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Minnesota Vikings at New England Patriots: Key information and first quarter discussion

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It’s almost game time, folks!

Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The early games are getting close to being over, which means it’s nearly time for Minnesota Vikings football! The purple have a pretty tough test ahead of them today, as they head into Gillette Stadium to take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in a game that could be a huge boost for this team going into the final stretch of the regular season.

Here is everything you need to know about today’s contest.

Time: Sunday, 2 December, 2018, 3:25 PM Central time

Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

Television coverage: KMSP-9 in the Twin Cities, most FOX affiliates across the nation, DirecTV Ch 716

Radio coverage: Vikings Radio Network, Sirius Channel 134, XM Channel 225 (Patriots feed)

Line: New England -6, over/under 49.5

Prediction: Patriots 27, Vikings 24

Three keys

1) Get the running game going - In the games that the Patriots have lost this season, they’ve gotten ripped pretty good by the opponent’s run game. That, coupled with the absence of Stefon Diggs, means that the Vikings are going to have to try to get things going on the ground. That doesn’t mean simply slamming Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray into the middle of the line over and over. They need to get Cook out on the edge and try to give this offense some balance.

2) Get after Tom Brady - While the Vikings have had success over the past few weeks in getting pressure with just their front four, Brady has been less than stellar against the blitz this year, and the Vikings need to get pressure on him in order to take advantage of that. We know how great Brady is, but he’s finally showing a little bit of weakness this season, and if the Vikings want to get themselves off of the list of teams that Brady is undefeated against, they need to get in his face.

3) Play mistake-free football - Yes, it seems like we say this one every week, but that’s only because it’s that important. Kirk Cousins avoided the huge mistake against Green Bay last Sunday, and the offense was able to move the ball and score points. The Patriots are tough enough at home, and the Vikings don’t need to give them extra chances and short fields.

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As usual, we will have a brand new Open Thread up and running at the start of each quarter, so be sure to move the discussion over there at the appropriate time. Other than that, let’s enjoy the game and see if our favorite team can pull off what would be considered a pretty sizeable upset.

SKOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL VIKINGS!!!!