It’s hard to make a lot of assumptions off of just one game (especially when September feels like an extended preseason), but it’s all we have. So with another key division matchup coming up for the Packers, let’s look at the key areas to watch.
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The Vikings drafted Garrett Bradbury and signed Josh Kline to shore up their pathetic offensive line. They allowed only 1 sack and 3 QB hits against the Falcons, but that was on just 10 pass attempts. However, the Vikings ran wild on the ground, where Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison combined for 160 yards on 30 carries. The Packers changed their box personnel a lot since last season and they’ll need to bring it for 60 minutes on Sunday.
On the flip side, the Packers retooled offensive line wasn’t great last week. Sure, they were facing a dominant front from Chicago, but the Vikings have a pretty formidable defense in their own right. Taylor and Turner should both be looking over their shoulder.
The Bears had a lot of hype this year after going 12-4 last season, but that was all on the strength of the defense. The Vikings are no slouches on defense, but they’re in another class on offense. The Vikings have a better quarterback, better running back, better receivers, and a better tight end than the Packers faced last week. Throw in the reinforced offensive line, and the Packers exciting new defense is in for a much bigger test than they got last week. We’re gonna learn a lot this week.
This guy is a rare talent that is finally healthy. The Packers will need to swarm tackle him like they swarm tackled Montgomery and Cohen last week. Look for the Packers to let their defensive backs play on island while they focus their attention on stopping cook. Martinez, Greene, Goodson, and Amos will probably all see time up front to combat a Vikings run game that went wild last week.
I’m really looking forward to King-Thielen and Jaire-Diggs. The best receiving duo in the conference against the best corner duo in the conference. Now that the Packers have some capable safeties in back and a front 7 that can generate consistent pressure, this should be a lot of fun to watch.
It’s early in the season and no on played their starters in the preseason, so of course no one is in midseason form. The Vikings cruised to a 28-0 lead last week, but all their points came off turnovers and they didn’t have a drive that went 60 yards all game. In short, the Vikings took advantage of a pathetic showing from Atlanta. The Packers defense looked good last week (aside from like eight dropped interceptions), but the offense looked like they wouldn’t have been able to put together a drive against anyone. They need to tighten it up quick if they want to get an early season jump on the division.
In 2018, Rodgers played on a broken leg. In 2017, he missed half the season with a broken collarbone. The year before that, he was a machine that led the league with 40 touchdowns and led he team to the brink of the Super Bowl. I know that he’s learning a new offense and didn’t get a single preseason snap to shake off rust, run the scheme, or establish a rapport with his receivers (only 1 was a full time starter last year), but still, that week 1 outing was not vintage. At his age, coming off two years of injuries, it’s fair to wonder if he’s just rusty or if he’s hitting the downside. The key appears to be his willingness to hit the short, quick reads in the new offense. Week 2 is just the next test.
- Dalvin Cook averages less than 4 yards per carry
- Kirk Cousins passes for more yards than he did last week
- Diggs and Thielen are both held mostly in check, with maybe one big play
- Aaron Jones looks better than last week
- Darnell Savage, building on his confidence from last week, comes up with a wow play
- A secondary receiver (i.e., not Davante Adams) gets a touchdown
- Kenny Clark has his way with rookie Garrett Bradbury
Packers 17, Vikings 13
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