Week 11 Keys to a Vikings Win

Week 11 Keys to a Vikings Win
Nov 22, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) catches a pass for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys defensive back Anthony Brown (30) at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The 8-1 Minnesota Vikings are set to host the 6-3 Dallas Cowboys in Week 11. Minnesota is coming off a win in Buffalo in what can be only called the game of the year so far while Dallas suffered a road loss to the Green Bay Packers. This game could end up being a playoff preview as both squads are well above .500. With another big game coming up, here are the Week 11 keys to a Vikings win.

Slow Down Micah Parsons

I talked about this earlier in the week when Dustin Baker and I previewed this game on VikesNow, but Micah Parsons may be the single best defender that the Vikings play against all season.

Through nine games, Parsons has racked up eight sacks, and when he does record sacks, they come in bunches. Every game that he’s gotten to the QB, he’s done so multiple times. The star EDGE does not have a single game with just one sack, and he’s recorded two on four separate occasions.

This was a bigger concern when it was possible that the Vikings would be without Christian Darrisaw, who suffered a concussion against Buffalo. However, he’s now cleared protocols and is set to play on Sunday.

Even still, Minnesota cannot let Parsons break free on the defensive front. He has wreaked havoc on opposing o-lines for the entirety of his young career, and he can change the momentum of a game with one big play.

Establish the Run

Last weekend, the Green Bay Packers made a few splash plays on passes between Aaron Rodgers and Christian Watson, but much of their comeback came from production on the ground. Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon combined for over 200 rushing yards at over five yards per carry.

The Cowboys have struggled against the run for much of the 2022 season, allowing on average 4.8 yards per carry. The Vikings should be able to take advantage of this to control time of possession and keep Dallas’ offense off the field.

Third Down Stops

Despite their strong record at 6-3, the Cowboys have been one of the worst offenses on third down. Dallas is converting on just 37.17% of its third downs, and it puts them at 25th in the NFL.

That said, the percentage has gone up as the season has progressed. Over the past three weeks, they’ve converted on 48.57% of their third downs, and that ranks 10th in the NFL.

Seeing as the Vikings will be without a few key defenders once again this weekend, they cannot let Dallas drives wear on. Minnesota needs to reverse the third down trend to where it was earlier in the season.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.