Each week, BringMeTheNews will analyze the Vikings’ upcoming game from both sides, and give you “5 key reasons the Vikings will win.” This week the Vikings host the struggling New York Jets.
For 5 key reasons the Vikings should be worried, click here.
5. New York state of mind
Things are coming apart in New York. The quarterbacks haven't been capable, the offense has been stagnant, there have been off-the-field distractions and on-the-field antics.
It all adds up to a 2-10 record.
Things have been so bad, that some players have accused Jets management of giving up on them and head coach Rex Ryan was nearly crying during his post game press conference following the loss to Miami.
"I'm embarrassed for myself absolutely," said Ryan during his Tuesday press conference. "It is, it's an embarrassment. It's definitely embarrassing to me. I feel like I've let my owner down. I've let our fan base down. So, yeah of course. There's no doubt."
There appears to be plenty of depression and embarrassment to go around, even affecting Minnesota's own Eric Decker.
"It's been a really hard season," Decker's wife Jessie James told WPLJ. "He's been, I don't want to say depressed, but he's been depressed."
And that was before Monday night's crushing loss to the Dolphins.
4. Kill to bring some TCF luck to Vikings
What do you do when your team is 5-7, and its playoff chances are on life support? You find your nearest Big Ten Coach of the Year, and you invite him to the game and honor him before kickoff.
That's exactly what the Vikings are doing this week. They invited Gophers coach Jerry Kill to blow the Gjallarhorn, just prior to kickoff on Sunday.
Kill led the Gophers to an 8-4 regular season record, and Minnesota came just one win short of the Big Ten Championship Game.
Minnesota is waiting to find out what their bowl game matchup will be. That announcement is also expected on Sunday.
3. It's Charles, not Charlie Johnson
Be careful though, because Charlie Johnson is someone else entirely, but both are now starters on the offensive side of the ball.
Since starting to get a little more playing time, the Grand Valley State product has 17 catches for 240 yards and a touchdown. That hasn't gone unnoticed by the coaching staff.
"CJ is playing at a high level. CJ is the starter at X," said offensive coordinator Norv Turner. "That's the position Cordarrelle plays. We're going to do what we can to give him some opportunities to play but CJ is playing at a real high level right now."
The Vikings claimed Johnson from Cleveland's practice squad. He played in Turner's system last season and his familiarity with the offense has paid off.
2. Rhodes becomes the X-Factor for Vikings D
Xavier Rhodes has been one of the most improved players on the Vikings defense. His growth has really been apparent over the last month.
1500 ESPN notes that Rhodes didn't allow a completion last week on six targets from Carolina quarterback Cam Newton.
That highlighted an impressive trend over the last four games.
1. Super special teams
When Adam Thielen crossed the goal line after returning a blocked punt for a touchdown Sunday, he ended a drought that went all the way back to 1986. He also may have opened the flood gates, because later in the same half Everson Griffen scooped up a punt that was blocked by Jasper Brinkley and raced down the sideline for another touchdown.
It made the Vikings one of only five teams in NFL history to block two punts for touchdowns in the same game.
The scores were the seventh and eighth touchdowns scored by the Vikings special teams unit under special team coordinator Mike Priefer's watch.