The Star Tribune has four writers in Foxborough for the Vikings-Patriots game - Ben Goessling, Andrew Krammer, Mark Craig and myself. Please check out and the newspaper for coverage.

What's fascinating about covering the NFL is that every week everyone knows what the coaching staffs should be trying to accomplish, yet so often the coaching staffs fail to make it happen.

It's different when you cover a Patriots game. Bill Belichick usually makes it happen.

What will he make happen today?

Stefon Diggs and Xavier Rhodes are active, but we don't know how effective either will be.

I think Belichick tries to smother Adam Thielen with double teams on third down, and it will be up to Diggs and Kyle Rudoph to make plays in those situations.

I also think Belichick goes after Rhodes, to test his knee and take advantage of him if he's not able to run with Josh Gordon or Julian Edelman.

And I think those matchups will determine whether the Vikings win.

My not-to-be-bet-upon pick: Patriots 26, Vikings 20.

You can find my podcasts at