In case Monday Night Football was not a big enough spectacle, this week’s clash brings together the two storylines that made sure there was no real offseason in the NFL. Brett Favre and his summer-long ‘will he or won’t he’ saga and the “Hard Knocks” themselves, New York Jets, clash Monday Night at 8:30 p.m. ET in New Meadowlands Stadium.
Both teams reached their respective conference championship games last season and both will welcome back wide receivers on Monday Night. The Jets get back wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who finished serving his four-game suspension, while the Vikings welcome back Randy Moss, who left six years ago to spend two seasons in Oakland and three-plus in New England.
The timing for the arrival of Moss could not be better. It will happen on national television in primetime and happen against Jets’ cornerback Darrelle Revis. Moss and Revis have feuded on the field and through the media over the last two seasons and the timing of New England’s trade was as obvious as it gets as the Patriots need the Jets, their AFC East rival, to lose a couple of games.
The Jets return to Monday Night Football, the scene of its only loss this season, an opening-week 10-9 stinker against the Ravens. Since then the Jets knocked off the Patriots and went on the road to defeat Miami and Buffalo. The Vikings finally picked up a win after two deflating losses at New Orleans and at home against Miami. They defeated Detroit, 24-10, in Week 3 before a bye week last week.
The bye week for Minnesota could not have come at a better time. The front office went out and picked up Randy Moss without giving up anything this season, and Favre can use as many days of rest as possible. Favre has returned to his gunslinger ways; he has thrown six interceptions as opposed to two touchdowns. The addition of Moss gives Minnesota another major offensive weapon to go alongside Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe.
More attention will be paid to Moss than any other aspect of the game, but this clash will come down to defense. The Jets continue to follow the formula that got them to the AFC title game last season. They lead the league with 167.8 yards per game on the ground and have the third-best rush defense. The Vikings are fifth in the league in rushing offense and fourth overall in total defense. The Minnesota defense has actually shown to be a tougher unit to score against.
For Minnesota, Favre and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe are both listed as probable on the injury report but both will play even if not at 100-percent. The major injury Minnesota has dealt with this season is losing Sidney Rice, who will not return until at least Week 7. New York welcomes back Revis (hamstring) and Holmes (suspension) while defensive end Shaun Ellis and linebacker Calvin Pace are both probable but both are expected to play.
Minnesota Vikings at New York Jets Betting Odds and Line Moves
The New York Jets are 4.5-point favorites at home against the Vikings and the total is 38. The side has remained steady at 4.5 throughout the week while the total has climbed from an opening of 37. NFL odds are courtesy of Sportsbook.com.
Minnesota Vikings at New York Jets Betting Trends
Vikings are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games
Jets are 5-1 ATS in their last six games as a favorite of 3.5-10
Jets are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record
Jets are 1-5 ATS in their last six Monday night games
Monday Night Football NFL Picks and Predictions
Sanchez looks like anything but a second-year quarterback. Unlike the veteran Favre, who has been picked off six times, Sanchez has thrown eight touchdowns compared to zero interceptions. But this game will not be won through the air; it will be determined by the ground attack and the Vikings have the edge in that regard with Peterson even against the Jets’ run defense. Despite their records, Jets 3-1 and Vikings 1-2, these teams are evenly matched and very similar. Considering that you cannot go wrong getting points, especially 4.5. The play is the Vikings plus the points.