New York Jets Minnesota Vikings
Bruno Rouby, ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

New York Jets guru Boy Green went behind enemy lines with The Viking Age to break down the Jets-Vikings matchup coming up on Sunday.

Paul Esden Jr.

The New York Jets finish off their three-game homestand against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

There are so many juicy storylines in this game and I’d argue that there’s not a game on the schedule that the Jets want to win more than this one.

As everyone knows, veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins chose the Vikings over the Jets in free agency and he used Gang Green’s offer as leverage. Now the Jets defense is hoping they can leverage a few turnovers from the purple people eaters.


To learn more about this team, Boy Green spoke with Adam Patrick of The Viking Age. Here are the 5 burning questions and the podcast we did together via The Jets Zone earlier this week that you can also listen to or simply click here to download the episode right now.

1. The Minnesota Vikings are as talented as they come, but have they lived up to expectations thus far? What has gone right and what has gone wrong so far this season?

Going into the 2018 season, expectations were a little higher than what the Vikings have achieved so far. Still, Minnesota is sitting a game behind first place in the NFC North with a respectable 3-2-1 record.

The Vikings have been able to overcome injuries on the offensive line and at running back with Dalvin Cook. Minnesota’s pass rush has also remained pretty dangerous despite only having defensive end Everson Griffen on the field for just two games this season.

Before it got out of hand, the Vikings made sure to fix their kicking situation as well. After a couple disappointing performances from rookie Daniel Carlson, Minnesota has been able to breathe a little easier with veteran Dan Bailey kicking field goals for them.

2. It seems like the straw that stirs the drink for this Vikings team on offense is Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. How good of a tandem are they and what makes them so special?

Diggs and Thielen are arguably the best receiving duo in the NFL this season. Defenses have to pick their poison with who they decide to stick their best corner on, but even that is no guarantee to slow down this duo from being productive.

Many are aware of the impressive season Thielen is having already. But Diggs is no slouch either. The fourth-year receiver out of Maryland has caught 40 passes this year for 435 yards and three touchdowns so far in 2018.

Each time Diggs or Thielen has a great performance, it seems to drive the other to be even better the next time the two take the field. Their ability to motivate each other has certainly paid off for the Vikings this season.

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3. What kind of defense do the Vikings operate and give us some details on some of the star players and maybe some of the players no one talks about?

Minnesota’s defense essentially begins and ends with their pass rush. If they are able to put pressure on the opposing quarterback (which they normally can), then it allows the rest of the defense to make stops and create turnovers.

Of course, the Vikings also have a plethora of talent on the defensive side of the ball. Even without Everson Griffen for most of the season, Minnesota has been able to rely on the skills of guys like safety Harrison Smith, cornerback Xavier Rhodes, linebacker Anthony Barr, and a defensive line that features Danielle Hunter, Linval Joseph, and Sheldon Richardson (Jets fans may know a thing or two about him).

He doesn’t get a ton of praise, but Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes has developed into an important piece of the team’s defense. He hardly misses a tackle and seems to usually come up with a pass breakup or two during each game.

4. How has Mike Zimmer been as a head coach for the Vikings and can he finally deliver you guys to the promised land?

Zimmer has been with Minnesota since the 2014 season. Since then, he has been able to build one of the NFL’s top defenses and put this franchise on track to get their first ever Super Bowl win.

The Vikings got close last season with Zimmer at the helm. Minnesota’s front office went out this offseason and gave their head coach even more help to get to the big game this year.

It’s been a while since the Vikings were hailed as a Super Bowl contender by many prognosticators heading into this season. But that will likely remain the norm as long as Zimmer is leading the charge.

5. Finally a game prediction. How do you see this one playing out and who comes out on top?

In a matchup between two teams with defensive-minded head coaches, this doesn’t seem like a game that will end up being a shootout. Whoever wins the turnover battle will likely come out of the matchup as the winner also.

The Jets certainly do have a chance to get the victory on Sunday, but Minnesota’s veteran defense should be what leads them to a 23-18 win over New York this week.

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