16 November 2020 04:42
Mike Zimmer got a bit defensive this week when asked about how the Vikings have habitually struggled at Soldier Field over the past couple of decades. "Well, I wasn't here for all of the struggles," he said with a subtle smile. "I think the biggest struggle is they are really good. That will be the biggest struggle for us. Just playing against a really good football team." That said, whenever the Vikings play the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, it doesn't really matter who has the better team.
Usually, it ends with the Vikings flying back to the Twin Cities, licking their wounds after another loss inside unfriendly confines. In fact, since the turn of the century, the Vikings are an abysmal 4-16 at Soldier Field, often looking more like Pop Warner players masquerading as an NFL team. And while Zimmer made it known that he has indeed fared a bit better than previous Vikings coaches, he is only 2-4 for his career at Soldier Field, which obviously is nothing to write home about. It raises the question: Why has Solider Field been such a house of horrors for the Vikings? "We're still trying to figure that out," Vikings middle linebacker Eric Kendricks said.
Add in the fact that Cousins is 0-9 for his career on Monday Night Football, and history appears to be working against the Vikings for this one. "We can't really dwell too much on the past," rookie receiver Justin Jefferson said. "We're just trying to win this game and focus on the future." Perhaps having no fans at the game will help time around. That certainly has impacted the Vikings in games at U.S. Bank Stadium. "It's changed tremendously," Zimmer said.
"When we played (the Atlanta Falcons), it was completely dead in the stadium. I think every team is kind of going through it and they are probably figuring it out a little better now. For the Vikings, starting fast against the Bears will be extremely important. "We haven't done it," running back Dalvin Cook said. "We're always kind of like, 'I don't want to play at their pace.' We go in and ease our way into the game. I think this year, this Monday night game, is going to be about who's going to be more physical. It's Sunday night, and Cam Newton is officially going head to head with Lamar Jackson (and not only that, but faring even better than expected). The former, who led the New England Patriots to a comeback win over the New York Jets a week ago, has Bill Belichick's squad challenging for a prime-time upset against the Baltimore Ravens, who are looking to improve to 7-2 to keep pace with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North. While Jackson and the Ravens have moved the ball methodically, Newton's Pats have been right there with them thanks in large part due to a couple of big defensive stands and a strong first half from Damien Harris and Rex Burkhead. New England enters the break up 13-10. Can the Patriots extend their momentum into the second half and play spoiler on Sunday night? Or are the Ravens poised to keep capitalizing on New England's so-so "D" and run away with it down the stretch? Stay right here, as we're following the showdown all night with live updates and analysis. Location: Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Massachusetts) FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 15: A New England Patriots flag flies in an empty Gillette Stadium for a game between the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens on November 15, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The weather is total garbage Sunday night as the Patriots host the Ravens. There is some real crazy weather sweeping through parts of the nation Sunday. The early NFL window saw the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans go into a weather delay because of swirling winds and hail. Now Sunday night has brought fans another sloppy game as the New England Patriots host the Baltimore Ravens. The conditions look miserable and fans on Twitter are share their reactions to all this awful weather. Awful weather for the Patriots and Ravens The entire East Coast is seeing scary weather and it almost seems weird to be playing a game in front of no fans in such conditions. There is something almost haunted about watching NFL game being played at night, in an empty stadium, with pouring rain — paul (@pr9000) November 16, 2020 Those watching in New York City are also dealing with tornado warnings, in case this month hasn't been crazy enough already. The weather in Foxborough is only to get worse as the game goes on and all the storms continue east. Tornado Warning including The Bronx NY, Yonkers NY, New Rochelle NY until 9:00 PM EST pic.twitter.com/YA3lzS8Xym — NWS Tornado (@NWStornado) November 16, 2020 There is one positive to all the insane weather as it does force everyone to wear masks and avoid dealing with any fines. 50 degrees, rain and howling wind, and suddenly NFL coaches love wearing those masks. One potentially annoying part of watching a game while living in the region is the constant reminder of such weather being outside. Fans can hear the rain slamming their windows, but the local NBC affiliate will be sure to remind them over and over that it is there. I wish I could watch football without my tv telling me it is gonna rain — Simone (@SimneBetchtwits) November 16, 2020 Putting up warnings for a tornado is different than just panicking about some light rain. 2nd half of Patriots Ravens game looks like a soggy mess. — Live Weather (@WeatherStreams) November 16, 2020 We will all have to wait and see if the storms get too bad in the second half of the game. If so, it may be a soggy and late night for both teams in Foxborough as the Patriots look to save their season. Get ready for more years of New England Patriots receivers throwing passes on trick plays. Julian Edelman, a college quarterback, has been throwing passes for years on special plays. Jakobi Meyers was a quarterback in high school, and he can throw it a bit too. Meyers threw a touchdown pass to Rex Burkhead in the second quarter to give the Patriots a surprising 13-10 lead over the Baltimore Ravens. Meyers took a lateral, sized up Burkhead and hit him in the end zone with a nicely placed pass. The Patriots aren't exactly lighting it up through the air with their conventional passing game. Before Sunday, the last time a Patriots player threw a touchdown pass was Jarrett Stidham to N'Keal Harry on Oct. 5 at the Kansas City Chiefs. Cam Newton hadn't thrown a touchdown pass since a game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sept. Newton finally broke that slump with a touchdown pass to Burkhead against the Ravens, then Meyers hit Burkhead for another score. The Patriots had thrown three touchdown passes through eight games, which is a shockingly low number in this era of NFL football. They had almost doubled that through one half on Sunday night, thanks in part to one of their receivers' secret passing ability.