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NFL Sunday: Vikings, Jets, Cowboys, Redskins, Bengals and Chiefs live on Sky Sports

Sky Sports | Updated: 2018-10-20 00:01:03

Sunday night's live NFL triple-header on Sky Sports sees Sam Darnold and the New York Jets host the Minnesota Vikings, an NFC East rivalry match-up and another battle of AFC big guns.

We are live on Sky Sports Action from 5pm for an hour's build-up. Here's a look ahead to what you can expect as we preview Sunday's games...

Minnesota Vikings @ New York Jets, KO 6pm

Form guide

Minnesota (3-2-1) have been unable to match their blistering run from last season but, after a surprising loss to Buffalo Bills was followed up by defeat by Los Angeles Rams, Kirk Cousins threw over 300 yards in a narrow win over last year's Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles. The NFC North side then eased past the Arizona Cardinals to win two consecutive matches for the first time in the season.

The Jets (3-3) continue to delight and frustrate their hardened fans in equal measure. There was a huge opening day win over Detroit Lions, but any hopes of a positive season were soon dashed when they became the first team to lose to Cleveland Browns in 635 days! That loss was sandwiched in between defeats by the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars as their season threatened to be derailed. However, rookie quarterback Sam Darnold rallied his side to wins over the Denver Broncos - getting a huge helping hand from Isaiah Crowell and his 219 rushing yards - and the Indianapolis Colts to get the Jets' motor running again.

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Stat Attack

With another 100+ yard game on Sunday, Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen can tie Charley Hennigan for the NFL-record most consecutive 100-yard games to start a season. Hennigan had seven-straight games of 100+ yards to open the 1961 season with the Houston Oilers. Thielen is two games shy of tying the all-time single-season record of eight-straight, set by Calvin Johnson in 2012 with the Detroit Lions.

Key battle

Ones to watch

Given the stats above on Sam Darnold and his success when facing less pressure during their consecutive wins, it is vital the Vikings bring more heat on the rookie quarterback on Sunday. Linebacker Anthony Barr is the best bet to do that, having recorded more QB pressures (12) this season than anyone else in his position, according to PFF.

If Darnold can get the ball out clean, New York's biggest weapon in the passing game is Robby Anderson, who has caught the most deep-ball touchdown receptions since 2017 with 10, one better than Kansas City Chiefs speedster Tyreek Hill. Jets running back Isaiah Crowell has also starred this season, recording six breakaway runs of 15+ yards.

As for the Vikings, they've got the ever-improving Kirk Cousins at quarterback, who is already some way to showing the $84 million outlay for him in the offseason was money well spent. He was close to joining the Jets remember, who actually offered more, at $90m. At Cousins' disposal is arguably the best wide receiver tandem in the game right now, in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs.

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins, KO 9.25pm

Form guide

Dallas (3-3) cannot buy a win away from home at the moment, having lost all three of their road games, although, on their last trip to Houston, they were undone only by an overtime field goal to lose to the Texans. However, quarterback Dak Prescott had 82 rushing yards and Ezekiel Elliot notched another 100-yard game to lead the Cowboys to an impressive, confidence-boosting 40-7 hammering of the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday.

The Redskins (3-2) are also yet to string consecutive victories together, but have won their last two matches in Washington. Veteran running back Adrian Peterson looks back to his best form, picking up 97 rushing yards in their latest victory over a strong Carolina Panthers defense.

Cowboys-Redskins: A rivalry unmatched

We explore the historic NFL rivalry between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins as they prepare to meet on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

Stat Attack

Prescott is 4-0 in his career against Washington, his best record versus any opponent. With a win on Sunday, he would become the first Cowboys QB to win five-straight starts against the Redskins since Troy Aikman won his final starts against them from 1997 to 2000.

Key battle

Ones to watch

Can the Redskins do a better job at containing Cole Beasley than the supposed premier Jaguars defense did last week? Much has been made of the Cowboys' lack of depth at receiver, so surely the go-to guy in the slot will be Washington's number one concern. Their defense is coming into this contest hot though, particularly Josh Norman, who had an interception and forced a fumble in last week's win over the Carolina Panthers, having started the season a little cold.

Dallas too have been dominant on defense, ranking fourth in the NFL in yards per game allowed and second in points, while they consistently bring pressure to opposition quarterbacks, particularly Demarcus Lawrence - according to PFF, he has brought the most pressures (26) from the left side of the defense this season.

With the above in mind, expect both teams to rely heavily on the run game. Ezekiel Elliott has been a beast for the Cowboys since entering the league, and has rushed for over 100 yards on three separate occasions already this season, including their most recent win over the Jaguars. As for the Redskins, they've got arguably the best running back in a generation in their midst - a man who Elliott might one day emulate - in Adrian Peterson.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Kansas City Chiefs, KO 1.20am

Form guide

The Bengals (4-2) have enthralled at the beginning of this season, particularly on offense, with wide receiver tandem A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd impressing in each of their four victories. However, their losses - in Week Three to Carolina and in Week Six to the Pittsburgh Steelers - have seen them concede over 100 rushing yards to a single player. They simply can't allow that to happen again against Kareem Hunt and the scintillating Chiefs offense.

Kansas City (5-1) saw their unbeaten start to the season come to an end last Sunday night at the hands of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Their model for victory seems built on their belief they can, and will, outscore their opponents, but their leaky defense gave up over 150 rushing yards to New England in their heart-breaking 43-40 loss. Still, second-year star quarterback Patrick Mahomes picked up another four touchdowns passing and running back Hunt has picked up at least 75 rushing yards in four of the opening six games this season.

Stat Attack

The Chiefs defense has allowed the most pass yards (2,042) in a team's first six games of a season since 1940. The good news though: two teams ranked in the bottom five were led to the Super Bowl by MVP QBs (2013 Broncos, 2017 Patriots). The bad news: both of those teams failed to capture the Lombardi trophy.

Key battle

Ones to watch

Bengals No 1 receiver A.J. Green is vital to their chances of winning on Sunday night, especially considering the Chiefs' leaky pass defense. He has a terrific understanding with Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton, who himself is much improved in 2018. Also, look out for running back Joe Mixon, who has put a difficult rookie year behind him with a strong start to this season.

As for Kansas City, star second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the obvious one, still. Also, Kareem Hunt seems to be sparking into life more in recent weeks, certainly in the passing game - he had 105 yards and a touchdown on five catches against the Patriots last week, bettering his total through the first five weeks of the season combine. Added to the explosive Chiefs offense are speedy wideout Tyreek Hill and dominant tight end Travis Kelce.

@PFF will provide a host of in-depth analysis throughout the season across Sky Sports platforms including our live coverage on Sunday and throughout our weekly build-up and reaction on www.skysports.com/NFL

Follow the 2018-19 NFL season with us on Sky Sports and through skysports.com/NFL also our app for mobile devices and iPad, or follow our Twitter account @SkySportsNFL

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