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New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings: First Quarter Open Thread

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Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK JETS (2-10) WK 14 MINNESOTA VIKINGS (5-7)

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Date: 7 December 2014
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Time: 12:00 PM Central Stadium: TCF Bank Stadium
TV: CBS
DirecTV Ch 708
Radio: Vikings Radio Network
XM Ch 232
Sirius Ch 138
TV Announcers: Spero Dedes
Solomon Wilcots
Know Thy Foe: Gang Green Nation
Weather: 32 degrees, Winds from SW at 15 MPH (Wind Chill 22), 35% chance of precip
Line: Minnesota -6, Over/Under 40 (Thanks to the SB Nation Odds page)
Chris' Prediction: Vikings 27, Jets 17
Final Score:


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-Thou shalt not link illegal feeds of today's game, or I shall kick thy arse to the curb until the game is over. Do not promote then, do not mention them, do not even hint at them. Thou hast been warned.

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Well, it isn't going to be as cold at TCF Bank Stadium today as it was for last weekend's game against Carolina. However, the forecast is calling for precipitation and temperatures right around the freezing mark, which sounds like a recipe for a sloppy mess. That could affect the passing games for both teams and turn this one into a "three yards and a puddle of mud" sort of contest.

What do the Vikings have to do in order to come out on top in this one and move their win total to six?

1) Stiffen up against the run - In the three games since the bye week, the Vikings have allowed their opponents to rush for 471 yards on 96 rushing attempts, an average of nearly five yards per carry. The team's rush defense has dropped to 24th in the NFL in terms of yards allowed. While the Jets have struggled on offense this season, they have managed to perform at a high level when running the football, as they're third in the NFL in rush offense. They're also coming off of a game where they ran for 277 yards on 49 carries against the Miami Dolphins. The combination of the dumpster fire at quarterback and today's weather conditions might mean more of the same from the Jets, which means that the Vikings are going to have to step up to stop Chris Ivory, Chris Johnson and company.

2) Take care of the football - The Vikings, like most teams, are at their best when they don't turn the football over. The team is 5-1 this year in games where they don't have a turnover. . .and 0-6 in games that they do. On paper, the Vikings are a better team than the Jets. . .and, as Vikings fans, we know that this is the sort of game that has historically presented the Vikings with problems. If the Vikings can hold on to the football and perhaps force a couple of turnovers of their own, it would go a long way in their securing their sixth victory of the season.

3) Protect Teddy Bridgewater - You didn't think I forgot about this one, did you? While the passing game might not be prominently featured today, when the Vikings do throw the ball, they're going to have to keep the Jets off of Teddy Bridgewater. The Jets have accumulated 30 sacks this season, tied for 11th in the league. However, their pass defense has been awful, allowing opposing quarterbacks to accumulate a quarterback rating of 106.6, the second-worst in the league. (For reference, Andrew Luck's quarterback rating for this season is 103.0.) If Bridgewater can stay upright, there's going to be room in the secondary for Charles Johnson, Greg Jennings, and Kyle Rudolph to make plays.

This is a game that the Vikings should win, folks. . .but, as I said, that's exactly the sort of game that has given the Vikings problems over the years. Hopefully this team isn't looking past the Jets. . .a team that they've only beaten once in the history of the franchise. . .and can get their second consecutive victory to surpass their win total from last season.

SKOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL VIKINGS!!!!