Jets / Vikings Preview – Sauce v Jeff

Jets / Vikings Preview – Sauce v Jeff

by Thomas Quaynor, NFL analyst for

 The New York Jets (7-4) face the Minnesota Vikings (9-2) Sunday afternoon at 1PM in Minneapolis. The Vikings are 3-point favorites in this one, the total is 44.5. Both teams are coming off wins, the Jets beat the Chicago Bears, 31-10, at home, while the Vikings outlasted the visiting New England Patriots, 33-26, on Thanksgiving.

Why The Jets

 The surprising Jets are just one game out of first place in the AFC East behind the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills who are both 8-3. The Vikings have run away and hid from their NFC North opponents as they hold a 5-game lead, Detroit, Green Bay and Chicago are all under .500. An interesting and maybe odd stat about these teams is that the Jets actually have a higher plus-minus points differential (+34 to +5) than the Vikings despite having two fewer wins. This matchup could provide us with two of the best at their positions going head-to-head as Vikings superstar wideout Justin Jefferson matches up with Jets rookie phenom Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner

 New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh made the move to bench starting quarterback Zach Wilson, the #2 overall pick in the 2021 draft, after a putrid performance at New England in Week 11. Mike White started against the Chicago Bears last week and played very well finishing 22-28 for 315 Yards, 3 touchdowns/0 interceptions.

The Jets also got a great performance from undrafted rookie running back Zonovan Knight, who filled in for starter Michael Carter after an injured ankle forced him out of the game in the first half of the Bears game. Knight rushed for 69 yards on 14 carries, he also had 3 catches for 34 yards, he is the Jets third string running back. Knight could end up being, yet another shrewd personnel decision made by Jets management in recent years.

Zach Wilson appears to be one of the few misses at the moment. The Jets defense is one of the best in the NFL led by Linebacker C.J. Moseley, Defensive Tackle Quinnen Williams and rookie Cornerback Sauce Gardner, who immediately established himself as an elite shutdown corner right out of the gate.

Why The Vikes

 At 9-2, the Minnesota Vikings are tied for the second-best record in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs. The biggest difference between this season and the last couple of seasons for the Vikings is, the ability to win close games, 8 of the 9 Viking wins have been by 8 points or less.

Also, the dreaded ‘Kirk Cousins 1 PM/Prime Time Curse’ may have been lifted last week on Thanksgiving. This is where K. Cousins only plays well when the game starts at 1PM eastern!!  The Vikings elite offense is headlined by Justin Jefferson, who is having one of the best seasons for a wide receiver in NFL history with 81 catches for 1,232 yards through 11 games. Running back Dalvin Cook,  wide receiver Adam Thielen and tight end TJ Hockenson are also explosive components to the offense.  Veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson has experienced somewhat of a resurgence this season with the Vikings after years of being a shutdown corner on the Arizona Cardinals.

The Jets did seem to get a boost from Mike White replacing Zach Wilson as their starting QB, and it may end up being the right move in the long run, but they beat up on a Justin Fields-less Chicago Bears team last week. Also, Kirk Cousins is playing at 1pm eastern,

 The Pick:

Lay the 3.5….Vikings 31, Jets 23


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