Each week, BringMeTheNews will analyze the Vikings’ upcoming game from both sides, and give you “5 key reasons the Vikings should be worried.” This week the Vikings welcome in the struggling New York Jets.
For 5 key reasons the Vikings will win, click here.
5. Jets ground and pound attack
Numbers five and four go hand-in-hand this week. It is rare when an NFL team runs for 277 yards in a game. It is even more rare when said team runs for 277 yards and loses – yet that is exactly what the Jets managed to accomplish on Monday night.
But that's exactly why the Vikings should take the Jets seriously.
Eight different players carried the ball last week for New York – talk about a running attack that comes at you in all directions. The still-dangerous Chris Johnson led the way with 105 yards on 17 carries.
Only Seattle has run for more yards than the Jets this season, while the Vikings run defense is still one of the unit's weak spots. Minnesota ranks 24th against the run.
4. Key Vikings limited because of injuries
While Barr hasn't practiced yet this week, Floyd has been extremely limited. 1500 ESPN notes that both are nursing knee injuries.
Floyd was able to be a limited participant in practice but things aren't looking as good for Barr. If you're the Vikings, you don't want to have injuries to two of your biggest run stoppers this week.
Whether or not Barr or Floyd can play could be a major factor in determining the winner.
3. Jets defense better than advertised
It hasn't been easy to find a lot of positive stuff out there about the Jets lately. But one bright spot has been Rex Ryan's defense.
The Jets are seventh in the NFL when it comes to yards allowed. New York is 13th against the pass, but is especially tough against the run, where they rank third.
That hasn't allowed them to win many games, but it also hasn't gotten them blown out in many either. The one weakness is that they don't force a lot of turnovers. New York is at the bottom of the league in turnovers. They have forced just eight; no team in the NFL has forced fewer.
2. A test for Teddy
Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is progressing. He's had some ups and downs, but for the most part he seems to be trending upward.
Sunday will be a key moment in his development.
The Jets strong run defense could put more pressure on Bridgewater to make plays. One thing that works in Bridgewater's favor is his ability to avoid making the deadly rookie mistakes, as ESPN writer Ben Goessling notes:
"Bridgewater's ability to take care of the ball and keep himself out of bad plays has shown up in recent weeks. In his last five games, he's completed 61.2 percent of his passes for seven touchdowns and two interceptions, posting better numbers than Russell Wilson during that stretch."
But it's not going to be easy for him and to make things just a little bit tougher the Jets will have an extra familiar set of eyes on him on Sunday.
According to ESPN, Bridgewater's Louisville teammate Calvin Pryor, who went against him every day in practice will make his first start in the Jets secondary.
1. Percy's return to Minnesota
He won't need another introduction to the Vikings or their fans. Regardless of how many fans were shouting "Percy who," after Cordarrelle Patterson's monster Week 1, everyone in Minnesota still knows who Percy Harvin is.
Not much motivates Harvin like revenge, and don't think for a second he hasn't had this game circled on his calendar since the day he was traded to the Jets.
Harvin didn't play in many games for Seattle last year. Other than the NFC Championship and Super Bowl, the only other game he took the field in was against the Vikings.
As KFAN reports, his time in Minnesota was tumultuous, but he was and is one of the most explosive players in the NFL.
"We know who he is," Harvin's former teammate Chad Greenway told KFAN. "You've got to know that when you go to tackle Percy you've got to bring your big boy shoes. He's as good as anybody at getting off of tackles and making people miss...he can be an angry dude sometimes, gotta love him though."
He has been healthier for New York and the Jets use him in a lot of ways, including as a runner in the backfield, so the Vikings had better be ready for a lot of Percy on Sunday.