NFL Week eight recap: the Vikings are a genuine Super Bowl contender

Defence wins Championships everybody. Don't you know?


We’re halfway through the NFL season. By now, your team is probably tailed off and looking forward to the off-season for picking up reinforcements. That’s just the nature of this game. While your head coach clearly knows nothing, here’s three things that everyone knows.

Minnesota Magic:

The Vikings might not be the best-supported team in football. They may have lost their star running back. They’ve also got a bang average quarterback. Yet, they’ll win the NFC North and are a genuine Super Bowl contender.

Their offensive stats are bang average – but bang average in every phase of play. They’re fourteenth in points scored; thirteenth in total yards; averaging 238 yards a game through the air puts them fourteenth in those stakes, while they’re twelfth in rushing yards (120 per game).

Where this team shines, is on the opposite side of the ball. Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen coming rushing the passer are frightening. The speed of Hendricks and Barr mean they can cover linebackers and the Rhodes/Waynes tandem at corner are among the league’s best.

They’re top four in the NFL in terms of points conceded, yards per game given up and rush yards per game against. Say it with me – defence wins Championships.

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The Jets is Yet to Come:

J-E-T-S – Jets, Jets, Jets! We didn’t expect to hear that ‘round East Rutherford much this year. And while their five-point loss to Atlanta doesn’t put a W on the record, they’re showing enough to embarrass those who backed them to finish 0-16.

Coming out of LSU, scouts spoke about selecting Jamal Adams as more than taking just a player – that you were adopting a culture. When you consider that New York simply couldn’t run the ball, the game was out of their hands from the off. But the resilience of their D-line and the marshalling by Adams on the back end has shown that this defence, over time, could be a top five unit.

Josh McCown was asked to just not make mistakes. This is commonplace. When the Jets inevitably take a quarterback in next year’s loaded draft class, they could be transformed into a very tidy roster.

New England, Same Sh*t:

You know this story. Or at least, the narrative. This New England squad looks average enough when you glance at their depth chart. They struggle on the back end and there’s no obvious pass rush – especially now that Dont’a Hightower is out for the year. Yet, somehow, they’re winning.

The Patriots are 6-2 and this is, once again, down to schematics and the fact nobody can outmanoeuvre Bill and co. They managed to dilute the league’s best edge tandem in Bosa/Ingram and outstayed Rivers’ high-power offence. They won this game. They only scored 21 points.

Sometimes you feel like, if they had to find a way to win without scoring a touchdown, they’d manage it. This is a dynasty – and given Brady’s current form, he’ll play until he’s sixty. Get used to it, folks.

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