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Lunchbreak: ESPN Predicts Big Day for Rudolph Against Jaguars

Kyle Rudolph has done a little bit of everything in his 10th season with the Vikings.

The two-time Pro Bowl tight end has paved the way for Minnesota's ground game at times, and has also stayed back to protect Kirk Cousins on occasion, too.

And the sure-handed veteran has made his share of plays in the passing game, too, as Rudolph is coming off his best stat line in a win over the Panthers (seven catches for 68 yards).

ESPN beat reporters Courtney Cronin (Vikings) and Mike DiRocco (Jaguars) broke down Sunday’s game between Minnesota and Jacksonville, with DiRocco predicting another big game for the tight end.

He wrote:

Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph will have two touchdown catches. The Jaguars, Jets and Chargers have all given up a league-high nine TD catches to tight ends. Rudolph has just one this season and is coming off season highs in catches (seven) and yards (68) against Carolina.

Rudolph has 28 catches for 334 yards and a score in 2020. He talked about his day against Carolina earlier this week.

"It feels good. Obviously, it's something that I enjoy doing," Rudolph said. "But like I've said every year that I've been here, you never know what your role is going to be going into a game on Sunday.

"As I sat here last week or two weeks ago, I talked about how I've prepared myself each week as is if I'm going to have a huge impact on the passing game," Rudolph added. "Obviously that doesn't always happen, but it doesn't mean that I'm not preparing for it to happen every week."

Rudolph recorded his 48th career touchdown catch in Week 3 against Tennessee. If he gets the two predicted by DiRocco, he'll tie Sammy White for fourth in Vikings history.

Cronin, meanwhile, highlighted another Vikings pass catcher, as Justin Jefferson could reach a big milestone against the Jaguars.

View photos of games between the Vikings and Jaguars through the years.

She wrote:

With 82 receiving yards against Jacksonville, Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson would become just the fifth rookie to reach 1,000 receiving yards in the first 12 games of his career during the Super Bowl era. Jefferson leads all rookies with 918 receiving yards and ranks second in receptions (52) and touchdown catches (six).

Randy Moss has recorded the lone 1,000-yard receiving season for a Vikings rookie, as he had 1,313 yards in 1998.

Cronin (31-20) and DiRocco (30-21) each predicted a Minnesota win, and both noted they expect a big day for the Vikings offense.

The Jaguars have allowed 24-plus points in 10 straight games this season, their longest streak of allowing 24 points in franchise history. The Vikings have scored 24-plus points in eight of their 11 games this season, but they are just 4-4 in those games.

Cook ranks 3rd in Pro Bowl voting

Dalvin Cook's superb November earned him the NFC Offensive Player of the Month honors, as the running back racked up 832 scrimmage yards.

That total not only led the league in November, but set a franchise record for the month.

Cook's overall performance in 2020 means he is likely on his way to his second straight Pro Bowl, and the most-recent round of Pro Bowl data backs that up.

The NFL released updated voting numbers Thursday, as Cook continues to lead all running backs with 188,767 votes. That total also places Cook third among all players across the league.

You can vote here for Cook and your other favorite Vikings for the 2021 Pro Bowl.


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