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New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings: First Quarter Open Thread

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports


Date: 13 September 2014
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Time: 12:00 PM Central Stadium: TCF Bank Stadium
DirecTV Ch 706
Radio: Vikings Radio Network
XM Ch 85
Sirius Ch 85
TV Announcers: Ian Eagle
Dan Fouts
Know Thy Foe: Pats Pulpit
Weather: 59 degrees, winds from the W at 8 MPH, 0% chance of rain
Line: Patriots -6, Over/Under 48 (Thanks to the SB Nation Odds page)
Chris' Prediction: Patriots 27, Vikings 23
Final Score: Patriots 30, Vikings 7

Here are the ground rules for the Game Threads:

-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.

-Thou shalt keep the GIFs out of the Game Threads. These things tend to bog down enough as it is due to the number of comments. We don't need it to potentially be any worse. If we get a GIF of a big Vikings' play or something, we will drop it in here.

-Thou shalt make an attempt to keep the swearing to a minimum. Understandable that it will slip occasionally, but do try to limit it. If you really feel the need to curse, use the spoiler tags to keep it covered up. We'll get the sentiment.

-Thou shalt not feed the trolls. Rather, thou shall simply point them out, and they shall be banished to the fires of Mordor. Or Wisconsin. Whichever we feel is more harsh at the time.

-Thou shalt not engage in racist, sexist, or other such insulting rhetoric. Somebody disagreeing with you does not make them racist or sexist. It means they disagree with you. Talk it out like adults.

-Thou shalt not bait the fans of other teams into trolling.

-Basically, thou shalt not be a jackwagon in the game thread.

Well, after the past 48 hours or so, it's time to make an effort to at least try to concentrate on the game on the field. So, what can the Vikings do in order to come out with a victory in this one?

1) Try to stay focused - I'm guessing the past 48 hours have been rougher on the other 52 players on the Minnesota Vikings' roster than they've been on any of us. But if they're going to beat a team the caliber of the Patriots, they need to maintain their focus. This is Mike Zimmer's first big test as the team's head coach. . .we'll have to see if he passes.

2) Keep the pressure on Brady - In their game last week, the Patriots allowed the Miami Dolphins to come charging back in the second half because they couldn't keep the Dolphins' pass rush away from Tom Brady. The Vikings got a solid effort from their pass rush in St. Louis without having to bring a lot of extra pressure. If they want a victory in this one, they're going to have to do more against the veteran quarterback to put him off his game.

3) Control the clock - I'm not sure if the Vikings can win a shootout with the Patriots. Their best bet is to do their best to control the clock and keep Brady and company off the field. That's going to mean a heavy dose of Matt Asiata, an increased role for Jerick McKinnon, and a lot of underneath work for guys like Kyle Rudolph and Greg Jennings. Cordarrelle Patterson will get worked into the offense somehow as well. . .should be interesting to see how they go about doing that this week.

I'm pretty sure that I, like many of the rest of you, were a hell of a lot more optimistic about this one 48 hours ago or so than you are right now. This could still, potentially, be a winnable game for the Vikings, but it's going to require one heck of an effort. This is the start of a very tough stretch of the schedule for the Vikings, as we know, and it could go a long way towards setting the tone for the next four games.

Here's hoping that the Vikings can pull out a victory in this one. We'll be here for the entire thing, with kickoff coming in less than an hour.