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Patriots head coach Bill Belichick calls the Vikings an “explosive team in all three phases”

New England’s head coach takes a look at the Vikings in the latest episode of the Belestrator.

New England Patriots v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

The 2018 New England Patriots have experience playing against teams fighting for playoff contention: they already defeated the Houston Texans, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Chicago Bears. Now, they face their next opponent currently in the playoff picture. The Minnesota Vikings are coming to Foxboro fielding an excellent defense and an inconsistent but still dangerous offense.

The latest episode of the Belestrator with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback-turned-commentator Scott Zolak breaks down the team:

Belichick and Zolak start by looking at the defensive side of the ball, and the coach has a simple breakdown. “The front, the linebackers, the secondary... everybody’s good,” Belichick says before getting into more detail. “Their linebackers are very fast. [...] They do an excellent job with their pass rush and the linebackers in both blitzing and covering and make it really hard on defense.”

The duo then goes on to look at the red zone defense. “They don’t give up a lot of big plays and they make it hard to score when you get down here,” Belichick says about arguably the NFL’s best defense inside the 20-yard line before highlighting its edge rushers Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen. “Hunter, very athletic, long [...] Griffen, same thing.”

“Good pass rush, good coverage team, good blitz team, really good at everything,” Belichick concludes before focusing on the Vikings’ third down defense — the best in the league, allowing conversions on only 27.6% of attempts. “They make a lot of good plays on third downs, not just third down stops: sacks, strip sacks, tipping passes for interceptions, you name it.”

Belichick and Zolak then take a look at the offense and explosiveness again stands out. “Just so many explosive players,” New England’s head coach says about the group. He starts by analyzing running back Dalvin Cook, who has been slowed down by injuries this season but appears to be back at full strength. “This guy is a strong runner, he’s got great vision and he’s fast.”

“These guys can score from anywhere, they can eat up a lot of yards in a hurry with multiple players,” Belichick says before also looking at wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. “They are very, very dangerous throwing the ball, running the ball. [...] A very, very explosive team in all three phases of the game.”