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The Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets are set to meet in Week 7 for an interconference matchup with both teams coming off encouraging wins that will set up an intriguing tilt on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.
Cousins leading the charge
The Minnesota Vikings have gotten off to a bit of a bumpy start to the 2018 season that has them in the midst of the NFC North battling for the top spot in the division. However, it appears that the team has finally begun to hit stride over the last couple of weeks earning back-to-back wins with their offense leading the charge. Pro Bowl quarterback Kirk Cousins has been everything that the team has asked for in his first campaign helping take the offense to the next level through the passing game currently ranks third in the league. Cousins has quickly comfortably fit with the offense 1,922 passing yards that is third best in the league while 71.2 percent completion rate and 12 passing touchdowns to three interceptions.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) October 14, 2018
This has seen him throw for more than 3oo yards on three occasions including a pair of 400-yard passing performances. Pro Bowl wide receiver Adam Thielen has continued to produce at an impressive pace as he has now notched a 100-yard receiving performance in each of the first six games played this year making him the first player in the Super Bowl era to accomplish that feat. This has pushed him to notch 58 catches for 712 receiving yards and four touchdowns over that span that has set a franchise record for most receptions over the first six games of a season. He is coming off a strong outing with 11 catches for 123 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals.
The performance in the passing game has helped overshadow the utter lack of consistency in the running game that has been hampered by injuries with second-year running back Dalvin Cook being forced out of the lineup over the last few games due to a hamstring injury. However, backup Latavius Murray has brought some much-needed stability against the Cardinals posting 155 rushing yards on 24 attempts and a touchdown. Minnesota’s potent offense could be in line for another huge outing on the road.
Jets hoping to continue upward trend
Heading into the 2018 season, New York took the full dive approach in rolling with their prized rookie quarterback Sam Darnold leading the charge under center. It has resulted in a campaign full of ups and downs as he works his way through his first year in the league. He has shown moments of struggles as well as promise as he has passed for 1,346 yards on 59.8 percent completion rate with nine touchdown passes to seven interceptions, and an 83.7 passer rating. Darnold has posted four games with fewer than 200 yards passing while surpassing 300 yards just once. He is coming off an encouraging outing where he completed an efficient 24 of 30 passes for 280 yards with two touchdown pass and interception in the 42-34 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) October 14, 2018
Darnold has shown the ability to make the best of what is around him in terms of talent through the first six games played. It has seen him struggle at times, but he has shown much poise in the pocket and a strong arm that has allowed him to make any throw. However, this has often led him into difficult spots of trying to do too much that puts his team in a tough spot. Meanwhile, the Jets don’t have any wide receiver with more than 300 receiving yards and 22 receptions on the season. Their lack of depth at the wide receiver position has put them in a bit of a bind as Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, Quincy Enunwa, and Terrelle Pryor have been hit and miss nearly every week. Kearse is coming off a solid outing with nine catches for 94 receiving yards against Indianapolis.
Terrelle Pryor hauled in five receptions for 57 receiving yards and a touchdown. It has been this inconsistency that has hurt them on the field. Meanwhile, their running game has been stable throughout the year averaging 135.0 yards per game, which is sixth best in the NFL. Their combo of Bilal Powell and Isaiah Crowell has proven to provide reliable production. Crowell is just two games removed from posting 219 rushing yards against the Denver Broncos. If the Jets hope to get past the Vikings, it will require them to get balance across the board while Darnold will need to limit his mistakes against one of the best defenses in the league.
- Jets are 2-5 ATS in its last seven games
- Jets are 2-7 SU in its last nine games
- Vikings are 14-4-1 SU in its last 19 games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Jets may be coming off an encouraging win over the Colts where their offense shined, but it came against a struggling defense. This will an entirely different challenge ahead as the Vikings boast one of the league’s best defenses that could present plenty of problems for Darnold and New York’s offense. This should see Minnesota be able to pull out a comfortable win on the road to keep them trending forward.
Prediction: Minnesota -3
Full-Game Total Pick
The Vikings may possess a potent offense, their defense should be in line to present plenty of issues for the Jets headed by their rookie quarterback. This may see him make a few mistakes that put his team in a tough spot against one of the best units on the other side of the ball that the NFL has to offer. Minnesota will have control of this contest, but not enough to help push both teams beyond the over.