The Vikings (4-2) are back at home this weekend for a matchup with the Baltimore Ravens (3-3).
Baltimore is coming off a 27-24 loss at home against the Chicago Bears.
Minnesota has won two games in a row, including at Chicago and last week at home against Green Bay.
Let’s see who the experts pick to win the NFC North matchup.
Maybe the *Ravens will shock Minnesota the way the Bears did them last week. Although, if Baltimore were to win in Minneapolis, I think it would be an even bigger upset than when Chicago beat John Harbaugh's outfit. (Well, the Bears didn't beat his actual outfit. He pretty much always wears dark colors and generally looks sharp — although I'd like to see more sweater vests from him.) Anyway, the key to this matchup will be if the Ravens horrid offense can get any movement on the Vikes defensive unit. Baltimore might be the worst passing team in the league. (OK, officially, the Ravens aerial attack is currently ranked second-to-last.) Running on Minnesota won't be any easier. Those guys are giving up a meager 3.2 yards per carry. Offensively, Case Keenum will be fine. He's completing 64.2 percent of his passes with a 5:1 TD-to-INT ratio. *
Vikings 20, Ravens 13— Elliot Harrison**, *NFL.com
The Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens game is a matchup of two physical defenses, certainly. However, the Vikings have the healthier defense and have had more success on offense, regardless of who has been under center.
There are too many questions with the Ravens. The offense has been inconsistent, and the defense is banged up. Quarterback *Joe Flacco is playing as mistake-prone as he has in his career, and when the defense cannot dominate, Flacco and the offense have a hard time pulling their weight.*
Minnesota's defense could make it difficult for the Ravens to get anything going offensively. The Vikings, meanwhile, should be able to get enough offense to put points on the board. The health of wideout Stefon Diggs will be a factor, but Minnesota should be able to move the ball even without him. Three-and-outs are common for the Baltimore offense, and an injury-weakened Ravens defense can only hold up for so many snaps.
Expect the Vikings to pull away late in a physical battle.
Vikings 20, Ravens 13 — Chris Simms, Bleacher Report
*The Vikings are playing good defense, which is a bad thing for a Ravens offense that isn’t skilled. This should be a low-scoring affair, but Minnesota will find a way to win at home thanks to the defense. *
Vikings 17, Ravens 13— Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
The Ravens offense has been a mess, and Joe Flacco is primarily to blame. I don’t see any reason to think he’ll improve against a good Vikings defense. Minnesota is suddenly looking like the favorite in the NFC North.
Vikings 20, Ravens 13— Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk
The NFL’s pair of purple teams have had some entertaining games over the years, from a 29-26 Baltimore win in the snow four years ago to a Vikings 33-31 barnburner in the first Brett Favre year to a cluster of kick-return touchdowns during the rookie year of Randy Moss. This time around, the Vikings have balance and the home-field advantage — along with an opportunity to hit the bye at 6-2.
Vikings 30, Ravens 20— Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
FiveThirtyEight’s 2015 NFL forecast uses an Elo-based model to calculate each team’s chances of advancing to the playoffs and winning Super Bowl 50. Playoff probabilities are based on 20,000 simulations of the season and will update after each game.
Pre-game win probabilities: Vikings 68 percent— FiveThirtyEight.com
10 of 11 experts pick the Vikings,ESPN
8 of 8 experts pick the Vikings,CBS Sports
5 of 5 experts pick the Vikings,USA Today
7 of 9 experts pick the Vikings,SB Nation