Yesterday I blogged about the five things the Patriots need to do better than they did last week. Today I'm going to quickly blog about the specifics they need to take care of against the Vikings.
Without having Adrian Peterson in the game today what the Patriots need to do is a bit different than what I would've said Friday afternoon. Now while many people think this will make the game favor the Patriots, I don't necessarily agree. Over the years it has appeared to me that when the Patriots suddenly face a different offense than they planned on things don't always work out too well.
Last week Cordarrelle Patterson had a really good game even though he only had 6 offensive touches (3 receptions for 26 yards and 3 rushes for 102 yards) with most of his yards coming from running plays. His biggest play of the day was a 67 yard touchdown run. The Patriots will definitely need to make sure the first person who has the opportunity to make a tackle brings a player down or at least stops them in their tracks until some help can arrive. Unless they're on the sideline and a nice shove is going to get the player out of bounds, the Patriots need to try and wrap guys up so they can't go anywhere as opposed to bouncing off of them and gaining extra yards.
A real key (as usual) will be field position. This is definitely a game where Gostkowski needs to be send the ball through the endzone on the fly. Other than that sacks and turnovers will be key. Assuming Brady does the little things right today, I think the offensive line will do a good job protecting him. Defensively we need to make sure our hits on Cassel are legal.
31 score 13
1 turnovers 3
408 yards 355
3 sacks 1