FOXBORO, Mass. — Wide receiver Randy Moss and the Vikings (2-4) journey to New England this weekend for a Halloween matchup with the Patriots (5-1).
But this game has plenty of storylines other than Moss' return to the New England just weeks after the team surprisingly traded him away. There's gunslingin' quarterback Brett Favre, famous for text messaging and streaks, who has an NFL record at stake.
The Vikes also have one of the game's most-feared running backs in Adrian Peterson, who can reach 1,000 all-purpose yards on the season with a big game this weekend.
It will be a happy Halloween, indeed, for football fans watching this one.
The Patriots lead the all-time series 6-4, including a 4-2 record at home and a 1-0 mark at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots have won back-to-back meetings with the Vikings on three occasions, including their current two-game winning streak, but they've never won three consecutive games in the series.
With all the hype about Moss and Favre, the Patriots' success could completely rely upon their ability to stop Peterson, who is second in the NFL with 684 rushing yards, which is a Vikings record through six games, and five touchdowns.
The Patriots' defense spent Wednesday morning's film session studying Peterson almost exclusively. They're ranked ninth in the league in rush defense (97.7 yards per game), and they have yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this season.
It's almost inconceivable to think the Patriots — or any team — can stop Peterson, but they've got to do their part to make sure he doesn’t take over the game. Peterson can beat teams, but this season, Favre has not been able to do that.
Quarterback Tom Brady is 2-0 against the Vikings, and he has completed 50 of 77 passes (64.9 percent) for 611 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception.
Defensive lineman Mike Wright is the first Patriot since Richard Seymour in 2008 to record a sack in three consecutive games. Wright also leads the Patriots with five quarterback hits and three sacks.
Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis has scored a touchdown in four consecutive games for the second time in his career. He also matched that feat as a rookie in 2008. Green-Ellis leads the Patriots with 68 carries and 259 rushing yards.
Wide receiver Wes Welker leads the Patriots with 37 receptions, and he is second on the team with 295 yards. However, his 8.0 yards per catch are the lowest of his career. His previous low was 10.3 in 2006 with Miami, and his low average with the Patriots was 10.5 (in 2007 and 2008).
The Patriots are 34-6 against the NFC since 2001, including a 3-1 record in the Super Bowl.
Quarterback Brett Favre is 4-3 against the Patriots, including Super Bowl XXXVI. He has completed 128 of 209 passes (61.2 percent) for 1,438 yards, 12 touchdowns and three interceptions.
Wide receiver Randy Moss has 947 career receptions, and he needs five more to pass Andre Reed for eighth on the all-time list.
Defensive tackle Pat Williams is the oldest defensive player in the NFL (turned 38 on Sunday).
Defensive end Jared Allen is only the second player in NFL history with three consecutive seasons with at least 14 sacks, but he only has one sack in 2010.
Left guard Steve Hutchinson, who was Brady's teammate at Michigan, has blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher during each of his nine NFL seasons and has blocked in 61 games, including the playoffs, when a running back has reached 100 yards.
From Thursday's practice report
Quarterback Tom Brady (shoulder) fully participated and will play.
Running back Fred Taylor (toe) did not practice and isn’t expected to play.
Safety Jarrad Page (left calf) did not practice and isn’t expected to play.
Defensive lineman Mike Wright (knee) did not practice but will probably play.
Wide receiver Deion Branch (hamstring) was limited, and his status is uncertain.
Safety Patrick Chung (knee) was limited, and his status is uncertain.
Wide receiver Matthew Slater (ankle) was limited, but it appears he should be able to play.
Quarterback Brett Favre (foot/ankle) did not practice, but it's believed he'll play.
Offensive lineman Chris DeGeare (ankle) was limited, and his status is uncertain.
Defensive tackle Letroy Guion (hamstring) was limited, and his status is uncertain.
Left guard Steve Hutchinson (quadriceps) was limited, but it's believed he'll play.
Cornerback Lito Sheppard (hand) was limited, and his status is uncertain.
Center John Sullivan (calf) was limited, and his status is uncertain.
Defensive tackle Pat Williams (quadriceps) was limited, but it's believed he’ll play.
Safety Husain Abdullah (concussion) fully participated and will likely play.
Cornerback Chris Cook (knee) fully participated and will likely play.
Similar to last week, the Patriots have a whole lot going in their favor, while the Vikings (like the Chargers) can't get out of their own way. There are plenty of sideshows this week, but the Patriots have been equipped to handle them this season.
New England has a strong opportunity to win a fifth consecutive game, and all things considered, it probably should win this one.