Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings followers. Obligatory Credit score: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports activities.
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You would possibly’ve tricked your self that big-game hangovers had been a factor of the previous for the Minnesota Vikings. You — and everybody else — had been fallacious.
The Vikings had been comprehensively embarrassed in Week 11 by the Dallas Cowboys, 40-3, a franchise that’s received 4 straight occasions at U.S. Financial institution Stadium. Nothing good got here from the sport for the Vikings, who had been using an unexpected seven-game win streak.
Subsequent up? Invoice Belichick. No large deal.
The “now what” for Minnesota after the Dallas debacle has 4 subsequent chapters. Select your individual journey.
A Beatdown of the Patriots
The Vikings stroll the stroll and channel the power from Kevin O’Connell when he mentioned after the sport that the excellent news is that they don’t have to attend for vengeance. Usually, an NFL crew has to attend round for seven days, stew on the loss, plot vengeance, and then go do the factor.
For higher or worse, Minnesota can jettison the bitter style in 4 days, not seven. The Vikings even have motivation to keep away from back-to-back mind-numbing losses on nationwide tv.
O’Connell and Co. have crushed only one crew handily in 2022, the Inexperienced Bay Packers, by 17 factors — over two months in the past. Maybe they’re ready for the following convincing win one week after being completely humbled by Dallas.
Crushing the Patriots — and even beating them by multiple rating — would rescue Vikings followers’ hopes, reaffirming that the crew is the true deal. As a result of proper now, that outlook feels flimsy. That’s what occurs after 37-point residence defeats.
Patriots Beat Down the Vikings
This may remind people of the 2016 Vikings — a crew that was seemingly anxious to be uncovered as frauds.
As a result of Minnesota hasn’t scored a win by greater than eight factors since Week 1, some are satisfied the crew is fraudulent. Even beating the Payments in Buffalo wasn’t sufficient proof to masks the eerie 2016 vibes, in accordance with that naysaying faction.
Properly, a loss to New England by 10+ factors would actually bang the drum on “paper champions” by way of the 8-1 begin.
Vikings in a Squeaker
The Vikings get again to fundamentals and beat a crew by 1 to eight factors — could be the concept right here.
Let’s face it. That is the most certainly consequence. Minnesota is an early three-point favourite to outduel New England. If the Vikings win, they’re most likely not going to blow out the mad scientist, Invoice Belichick.
Followers would welcome this consequence as a result of “a win is a win,” a mantra relied on closely by the 2022 Vikings. That — and the Vikings haven’t defeated the Patriots in 22 years.
Patriots Win a Shut One
This wouldn’t be Armageddon. The Patriots protection is marvelous. In truth, it ranks No. 1 within the NFL per EPA/Play.
That’s proper. The Patriots protection is healthier than the Cowboys. And if the Vikings can’t deal with Dallas’ protection — spoiler: they might not — who’s to say New England received’t additionally defeat Minnesota?
For a crew that should get proper on offense, particularly defending the quarterback, Belichick’s Patriots stands out as the worst possible prescription.
This one (the Patriots profitable an in depth sport) would sting as a result of it might illuminate two consecutive residence losses. Tremendous Bowl-bound soccer groups hardly ever drop back-to-backers at residence.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the College of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his day by day YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs each Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates again to 1996. Listed responsible pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doorways (the band).