Cincinnati.com
National Football League
Preview
Minnesota at N.Y. Jets
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, October 21, 2018
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

Kirk Cousins will face the team he spurned in free agency last spring when he leads the Minnesota Vikings into a matchup with the host New York Jets on Sunday. The Jets offered a three-year, $90 million contract to Cousins in March, only to watch him sign with the Vikings for less money.

The 30-year-old Cousins has fit in nicely in Minnesota, averaging over 320 passing yards per game on the year and completing 76.1 percent of his passes during the team's two-game winning streak. "The thing that I love about this guy is his passion for the game, his intensity that he has," Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer told reporters of Cousins, who is averaging 382.7 yards on the road. "He's come in here and taken charge as a leader." Missing out on Cousins allowed the Jets to use the third overall pick on Sam Darnold, who has guided an offense that produced 76 points in back-to-back wins over Denver and Indianapolis. The rookie out of USC was 24 of 30 for 280 yards and two TDs against the Colts as New York held the ball for over 37 minutes in a 42-34 triumph.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Vikings -3.5. O/U: 46

ABOUT THE VIKINGS (3-2-1): Since allowing 38 points in a Week 4 loss at the Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota has given up a total of 38 during its two-game winning streak and it held Arizona to 268 total yards in last week's 27-17 win. Opponents are converting an NFL-low 25 percent of third downs, the Vikings have scooped up six fumbles -- tied for second overall -- and defensive end Danielle Hunter is tied for the NFL lead with seven sacks. Cousins continues to find wideout Adam Thielen, who leads the league with 712 receiving yards and has a touchdown in each of his last three games.

ABOUT THE JETS (3-3): Darnold made his first appearance on an injury report due to an elbow issue he deemed minor, but the team is banged up. Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (ankle) and defensive back Marcus Maye (thumb) are out and two of Darnold's other targets -- Robby Anderson (hamstring) and Terrelle Pryor (groin) -- have missed practice time this week. Wideout Jermaine Kearse took advantage of increased opportunity against the Colts by snagging nine of his 10 targets for 94 yards.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Jets LB Darron Lee had a team-high eight tackles against the Colts and recorded his third interception, tied for the NFL lead.

2. Minnesota's Latavius Murray ran for 155 yards last week in the absence of fellow RB Dalvin Cook (hamstring), who will miss his third straight game.

3. New York won seven straight meetings before a 30-24 loss at Minnesota in the previous matchup in 2014.

PREDICTION: Vikings 27, Jets 20
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Minnesota 3-2-1 W2 23.3 24.7 2-1 1-1-1 1-1-1 0-0 - - 3-1-1
N.Y. Jets 3-3 W2 27.5 23.2 2-1 1-2 0-2 0-0 - - 2-3
Last Meeting
Minnesota N.Y. Jets
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
12/7/14 NYJ 24 MIN 30 411 114 297 410 168 242
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Minnesota T. Bridgewater 70.4 309 2 1
N.Y. Jets G. Smith 62.1 254 1 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Minnesota M. Asiata 19 54 2.8 0
N.Y. Jets C. Ivory 16 73 4.6 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Minnesota J. Wright 4 123 30.8 1
N.Y. Jets P. Harvin 6 124 20.7 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Minnesota J. Felton 1
N.Y. Jets P. Harvin 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Minnesota K. Cousins 71.2 1921 12 3
N.Y. Jets S. Darnold 59.8 1346 9 7
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Minnesota L. Murray 54 261 4.8 1
N.Y. Jets I. Crowell 70 430 6.1 5
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Minnesota A. Thielen 58 712 12.3 4
N.Y. Jets Q. Enunwa 22 287 13.0 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Minnesota A. Thielen 4
N.Y. Jets I. Crowell 5