The NFL’s three London games this year all have been lopsided, with two shutouts and a 44-7 score among them. Facing an 0-7 Browns team missing Joe Thomas and Myles Garrett, the Vikings should roll unless something odd happens. Prediction: Vikings 27, Browns 6.
Three big story lines
Double digits for griffen?
Everson Griffen is third in the NFL with nine sacks, and instead of facing six-time All-Pro Joe Thomas, he’ll get Spencer Drango, whom Griffen said “should be playing guard.” Griffen’s 10th sack — and maybe more — should be in reach.
Zimmer, jackson matchup
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer and Browns coach Hue Jackson were on the same staffs in Atlanta and Cincinnati. Zimmer has leaned on Jackson’s offensive expertise since becoming a head coach; Jackson has done the same with Zimmer.
WATCHING OUT FOR WILLIAMS
Zimmer is not hanging on to any grudges with Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for the way Williams’ Rams team hit Teddy Bridgewater in 2015. Still, Case Keenum will be on alert for a physical defense that could surprise them.
Two key matchups
vikings wr adam thielen vs. browns cb briean boddy-calhoun
The former Gopher is off to a strong start in his career with the Browns, and he’ll see plenty of Thielen — a Minnesota State Mankato product — when the wide receiver is in the slot on Sunday.
VIKINGS C PAT ELFLEIN vs. BROWNS DT DANNY SHELTON
The third-year tackle is a load in the middle of the Cleveland defensive line, and a big reason why the Browns are fifth in the league in run defense. Moving him out of the way will be important for success on the ground.
One stat that matters
-11 The Browns’ turnover ratio this season, which is the worst in the league. Cleveland has thrown an NFL-high 17 interceptions this season.
The Vikings will win if…
• Their offense is functional enough against the Browns to build a lead and force Cleveland quarterback DeShone Kizer to take chances.
The Browns will win if…
• They manage to steal a possession or two, possibly with a big special teams play or a turnover, to score some points without their offense on the field, while keeping the Vikings from putting long drives together.
Goessling’s win probability