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Explained: 7 Big Things to Follow in Vikings-Jets
Particularly, Sauce Gardner, Tyler Conklin, and homefield advantage in the postseason are discussed.
Email any feedback — especially constructive criticism — to DustinBakerNFL@gmail.com.
7 Big Storylines for Jets at Vikings — Watch Below
The Vikings defeated the New England Patriots, 33-26, in a playoff-style game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Week 12. Minnesota struggled defensively until the 4th Quarter, played pretty efficiently on offense, and experienced a Kene Nwangwu kick return touchdown.
Wide receiver Justin Jefferson recorded 9 receptions, 139 receiving yards, and 1 touchdown in a game where the young playmaker anchored Minnesota’s offense. Jefferson is now on pace for 1,904 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns.
The Vikings are three-point favorites at home against the New York Jets in Week 13, a team that bashed the Chicago Bears on Sunday, 31-10. New York owns the NFL’s fourth-best defense per DVOA and is still alive and well in the hunt for the AFC East.
The Packers lost again in Week 12, a road failure against the Philadelphia Eagles, while the Detroit Lions fell to the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving. The Packers and Lions playoff hopes are all but vanquished. The Vikings are the No. 2 seed in the NFC behind the Eagles and would host a home playoff game versus the Washington Commanders if the playoffs started today.
Health should improve on Minnesota’s roster as the team has extended rest following the Thanksgiving win over New England. Akayleb Evans, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Ben Ellefson are trending toward a return on Sunday, while Christian Darrsiaw’s status remains in doubt.
A 1-5 or 0-6 record the rest of the way would plop the Vikings in the postseason. Of course, winning the division is preferred, but subpar football, as a worst-case scenario, would net a playoff berth. That’s the perk of a 9-2 start. The Vikings have a 99% probability of reaching the postseason, per FiveThirtyEight.
The Jets haven’t beaten the Vikings since 2010. Oddly, though, the Jets own the all-time advantage with an 8-3 (.727) record over Minnesota.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).