After a 5-0 start, the Vikings have lost six of their last seven games, and the injuries just keep piling up with four games to play in the regular season. Their path to the playoffs is cloudy even if they win out.
Minnesota will be without starting safety Harrison Smith and center Joe Berger on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Even though the Vikings are favored on the road against a lowly Jaguars team – that's won just two games – the path for victory is a bit unorthodox and here's why.
You have to make Bortles throw
It's rare to say you have to make a quarterback throw the ball in today's NFL, but Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles is having a terrible season.
He leads the NFL in interceptions and the poor guy even has more pick-sixes than wins in his three-year career.
Even though Smith is out with an injury, this defense is still a force to be reckoned with and the odds of Bortles making a mistake are very high.
Plus the Vikings defense have been opportunistic all season leading the NFC with 22 takeaways.
Run. The. Ball.
I know you're probably reading and this saying, "What are you talking about? This team has the league's worst rushing attack."
Well you have to run the ball because it's going to be tough to throw against the Jaguars.
Only the Vikings and the defending Super Bowl Champions Broncos have allowed fewer yards per pass than Jacksonville.
Also the the Jaguars rushing defense ranks 24th in the league, surrendering 115 yard per game on the ground.
Bradford has done a phenomenal job of taking care of the football this season, but if you think the Vikings can win by throwing it down field, that's going to be tough against this defense.
Kickoff on Sunday from Jacksonville is at noon.