Scouting report Vikings at Patriots

3:25 p.m. Sunday at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass. (Ch. 9, 100.3-FM)

About The Patriots

New England (8-3) broke a 13-13 tie in the third quarter at the New York Jets on Sunday and won 27-13 thanks to a 498-yard performance by the offense.

Rookie running back Sony Michel has ignited the Patriots' run game, which totaled a season-high 215 yards against the Jets. Michel (133) and James White (73) are coming off career-high rushing totals.

White, the former Badgers running back, is the Patriots' leading receiver. He's third among all NFL running backs in catches (67), yards (576) and his six receiving touchdowns are second among running backs.

Ex-Vikings first-round pick Cordarrelle Patterson has 276 yards from scrimmage on 50 touches (5.5 yards per), mostly as a running back (156 yards), for the Patriots.

Player To Watch QB Tom Brady

In his age 41 season, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's pace for a 96.3 quarterback rating and about 27 touchdowns to 10 interceptions would be his worst marks in five years. While his level of play might have dropped from all-time great to above average, Brady has still yet to lose at Gillette Stadium this season.

Brady needs one passing touchdown against the Vikings to tie Brett Favre for third on the career list, trailing only Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. Favre finished his career with 508 passing touchdowns.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer on Brady: "He sees so many things now with the experience. … Like [Bill] Belichick said about [Aaron] Rodgers, I'm glad he's not in our division."

Coach Speak | Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick is in his 24th season as an NFL head coach, including his 19th with the Patriots as the league's longest-tenured head coach. Belichick has a 258-121 record in the regular season (222-77 with the Patriots) and 28-11 in the playoffs (27-10 with the Patriots while 5-3 in Super Bowls).

Belichick, the former Giants defensive coordinator, has overseen a top-10 scoring defense in each of the past six seasons. The Patriots rank tied for 11th in points allowed this season, surrendering 22.6 per game.

On whether he and Zimmer, who both learned under Bill Parcells, have any coaching similarities: "Mike's developed this defense over the years. It's a lot different from what Bill and I ran when we were at the Giants or the next two organizations after that."

Andrew Krammer