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Patriots-Vikings matchup of the day: Saturday

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Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain

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Posted Oct. 30, 2010 @ 7 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

Here is a matchup to watch in the Week Seven game between the Patriots and Vikings:

Vikings QB Brett Favre vs. Patriots' pass rush

Favre said Saturday afternoon that he expects to play on Sunday, keeping his streak of 291 starts going and surprising no one in the process. Favre has thrown seven TDs and 10 INTs this season. While Favre is an elusive QB, he is not nearly as mobile as he used to be, and the fractures in his ankle won't help his cause.

Head coach Bill Belichick is the best at what he does in terms of taking advantage of a team's offensive weaknesses. With an inexperienced, weak secondary, the Patriots' best chance to slow down the Vikings is to take a page out of many of Minnesota's opponents' books — try to rattle Favre.

The Patriots have recorded just 12 sacks this season and have rarely put a ton of pressure on opposing QBs, electing to keep more players in coverage to help the secondary. But don't be surprised if Belichick dials up the pass rush, especially up the middle with ILBs Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes. OLB Jermaine Cunningham has been the team's best pass rusher this season off the edge.

The Vikings have allowed 14 sacks this season, finding themselves near the league average in that category. Favre is the definition of a gunslinger, and with his wide receivers and arm strength, you can't blame him. But if the Patriots want to slow down the Vikes' attack, they would be best-served to wreak havoc in the backfield.

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