Minnesota Vikings at New York Jets

Minnesota Vikings
New York Jets
Week 5

The new-look Vikings, which now feature Randy Moss, visit the New Meadowlands. Brett Favre faces his former team after one forgettable season that ended in disaster. But will the Favre-Moss connection jump-start the struggling Vikings (1–2) against the surging Jets (3–1), who have won three in a row and sit atop the AFC East? Wide receiver Santonio Holmes (suspension) and outside inebacker Calvin Pace (foot) return for Rex Ryan’s club. All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis may also be back after straining his hamstring trying to cover Moss in Week 2. Mark Sanchez & Co. have looked scary good in recent weeks after their Week 1 flop. But they’ll be challenged a Vikings defense that ranks fourth in the league. The Vikings, fresh off their bye week, have had two weeks to figure out how to attack the Jets.

Keys for the Jets
• Will LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene be able to ground and pound? The duo combined for 250 yards on 41 carries against the Bills last week. Tomlinson’s resurgence defied logic. The 31-year-old is averaging 6.1 yards per carry after averaging less than 4.0 in each of the previous two seasons.
• Will Mark Sanchez continue to play turnover-free football? He was the poster boy for fumbles and interceptions last season, but the second-year quarterback has yet to turn it over this season. He has eight touchdowns without throwing a pick. Sanchez has leaned on tight end Dustin Keller, but he’s taken shots downfield for Braylon Edwards too. Holmes will give him another weapon.

Keys for the Vikings
• Feed Adrian Peterson. The explosive tailback leads the NFC in rushing (392 yards, 5.6 per) and should be the struggling Favre’s best friend. The Jets’ run defense has somehow thrived despite losing nosetackle Kris Jenkins for the season in Week 1. Peterson anchors the league’s fifth-best rushing attack (143.3 ypg).
• Will Favre get back on track? The veteran gunslinger has two touchdowns and six interceptions, but Moss should provide immediate help. Tight end Visanthe Schiancoe should be able to take advantage of a Jets defense that has had trouble covering tight ends.

Bottom Line
• Moss’ impact will be minimal against a defense that knows how to shut him down. The new-look Vikings, which now feature Randy Moss, visit the New Meadowlands. Brett Favre faces his former team after one forgettable season that ended in disaster. But will the Favre-Moss connection jump-start the struggling Vikings (1–2) against the surging Jets (3–1), who have won three in a row and sit atop the AFC East? Wide receiver Santonio Holmes (suspension) and outside inebacker Calvin Pace (foot) return for Rex Ryan’s club. All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis may also be back after straining his hamstring trying to cover Moss in Week 2. Mark Sanchez & Co. have looked scary good in recent weeks after their Week 1 flop. But they’ll be challenged a Vikings defense that ranks fourth in the league. The Vikings, fresh off their bye week, have had two weeks to figure out how to attack the Jets.

Keys for the Jets
• Will LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene be able to ground and pound? The duo combined for 250 yards on 41 carries against the Bills last week. Tomlinson’s resurgence defied logic. The 31-year-old is averaging 6.1 yards per carry after averaging less than 4.0 in each of the previous two seasons.
• Will Mark Sanchez continue to play turnover-free football? He was the poster boy for fumbles and interceptions last season, but the second-year quarterback has yet to turn it over this season. He has eight touchdowns without throwing a pick. Sanchez has leaned on tight end Dustin Keller, but he’s taken shots downfield for Braylon Edwards too. Holmes will give him another weapon.

Keys for the Vikings
• Feed Adrian Peterson. The explosive tailback leads the NFC in rushing (392 yards, 5.6 per) and should be the struggling Favre’s best friend. The Jets’ run defense has somehow thrived despite losing nosetackle Kris Jenkins for the season in Week 1. Peterson anchors the league’s fifth-best rushing attack (143.3 ypg).
• Will Favre get back on track? The veteran gunslinger has two touchdowns and six interceptions, but Moss should provide immediate help. Tight end Visanthe Schiancoe should be able to take advantage of a Jets defense that has had trouble covering tight ends.

Bottom Line
• Moss’ impact will be minimal against a defense that knows how to shut him down. Jets 20–13.
 

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