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New England Patriots Links 10/29/10 - Next Up For Patriots D: Shut Down Randy Moss

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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.

Tedy Bruschi offers two keys for the Patriots to defeat the Vikings Sunday.

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.