Easy, big fella. No reason to get defensive.PatsFanInPeace wrote: ↑Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:11 amJ. Kapp 11 wrote: ↑Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:54 am
You must not get to see the Vikings much in your part of the country (unlike the rest of us, who are forced to watch the Pats virtually every Sunday).
Mike Zimmer is among the best in the NFL at disguising blitzes. His team is experienced in his system and plays it well. At times, you'll see them put 9 men on the line of scrimmage and blitz nobody. Other times, nobody will show blitz, and then the slot corner or Harrison Smith will bust through. Other times, they'll mug the A-Gap, then blitz an outside corner from nowhere. But the truth is that the Vikings blitz very little. Our front four is so good and so deep that we don't have to, especially now that Everson Griffen is back and playing at a high level. Every man across the front can get pressure, which makes it impossible to simply double-team the star. Sheldon Richardson is one of the top pass-rushing tackles not named Aaron Donald, a maniac on stunts and twists. Danielle Hunter can be unstoppable off of either edge. Double him, and Griffen goes off. Brady is going to have to do his usual ... get rid of the ball quickly ... in order to avoid the rush. That helps keep big plays to a minimum.
As for coverage, we play plenty of man, but the truth is we play a lot of combo coverage. We have that flexibility because we rarely have fewer than 7 in coverage. If Xavier Rhodes is out, that hurts us. He would probably shadow Josh Gordon, who has burned the Vikings in the past (although that was under Leslie Frazier's defense, whom just about everybody burned).
Don't let the beginning of this season fool you. Yes, our defense was playing below par for the first month. But they're on a roll now. Held Drew Brees to 120 yards passing, Stafford to 199, Trubisky to 165, and Rodgers to 198. That's in the past four games. Our defense has played like what it was last year, the best in football. It's the offense that has let us down, with costly turnovers in the Saints and Bears game.
I do worry some about Cordarrelle Patterson. Belichick and McDaniels have found innovative ways to use him. He could be an X-factor for you guys. He's the guy on your roster who can take any play to the house. But I guarantee you, Zimmer knows this. He's talked about it all week.
You mention bracketing Diggs and single-covering Thielen. I hope you do that. Thielen will go off. He can't be covered one-on-one. I know Gilmore is good, but you don't know Adam Thielen. Nobody in football is better at the top of his route. He can shake press coverage, he always gets separation, and he catches anything near him. And at a solid 4.4, he's also faster than you think. So please ... single Adam Thielen. Or single Diggs if you want. That's the thing about Diggs and Thielen. No matter which one you double, the other is getting open. It's also why it hurts the Vikings when one of them is out. But when they both play, they produce. Shoot, even when we stunk against the Bears, they had 20 receptions.
The key for us will be to not beat ourselves with turnovers and stupid penalties, like Laquon Treadwell's idiotic unsportsmanlike penalty in a key moment of the Saints game. If we do that, we can beat the Patriots. You have great, great coaching. Your quarterback has seen it all and is still playing at a high level. But your roster talent doesn't come close to ours, and you'll see that Sunday. Plus, we're pretty well-coached, too. I think the line of New England -7 is ridiculous and doesn't give the Vikings enough respect. Perhaps their spotty play has earned that, but the truth is we handed New Orleans their win, and in spite of our offense wetting the bed against the Bears, the defense played plenty well enough to win that game, too.
I look for a close game. As to who wins, I have no idea. It's a crapshoot with this Vikings team, especially on the road. But if the Vikes play turnover-free football, I think we win. Laugh if you want.
I am not laughing. I don't laugh at any team. It's the NFL. It's a good match up. You seem to think the Pats are not about to unleash some hell they've been waiting to unleash for weeks, and haven't been able to.
I know the Vikes D has been a great 3rd down D, but you seem to keep ignoring your wins have come against crappy teams.
And, I absolutely know who Thielen is. I think it's a challenge for Gilmore, but you act like Thielen is Jerry Rice, which is sort of weird.
This is why Gilmore makes 14 million per year, for situations like this, so we'll see. And, this is just a guess by the way.
As for Zimmer, absolutely. BB has great respect and we've seen the Bengals give NE some issues in the past, with a good brand of D, so I expect nothing different. I expect NE to run it a lot and roll up their sleeves for that reason, and once playaction is achieved, it's going to be real tough for your D.
