Minnesota Vikings at New York Jets
Monday October 11 2010 8:30 PM EST
Line: New York Jets -4 1/2
The Minnesota Vikings have had two weeks to prepare for this game. They were busy over the break, acquiring super star wide receiver Randy Moss. The Vikings have only won one game this season, but perhaps Moss is exactly what they need. The Jets are 3-1, with their loss being only a one point deficit. This clash is riddled with story lines. It should be exciting.
Keys to the Game:
Darrelle Revis and Randy Moss meet again. Revis does not hide from the way he feels about Moss. He does not respect his ability, he thinks his effort is lacking, and he believes he is superior to him. Revis does not go after his other opponents in the media, but he constantly attacks Moss in public.
Last time they met, Revis left with an injury and Moss left with only 38 yards. One of his two catches was a spectacular one-handed grab in the end zone. This matchup is one to watch, as it might decide the outcome of the game.
Brett Favre has no more excuses now that Moss is on board. Sydney Rice has been out this year and Favre has struggled. Now, Favre has a big, fast, go-to receiver. He is a veteran and a sure target. Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian can become compliments to Moss now. It probably won’t take too long to get into a rhythm with Moss, as he has been on three different teams and is familiar with a number of terminologies.
The Vikings scored in this trade. They want to win now and it has to be exciting for the guys in the locker room. The team knows ownership isn’t afraid to make moves if they benefit the team, which is encouraging. Moss probably won’t have a huge impact this week. Revis is first class and he has owned Moss in the past.
The Jets have been fantastic against the run this year, but have uncharacteristically struggled against the pass. Some of that is because their opponents have thrown to come from behind. Part of it is because Revis Island was AWOL after Revis suffered an injury.
Mark Sanchez gets Santonio Holmes back, not that he really needed him. Mark Sanchez, the ultimate game manager. His teammates believe in him. He doesn’t make bad throws. He throws touchdowns when he needs them the most. His QB rating is through the roof. Mark Sanchez is not letting his play negatively affect his team this year. He has thrown eight touchdowns and no picks. All the Jets need Sanchez to do is remain consistent.
Now, Holmes comes back from his suspension. Sanchez has to be elated. He has made the most of Braylon Edwards and other targets. Now, he gets a Super Bowl MVP back. Holmes is a big time play maker. Expect Holmes to make a statement early.
LaDanian Tomlinson is a top-five back in the league. He might not have top five yardage, but his 6.1 yards a carry bump him into a top five slot in my eyes. The Chargers thought he was expendable, but Tomlinson has proven otherwise. You can see it in every cut he makes. Tomlinson is running angry, with something to prove.
He is dangerous every single time he touched the ball. This is one of the best backs to ever step on the gridiron. The Vikings defense, especially their defensive line, is stout against the run. It will be interesting to see what happens on Monday night.
Shonn Green was supposed to be the new guy in the Jets backfield this year. They picked up veteran Tomlinson as an insurance policy, but he has proven to be the new feature back. He is eager to win a championship and he knows the Chargers are going to be watching the game. The Vikings need to be alert. L.T. is coming, and he is hungry.
Adrian Peterson can’t do everything.
On most teams in the NFL, when you have an elite receiver, like Moss, the defense double teams them and uses packages with an extra corner to slow down the passing threat. What makes the Jets so effective is that they have Revis, who can completely shut down any wide receiver by himself.
On the other side, Antonio Cromartie is a number one corner on twenty teams in the NFL. This gives the Jets the ability to leave eight in the box, to slow down the run, and stay effective against the pass. Adrian Peterson is going to benefit from Moss this season, but he won’t today. He is already having a phenomenal year, but the acquisition of Moss is going to make him lethal.
The Jets are going to attack Brett Favre. Favre is struggling. He is looking old, he’s involved in a scandal, and he is throwing out picks like it’s his job. It’s not uncharacteristic of Favre, but those who were expecting an encore of Favre’s performance were sorely disappointed.
Rex Ryan loves to blitz anyways, but expect him to send pressure from just about everywhere in order to fluster Favre. Even though Favre is experienced and won’t have problems recognizing the blitz, he is also notorious for making awful throws. This comes from trying to do too much. If Favre can manage to make safe throws and not squeeze the ball into tight windows, his team will benefit. That just isn’t his style.
The Jets are a contender this year. They have attracted all of the media attention they could ask for this year and handled all of it in stride. They have competed against the best of the best, so taking on the struggling Vikings at home shouldn’t be too big of a challenge.
The spread seems about right, as games on Monday Night are generally closer. I would go with the Jets, because I see the Vikings offense struggling. If you want a safer bet, take the under.
Free NFL Pick: New York Jets -4 1/2