Red Zone Report: Patriots Face A Tough Vikings Defense

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(Al Bello/Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- The Patriots had a well-rounded win over the Jets, and they'll face the Vikings Sunday. WBZ NewsRadio's Adam Kaufman talked to Boston Globe Patriots beat reporter Ben Volin about the match-up, as well as all the other Pats headlines of the week.

So, how much of a challenge does Volin think Minnesota's defense--top five against the pass and run--give the Patriots Sunday?

"This is a good defense," Volin said. "They're number one in the league in third down, only allowing 27 percent conversions. They're the number-one red zone defense, only allowing 43 percent of touchdowns in all their red zone opportunities. This is a very fast, athletic, opportunistic defense that's definitely going to make the Patriots earn their way on Sunday."

The Vikings sit in a Wild Card spot at 6-4-1. Kirk Cousins has had a good year and has arguably the best receiver in the game in Adam Thielen, and Stefon Diggs is excellent. But, they have been inconsistent. Do the Patriots have what it takes to slow them down?

"What's interesting with the Vikings is, individually, they look great," Volin said. "Those guys are having phenomenal seasons ... But the sum of the parts does not equal the individual. Collectively, they've been very inconsistent. They're only 16th in the league in scoring--the league average is 24 points a game. They haven't scored more than 24 points in their last four. Really have not had much of a running game this year."

Volin thinks its the Vikings who will be challenged in Foxboro.

"I think if you can limit Thielen and Diggs' yards after the catch, make the Vikings really earn their way down the field, they haven't really been a high explosive offense," Volin said. "I actually think they're gonna have a problem kinda keeping pace with the Patriots."

Kaufman and Volin also discussed takeaways from the Patriots' win over the Jets, Tom Brady's knee injury and whether or not it will cause him to lean on the rest of the team, Rex Burkhead's return, Shaq Mason's value, what has contributed to the Patriots' consistency for the last two decades, and Josh McDaniels being named once again as a top head coaching candidate in the offseason.

Listen to the full interview below.

WBZ NewsRadio's Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) reports

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