Last Updated: 2017-08-30
We’re still fighting an uphill battle here, now sitting a 5-8-1 with the Plays of the Week and will look at this week’s game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Minnesota is -3 (-120) and the total on the game is 39.
The Vikings haven’t quite despite their recent skid that has them on the outside of the playoff picture looking in and are in desperate need of a win in this one against a Jacksonville team that is once again struggling, having dropped all five games at home. Statistically, the Jaguars aren’t all that bad, as they’ve outgained the Vikings offensively and allow only eight more yards defensively than the Vikings’ vaunted defense. The key to Jacksonville’s struggles can be found in the turnover department, where they have made 18 turnovers the past eight games and forced just two, both of those coming against Detroit.
The Vikings have played decently the past two weeks, but have nothing to show for it other than a pair of close losses, as they didn’t get much help from the officials in last week’s loss to the Cowboys. That Thursday game does give them an extra couple of days to prepare for Sunday, which may allow them to get one or two of their injured defensive backs healthy enough to play, although Harrison Smith won’t be one of them.
Minnesota’s biggest problem has been rushing the ball, as they average just 72.4 yards per game and Sam Bradford isn’t good enough to throw every down. Fortunately for the Vikings, the Jaguars are allowing 4.0 yards per carry and Minnesota may have a bit of success on the ground.
Minnesota’s rushing defense has shown a few holes the past seven games, allowing more than 90 yards in each, including more than 125 yards in four of those games. With Bortles struggling as he has, the Jaguars are likely to test Minnesota on the ground.
Even though we have a low total have to play this one to go under, as there should be an effort by both teams to establish the run and take pressure off of the quarterback. Since 2013 there have only been 24 games with a total of less than 40 and 18 of them have gone under, including the Jaguars last week against Denver.
The Vikings are 4-16-2 in totals as an away favorite since 2005 and have seen two-thirds of all their games go under the total.