homepage, the hed is:
This Looks Like the Last Stand for the Patriots' Dynasty

On the SI NFL homepage, the hed is:
Is This Season the Last Roundup for the Patriots?

Breer doesn't write the heds, of course, but someone has been trained in SEO concepts to get readers deeper into the story
Without Brady, Patriots are a 500 team. That's some hard hittin' insight.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Instead of fretting about whether this is the Pats' "last stand" (unknowable), have the talking heads noted that a win today would clinch their 18th straight winning season?

8-3
13-3*
14-2**
12-4
12-4**
12-4
12-4
13-3*
14-2
10-6
11-5
16-0*
12-4
10-6
14-2**
14-2**
9-7
11-5**

*won AFC Championship; **won Superbowl

50-somethings on this site were in their 30s the last time the Pats finished a season .500 or below, and 20-somethings were toddlers.

Given the inherent injury risks of football and NFL's aggressive efforts to spread the wealth, I'd nominate the 2001-2018 run for most impressive achievement in the history of US team sports. (Spurs 1997-98 to last year is right up there, too, but that appears to have come to an end this year).
 
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PedroKsBambino

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Don't they have to switch local market over---though I realize some folks are out of market
 

PedroKsBambino

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Wow...ton of pre-snap movement from Pats D there. Like early-years vs Manning level