MNF Preview and Prediction: Minnesota Vikings (1-2) at New York Jets (3-1)

giants-redskins-spread-pick-prediction-monday-night-football-washington-new-yorkEditor’s Note: Griffin Gotta’s weekly MNF coverage on MSF is sponsored for the second straight year by Sadler’s Smokehouse, a producer of premium pit smoked meats that are best described by Sadler’s slogan: Legendary since 1948.

Sadler’s premium meats are perfect for tailgating on Saturday, for grilling out at home on Sunday, or for when you are hosting a group of friends, or even just the family, on Monday night.

With a variety of delicious choices (beef, pork, ribs, turkey, brisket, and more) and availability at grocery stores throughout the U.S., Sadler’s meats are the tasty, convenient choice when you want to watch the big game and eat well while you’re doing it.

Visit the Sadler’s Smokehouse website: Sadler’s Smokehouse

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When the Vikings take the field Monday night, it will have been two full weeks since we’ve last seen them. If any team needed the time off, it was Minnesota. Injuries, execution and ambivalent emotions – they had all been problems for the Vikes before the bye week hit; a little bit of regrouping was in order.

But they will need that refresh button they tried to hit over the break to take effect right away, because the New York Jets are rolling into this one.

Monday Night Football: Minnesota Vikings at New York Jets Game Info

  • Vikings-Jets Date: Monday, October 11
  • Vikings-Jets Kickoff Time: 8:30 pm
  • Vikings-Jets TV Network: ESPN
  • Vikings-Jets Announcers: Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden
  • Vikings-Jets Point Spread: Jets -4 (as of Thursday morning)
  • Vikings-Jets Over-Under: 39

Monday Night Football: Minnesota Vikings at New York Jets Preview

That the Jets come in on a roll shouldn’t come as a surprise, mind you. New York was supposed to be here; the unexpected part of this 3-1 start is who has been playing significant roles, namely Braylon Edwards and LaDainian Tomlinson. As you can see, in this game there were plenty of storylines ready to go.

And then Mr. Randy Moss entered himself into the equation. We should probably start there.vikings-jets preview and prediction monday night football point spread pick over under

The Moss Factor.

Whatever happened between Moss and the Patriots doesn’t matter. Randy Moss will not kill this Minnesota team. There’s a chance he could just be “meh” – the ever dangerous decoy at the least – but at best, he could be a force of nature. He just won’t be terrible; he won’t be a self-destructive problem for that team. He’s playing for a new deal, in a new situation (well, kind of), and with a fresh batch of motivation.

Another positive to this trade for Minnesota: if anything is going to bring Brett Favre back from the confused-old-fella-with-his-right-turn-signal-on-for-three-miles state of football he’s playing at the moment, it’s this move. I agreed with Favre, for probably the last time ever, back in 2007 when he lobbied so hard for a Moss trade to Green Bay. Moss is the perfect receiver for him; I’ll throw it up, you go catch it. This could be the shot in the arm Favre so clearly needed. He needs to have fun out there, as we all know.

Maybe it’ll be the shot in the arm the entire team, and NFC as a whole, needed as well. The Vikings may be 1-2, but that was pre-Moss. In this post-Moss world, they are a serious threat in this conference – because it’s a conference no one has taken a firm hold of yet. This trade should provide a due kick in the pants to meandering contenders like the Saints and Packers, who, despite 3-1 records, have been a bit shaky.

In short, the Vikings, like Omar, are comin’. Everyone needs to take notice.

Minnesota is also similar to Omar Little of “The Wire” in another way. Omar’s profession of stealing from drug organizations made his day-to-day living just that – day-to-day. Did you know that one can develop quite the list of enemies when stealing from drug lords? Crazy, I know. The Vikings have made it clear with this Moss move and basically every other action and non-action they’ve performed as of late that they are living season-to-season. Or actually, just this season.

vikings-jets preview and prediction monday night football point spread pick over under

And like Omar, they do so willingly.

The Vikings will not be the same team next year and they know it. They are the 2004 Los Angeles Lakers, with Karl Malone, Gary Payton and Shaq in his last year with L.A. It is now or never. Next year, it could be all about Chris Mihm and Slava Medvedenko. Or in football terms, Tarvaris Jackson and Bernard Berrian.

The Jets are pretty good, and possibly getting better.

Meanwhile, the Jets have started to assert themselves firmly within the upper crust of the AFC behind the play of Braylon Edwards, LaDainian Tomlinson and an efficient Mark Sanchez. Edwards and his beard (shown below, before he shaved it) have been making big plays, which is to say he’s been surprising, and Tomlinson may not just simply be the third down screen pass option we thought he was at this point in his career.

vikings-jets preview and prediction monday night football point spread pick over under

And now they welcome Santonio Holmes, Darrelle Revis and Calvin Pace into the fold. As they sit at 3-1 and with one of the more complete teams in the league, they can argue they have just reached full strength. Just in time, as the Football Gods would have it, to prepare for their old friends Brett and Randy (seriously, the only way this game works out better for ESPN is if LeBron, D-Wade and Chris Bosh are either commentating or officiating).

Revis gets another shot at Moss a few weeks removed from being embarrassed so bad it reminded him of just how tight that pesky hamstring really was (weird how that works).

As for Favre? Well, aside from trying to meet new people, it doesn’t seem like he ever really wanted to be in New York. He wanted to play football, and that was his only option at the time. The Jets probably didn’t enjoy the way that experience ended, meaning they’re probably going to try and crush him – like they do everyone else. I presume Rex Ryan will be more persuasive with it than I can be, though.

Monday Night Football: Minnesota Vikings at New York Jets Prediction

This game should be all sorts of interesting. Assuming Moss plays, does he make an immediate impact on the stagnant Viking offense? Does it matter this week anyway, with the revamped Jets coming into their own at home?

Both of these teams are entering a second act of sorts. Whatever happens going forward will have started here. This is the first game of the rest of their seasons.

Vikings-Jets Prediction: Jets 23, Vikings 20.

Vikings-Jets Spread Pick: Vikings +4

Vikings-Jets Over-Under Pick: Over

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**Moss photo courtesy of Damian Strohmeyer/SI
**Omar photo courtesy of http://1morefilmblog.com
**Braylon photo courtesy of http://www.makli.com

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