Mike Reiss offers his 3 keys for Pats vs. Vikes.
1. Passing offense. Look for the Patriots to spread the field to soften up the Vikings’ sturdy front seven. Of course, that means protection on the edges -- with left tackle Matt Light, right tackle Sebastian Vollmer against edge rushers Jared Allen and company -- will be key.
2. Put the ball in Brett Favre's hands. When the Vikings get their running game going with Adrian Peterson, they’re that much tougher. Making Minnesota one-dimensional -- especially considering the Pats will be facing either a hobbled Favre or backup Tarvaris Jackson -- will make life much easier on the New England defense.
3. Tackling. When you face a hard-charging runner like Peterson and an electrifying receiver like Percy Harvin, bringing them down after initial contact becomes all the more important.
two keys for the Patriots to defeat the Vikings Sunday.offers
1. Stop Adrian Peterson. All the talk has been about Randy Moss and preventing him from scoring the deep touchdown, but the real threat is the running game with Peterson. The Patriots have to stop him with seven men in the box. If they have to bring down an eighth man, like safety Brandon Meriweather, that’s one less man that’s going to help with Moss in the deep part of the field and that can be a problem.
2. The Patriots are going to have to be able to throw it all around the yard. The Vikings are still formidable against the run. The last time Tom Brady played against a defense like this, 2006, he threw for 342 yards and 4 touchdowns. That cover 2 concept the Vikings play? Brady will exploit that all day long.
- Erik Scalavino writes Deion Branch and Randy Moss highlight the Patriots' Week 8 matchup with Minnesota.
- Erik Scalavino tells us what happened at Thursday's practice, including Deion Branch tweaking his hamstring and Mike Wright with a knee injury.
- Patriots-Vikings Thursday Injury Report.
Wednesday Conference Calls with the Minnesota media: Wes Welker and Bill Belichick transcripts.
- Patriots Today - Moss vs. McCourty (2.39 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Favre coming to Foxboro. (3.15 min. video)
- Locker Room Uncut - McCourty and Branch. (4.04 min. video)
- Christopher Price talks with Devin McCourty on what it was like getting schooled by Randy Moss during Training Camp.
- Monique Walker notes the Patriots defensive backs hope to use lessons they learned from Moss against him.
- Tom E. Curran reports the Patriots offense is going through a drastic post-Moss transformation right now.
- Tom E. Curran reports the young, inexperienced Patriots defense continues to grow up and has a never-ending will to improve.
- Mike Petraglia notes Deion Branch discovered the young Patriots sure do love to trash talk each other at practice.
- Mike Rodak reports when Deion Branch returned to the locker room he saw different players but the same hunger.
- Mike Reiss notes Deion Branch was limited in practice because of a hamstring injury.
- Gary Marbry presents his stats-filled game-day preview: Vikings vs. Patriots.
- Karen Guregian talks with Randy Moss in Minnesota, who's OK with the world. He didn't want to talk about returning to Foxboro or wanting to beat his former team.
- Mary Paoletti notes it's been impossible for the Patriots players to dodge Moss talk in the locker room this week.
- Karen Guregian reports Brett Favre was optimistic but non-committal about playing Sunday.
- WEEI highlights Adam Schefter's appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show this morning. Schefter questions if Childress has the fortitude to bench Favre.
- Christopher Price recaps Brett Favre's past performances against the Patriots.
- Chris Gasper breaks down his three keys to a Patriots victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
- Tedy Bruschi implores New England fans to show Moss some love.
- Mike Reiss offers the transcript of his weekly online chat.
- Michael Vega Patriots Notebook: Deion Branch wants to retire with the team that drafted him and won't get caught up in the return of Moss hype; Brett Favre did not practice Wed. or Thurs. and Childress won't say if he'll play; Pat Chung was back in practice; Injury update; Sebastian Vollmer says the O-line has to protect Brady better.
- Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Deion Branch wants to retire a Patriot; Pat Chung returns; Vikings WR Percy Harvin will present a huge challenge for the defense; Rob Gronkowski has three TD catches.
Mike Rodak points out that the Patriots are one of only five teams in the NFL not to have a player win the Player of the Week award through week 7 of the season. Pat Chung was robbed.
- Pat Borzi reports Randy Moss has been embraced by the Vikings players who know "he's a monster presence on the field."
- Jim Lazar makes his Week 8 picks. Pats win 28-21.
- Globe Staff Week 8 picks. All four pick Pats over Vikes.
- Kirk Minihane makes his Week 8 picks. Calls it 34-20, Pats.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Patriots should be scared of Randy Moss.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Patriots own big edge even if Favre plays.
- Jarrett Bell (USA Today) In Patriots offense, Danny Woodhead a perfect fit.
- Andy Kent (NFL Fanhouse) Pats' WR Deion Branch bothered by hamstring.
- Bo Mitchell (Fox Sports) A coach's challenge: Childress' crazy week.
- Pat Kirwan (NFL.com) Favre's iron-man streak tops Week 8 storylines to follow.
- Shutdown Corner (Yahoo! Sports) If Brett Favre's streak ends, how much will it mean to you?
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Listen up: AFC East pregame playlist.
- NFL Videos: The "Playbook" crew takes a look at the Patriots' offense. (2.38 min. video)
- Chris Chase (Yahoo! Sports) Brady says teammate looks more like Justin Bieber than he does. Guess who?
- Michael Tunison (SB Nation) Patriots, Steelers among teams in danger of squandering promising starts.
- Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTallk) The FOX pregame show fake laughs as much as you think.
- Peter King (SI) Weekend Pickoff for Week 8. Pats win 27-23. "I say Brett Favre plays, and I say Tom Brady plays better."
- Week 8 NFL tip sheet. Big QB decision for Brad Childress. He picks New England to win. (Nat'l Football Post)
- Jason Feller (NFL.com) Steelers, Vikings among road teams primed for Week 8 wins.
- Jack Bechta (Nat'l Football Post) More NFL players bilked out of millions.
VIEW FROM MINNESOTA
- Jeremy Fowler and Brian Murphy (St. Paul Pioneer Press) Brett Favre loses the walking boot, but Vikings QB still questionable for Sunday.
- Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins (Minneapolis Star Tribune) Childress ponders having Favre sit.
- Jeremy Fowler (St. Paul Pioneer Press) One of the fastest offenses in the NFL will take the field in New England on Sunday.
- AP (St. Paul Pioneer Press) Patriots receiver Deion Branch not out to match Randy Moss.
- Sid Hartman (Minneapolis Star Tribune) Moss: 'It's really another game.'
- Jeremy Fowler (St. Paul Pioneer Press) By the numbers: Vikings' early-game struggles.
- Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins (Minneapolis Star Tribune) Lack of sacks still plague Allen, Vikings.
- Chip Scoggins (Minneapolis Star Tribune) Peterson ready for more work.
- Vikings.com Thursday Vikings quotes - Adrian Peterson and Coordinators.
- Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins (Star Tribune) Berrian struggles with unclear role.