The Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings are teams looking for answers, but only one can find them this weekend in their Week 3 matchup.
Cleveland has lost both of its games, first to the Miami Dolphins and then to AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens. Of course, they also made headlines this week by trading away star running back Trent Richardson.
Minnesota has had it just as bad, losing two games in the NFC North already by dropping contests to the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears.
Here is everything fans need to know about the game.
Where: Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, MN
When: 1:00 PM ET, September 22, 2013
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket, Game Rewind
Browns Player to Watch: Barkevious Mingo
Barkevious Mingo had one heck of a rookie debut last weekend with two tackles and a sack. With Brandon Weeden out and Richardson gone, there isn’t a lot to watch on the Browns offense.
Thankfully Mingo is around and gives something Browns fans can brag about. He’s clearly a special player who makes a difference when on the field, and the Browns are going to need that in a big way against Adrian Peterson and the Vikings.
Vikings Player to Watch: Jerome Simpson
Yes, Jerome Simpson is not the biggest name at wide receiver in Minnesota, but he could have the biggest game yet again with elite cornerback Joe Haden shutting down Greg Jennings.
Simpson has had a huge season thus far with defenses focused on Peterson and Jennings. That should continue here this week against the Browns as the secondary after Haden is a mess. Watch Simpson closely this weekend.
Matchup to Watch: Peterson vs. Browns Defense
The only way the Browns stand a chance in this matchup is through their defense. The starting quarterback and running back are gone, so the offense is not going to be scoring a lot of points — even on a weak Minnesota defense.
The good news is the Browns have a solid defensive unit with some talented players. It’s going to need to play at a high level in order to stuff Peterson and force Christian Ponder to make mistakes.
This one is going to be ugly.
The Browns are obviously playing for 2014. Brandon Weeden is out, etc. etc. Minnesota will have some issues running the ball, but Cleveland will be lucky to even notch a field goal.
Vikings 17, Browns 3