The question is, do they come right out and show a run commitment since it's obvious, or do they open up in a spread, and sort of let the run game commitment creep in a little as the game goes.
It could be a close game, but it also may not be a close game if NE is finally running on all cylinders on offense for the first time all year.
I don't expect us to come into Foxboro and wallop the Patriots. I have no idea what's going to transpire. I'm just saying that it's very unlikely you know as much about my team as I do about yours. That's not because I'm some kind of genius. It's because New England is a national game about 3 out of every 4 weeks, while the Vikings, save for this recent run of prime time, are mostly regional. Every media outlet loves the Patriots. Nobody loves the Vikings. Nobody believes in them except Vikings fans.
Gilmore is an excellent defensive back. But Thielen is no joke, and you -- like virtually every opponent we've faced -- appear to take him more lightly than you should. Your "sorta weird" comment proves it, although you're far from the first to say it, and most others have come away going, "Wow, that guy really IS good." Jerry Rice? No. Among the top 5 receivers in the NFL? Easily. The man has nine 100-yard games. With one more, he'll tie for 2nd most in a season in NFL history. With two more, he'll tie the top spot. If he sees single coverage, he'll have 7-10 catches, minimum, and I don't care who covers him. Nobody in the NFL is better at the top of the route. DBs have no idea what route he's running. When he's covered, he catches it anyway. The only thing he's probably not going to do is burn you over the top. But he gets a LOT of 20-30 yard gains. He also operates a lot out of the slot. Is Gilmore a slot corner? I don't know ... I'm asking. Anyway, enough gushing about my favorite player. Just watch. You'll see. That's all I'm saying. You think it's weird. So does every other opponents' fans. Think what you want. I know what the man does week in and week out.
As for your offense, I find your comment "if NE is finally running on all cylinders on offense for the first time all year" to be very telling. If you haven't hit on all cylinders all year, what on earth could possibly make you believe it'll happen against a top-5 defense like ours, coached by a man who rivals Belichick for his ability to make in-game adjustments? With all due respect, I don't get it. Again, we're good against the run. Not No. 1, but top-6, and improving weekly. We've given up the fewest runs of 15 yards or more in the league. We've got playmakers and talent at every level. Play action? We get a LOT of coverage sacks. There is no one better at coaching defensive back play in the entire NFL than Mike Zimmer. Our guys can cover. Even our backups.
And I'm sorry to say it, but your offense has gotten slow. Gronk has slowed way down (now watch him burn us). Unless Gordon breaks out, you have no deep threat. Cordarrelle Patterson has been effective running the ball for you, but he's never been a route runner and still isn't. Sony Michel is the real deal ... he scares me a bit. But your O-line doesn't. Neither do your other receivers. Brady is the X-factor. He can always beat any team. Josh McDaniels is an excellent play caller and offensive mind. But I seriously doubt you're going to roll over this defense. Nobody has for the past 7 weeks. And your offense is not what it has been in past years. You've admitted that.
You are correct ... we haven't beaten a team with a winning record. That's an embarrassing knock against us, and until we do it, nobody is going to take us seriously. But the truth is, every game we've lost or tied except for the Rams, we beat ourselves (and even in that game, we were driving for the tying TD when Cousins got strip-sacked). That's our problem. We make costly turnovers. We miss field goals. We take stupid penalties. We're our own worst enemy. We're not the team we should be. I fully admit that. We have the talent to be among the truly elite teams in the NFL, probably top-3 roster talent. But for some reason, we're not maximizing it. Until we do something like knock you guys off, we don't belong in any Super Bowl conversation. You guys ... you find ways to win. Have for 18 years. Belichick is an a$$, but he's brilliant. Brady is as good as there's ever been. That's tough to beat. I know that. You guys don't typically beat yourselves. And that may well be the difference.
You guys are favored. You should be (not by 7 IMO, but it is what it is). I respect your team and organization a lot, even though I get tired of enduring the endless coverage of them. All I'm saying is, don't be surprised if we knock you off. That's all. And if we lose ... well, I'm sad to say that won't surprise me, either. Not in the least. We've proven we can play with anybody ... and we've proven we can lose to anybody. Which Vikings team shows up Sunday? Your guess is as good as mine.