As always, the most comprehensive nuts-and-bolts coverage of the Patriots' win over the Vikings can be found right here on patriots.com. Below is a roundup of the most interesting material generated by our media colleagues as relates to the win over Minnesota.
A Boston Herald writer declares that this latest win falls in the “mission accomplished” category for New England.
“There’s been some doubt about this Patriots team. Maybe they’re not as good as some other teams Bill Belichick has coached down the stretch of an NFL season, some that have gone on to win championships,” she states.“Perhaps that will prove true. But it’s December. And this Patriots team accomplished an important mission to kick off the month… they kicked the Vikings aside. It sure looks like they’re ready to roll.”
Similar sentiments are expressed by a Providence Journal columnist this Monday morning.
“If the calendar reads December,” he begins, “it must mean that everything will start coming up roses for the New England Patriots… The first step this month unfolded much easier than planned.”
NBC Sports Boston offers a detailed breakdown of how the Patriots used disguised defensive looks to confound Minnesota’s offense.
“On eight passing downs -- typically third-and-five or more, but also on second and fourth-and-long plays -- the Patriots had just one down lineman,” the analysis reveals. “On those plays they often had two corners out wide. The other eight players? They'd stroll around between the tackles and within 10 yards from the line of scrimmage, talking to each other and refusing to declare their intentions to either rush or cover.”
The MassLive blog examines how the Patriots D shut down Minnesota’s two fantastic receivers.
On the Boston Sports Journal site, a specific defensive play is put under the microscope and the wirter’s conclusion is that it sealed the victory for New England.
This Patriots win was all about complenentary football, as a scribe from the Patriot Ledger explains in his column today.
Balance and diversity on offense were the key to victory, according to a Worcester Telegram writer.
The Athletic website focues on the positive impact that WR Josh Gordon is having on New England’s offense.
“Gordon has a lot going for him aside from his embarrassment of physical riches,” the story asserts. “His teammates laud the way he asks questions — it’s the quality of the question that shows his attentiveness and eventual ability to apply the answer.
“And even though Gordon did go through a spell of tardiness earlier in the season, the Patriots admire his work ethic. Through all of that, he has become a popular player in the locker room, to the point where they want to help him as much as possible.”
Much was proven by the Patriots in this win over the Vikes, as a WEEI.com reporter spells out in his column, especially in terms of all-important playoff seeding.
“The Patriots are in a great spot to earn a first-round bye, but also potentially the No. 1 overall seed,” he points out.
Meanwhile, a Boston Globe writer says the Patriots defense bailed out the offense, and makes several other observations about how New England won the game, including OC Josh McDaniels’ play-calling choices.
Elsewhere, an ESPN blog post recaps a heated exchange during the game between Vikings WR Adam Thielen and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
“I just lost my emotions,” Thielen explained in part afterward.
Finally today, Boston.com recaps Belichick’s more civilized discussion with former NFL coach and current FOX analyst Jimmy Johnson.