The New England Patriots played one of their most complete games of the season against the Minnesota Vikings, defeating the NFC’s current number five playoff seed 24-10. Of course, the preparation leading up to this game played an essential role in this and it is therefore unsurprising that a season-high nine players received practice player of the week honors:
CB Duke Dawson
DE Trent Harris
DT Frank Herron
OL Ted Karras
DE Derek Rivers
Only one of the players listed above, offensive lineman Ted Karras, was actually on the Patriots’ active 46-man game day roster. The others were either inactive (Duke Dawson, Derek Rivers) or are currently on New England’s practice squad. Needless of their role on their team, however, all nine contributed to getting the team ready for the Vikings.
Stephen Anderson likely helped New England’s defense prepare for tight end Kyle Rudolph, while Damoun Patterson — a bigger receiver at 6’2 — probably played the role of wide receiver Adam Thielen. Ted Karras likely helped the Patriots attack Minnesota’a interior offensive line, something the team did well on Sunday.
On the defensive side, the many front seven players listed probably tried to emulate Minnesota’s potent pass rush. Second-round rookie Duke Dawson, meanwhile, might have either played cornerback Xavier Rhodes or even safety Harrison Smith.