The 9-2 Minnesota Vikings are looking to get back on a winning streak this weekend after beating the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving 10 days ago. In order to do that, they’ll have to get past the 7-4 New York Jets, who are also coming off a Week 12 win against the Chicago Bears. Here are three keys to beating the New York Jets in Week 13.
Put Pressure on Mike White
Mike White put together a surgical performance against the Chicago Bears last week on the way to completing 79% of his passes for 315 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Bears defense allowed him to sit in the pocket and hit short passes all day long.
This style of play has been kryptonite for the Vikings defense all season long as we just saw Mac Jones pass for 382 yards on Thanksgiving. However, Mike White has struggled against teams that have found a way to put pressure on him, including the QB’s four INT performance against the Buffalo Bills last year.
With Dalvin Tomlinson set to return to the Vikings defense this week, they should be able to find a more consistent pass rush this week. If they can do so, perhaps they’ll force the young QB into a few inadvertent throws.
Kirko Must Be on Point
Through the first 12 weeks of the season, the New York Jets defense has intercepted 12 passes. That is good for the fourth-most in the NFL. We’ve seen an increase in interceptions from Kirk Cousins this season, of course, due to the more aggressive throws he’s been making in the Kevin O’Connell offense.
However, we’ve also seen Cousins fit passes into some extremely tight windows over the course of the year. The Vikings will need him to keep the ball out of reach of the Jets defenders this week if they want to win this game.
Get Dalvin Cook Involved
The New York Jets have one of the best run defenses in the entire NFL, allowing just 4.1 yards per carry this year. This ranks seventh in the NFL heading into Sunday. The Vikings aren’t too far behind them, though, allowing 4.3 yards per carry.
In order for the Vikings to come away with a victory, they need to win the battle in the trenches. Even with Christian Darrisaw out for the second week in a row, Minnesota will need to find a way to get Dalvin Cook involved throughout the game. As for stopping the Jets running game, their job will probably be a little easier with Michael Carter listed as doubtful for the game.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.