Randy Moss returned home to Minnesota in a trade between the New England Patriots and the Minnesota Vikings last week. In this week's marquee matchup, last year's conference championship runner-ups face off on Monday Night Football. Even after acquiring Moss, the Vikings are still underdogs against the Jets on Monday night, but I'm not sure they should be.
Last season, the Vikings were one of the league's best teams. They've struggled this year, mostly due to their lack of a deep threat after losing No. 1 receiver Sidney Rice to injury. Now they have quite possibly the best deep threat in the NFL in WR Randy Moss.
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has had a great start to his 2010 campaign. He's averaging 130.7 yards per game and has rushed for three TD already. That was before the team's Week 4 bye when they still had no downfield threat.
The Jets now have to worry about getting burnt on every play by Moss, which will open up opportunities for Vikings TE Visanthe Shianco over the middle and bigger holes for Peterson to run through.
The Vikings defense has given up only 12.7 points per game, and DE Jared Allen is yet to get it really going. I'm sure this unit is licking their chops at the thought of sacking Jets second-year QB Mark Sanchez. Sanchez is going to have to get the ball out quickly, or he's going to have a long night.
Sanchez has looked good in his last two games, but he has faced two of the league's worst pass rushing teams. The Vikings will be able to stifle the Jets run game and focus their energy on getting to Sanchez.
The Jets getting WR Santonio Holmes back might help in this game if they keep him in the slot, but if he tries to go down field, Sanchez won't have time to get him the ball.
Moss has had a spotty past against the Rex Ryan-era Jets, but this is his second Monday night game in two weeks. In the first, he failed to catch a pass and was only targeted twice. Look for him to get a lot more looks this week.
For those who are worried about chemistry between the two, I wouldn't be too concerned. Favre has been playing QB in the NFL since Moss was in middle school. He came to the Vikings last season having never played with any of his receivers, and that worked out pretty well. Moss plays catch, and he has one of the best partners in the game—again.
Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis is going to play in the matchup, leaving a big matchup in the secondary, but Moss is dead set on getting some respect from the young CB. The Vikings are back, and Monday night is their first chance to show that they are ready for some football.
Vikings 24, Jets 13